2020 Wrap-up: The year of change & opportunities!

5 Post Pandemic trends that are here to stay

One thing is for certain, COVID-19 has created opportunities for ISVs to empower businesses to not only survive but thrive through the uncertain times. Business owners who had little to no software struggled to adapt to the changing landscape of order ahead, curbside delivery, self-service, and the mobility of acceptance that the pandemic demanded.

Several aspects of business during COVID-19 will last far after the pandemic subsides, including e-commerce, technology investments, working from home, and consumers who are now digital native.

Many traditional aspects of business and commerce have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Workers around the country are working from home instead of the office, sanitation practices have quickly been upgraded at most businesses and many more things are changing the business landscape.

As we settle into the “new normal”, here are 5 business trends likely to last far longer than the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Three C’s of Covid: Cashless, Contactless, and Convenience

    Owners are implementing changes to reduce close contact between workers and consumers. One big way is to cut out cash and only accept credit cards or digital payments. Contactless payments are becoming the norm even in businesses that are still interacting face-to-face with consumers, including restaurants and stores. We’ve seen independent restaurants across the nation shift to cashless for safety purposes. Several stores have added contact-free pick up and delivery services as well, and it’s likely this level of convenience and safety will remain popular.A recent Forrester survey found that 67% of retailers surveyed accept some form of no-touch payment, and 58% accept contactless cards, an increase from 40% last year. When surveying consumers, researchers found that 19% said they had made a digital payment in store for the first time in May. Of those respondents, 62% used their phone, and 56% used a contactless card.
     
  2. Order Ahead and DeliveryWith so many people working and spending time at home, it should come as no surprise that companies of all sizes are hiring additional delivery workers. Retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and more are hiring local delivery drivers to make shopping safe and simple.Even after the pandemic is over, many consumers may still prefer to order takeout or delivery. In fact, according to Technomic’s 2020 Delivery and Takeout Consumer Trend Report66% of consumers anticipate continuing to use curbside pickup after dine-in service resume.
     
  3. E-commerce AccelerationFor years, consumers have purchased goods from retailers online, including big brands like Amazon and Walmart and small shops that sell through platforms like Etsy and eBay. This e-commerce trend has intensified during the coronavirus pandemic due to many transitional “non-essential” stores being closed and consumers being less comfortable to go out and purchase items. As more consumers adjust to the convenience of e-commerce or invest in subscription services like Amazon Prime, many people may not want to go back to crowded stores. The growing e-commerce trend also includes local shops moving online to compensate for lost in-person sales and to reach non-local customers.The growth in e-commerce due to the pandemic has set a high bar for what’s now considered baseline growth. According to the Q2 2020 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. retail e-commerce reached $211.5 billion, up 31.8% from the first quarter, and 44.5% year-over-year.
     
  4. Self-Service KioskAs businesses operations change, they come to terms with new operating environments. Many are looking for ways to deliver a good employee and customer experience, while improving safety and reducing cost. Kiosks, can be a key part of the solution. New kiosks are being deployed in a variety of settings, including health care, retail, banks, food service, government agencies, school campuses, and more. BusinessWire reports the Kiosk Market is expected to reach a CAGR of 13% over the forecast period 2020 – 2025.
     
  5. Digital TransformationThe pandemic has mostly accelerated business priorities and strategies, not completely refined them. Despite the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent study found that 70% of businesses plan to maintain or increase their investments in digital transformation. Retooling and revamping internal operations is a necessary step in upgrading payments offerings that facilitate frictionless, secure, fast payments.A combination of social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing are standard consumer and business needs. It’s always difficult to determine the long-term impact of an event and how consumer behavior will continue, revert, or shift. One thing is apparent, ISVs are creating value through technology in a post-pandemic world and the small and medium business community needs software and payment integrations to stay nimble and relevant.

Hopefully, 2021 will be less uncertain. A year where this pandemic slowly becomes a thing of past, and these positive business trends continue to grow and thrive.

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