Innovation in Times of Crisis: Be the Hero for Your Customers

Mike Welsh
Publication Date
28 July 2020

Innovation in Times of Crisis: Be the Hero for Your Customers

In times of crisis, innovation saves the day

The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” couldn’t be more true today as the world reacts to living through a global pandemic. And this isn’t the only time we’ve had to get creative as a society. 

According to Hubspot, the following companies were created during the 2008-09 financial crisis:

  • Venmo
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • Square
  • Groupon

These companies were all created to help people and businesses navigate a difficult time. While popular opinion is that starting a company during a global crisis is a bad idea, providing the market with a resource that solves a new and unmet need may make for perfect timing. And it’s what’s happening right now as a result of the pandemic. 

What technologies will define the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic?

There have been numerous inspiring ways that communities and businesses have stepped up to make life easier during a time when there are so many unknowns. Technologies that were just beginning to gain acceptance have quickly become mainstream and companies that had already invested in these technologies found it easier to transition from life as we knew it to life with social distancing. That’s because they made contactless experiences possible so that employees and customers could be safe and protected from the coronavirus.

One of the biggest heroes to come from the pandemic has been curbside delivery and pickup. This offering has been a huge saving grace for many consumers who want to support their local restaurants and shops without putting anyone at risk. Companies with established programs have also benefited as consumers have shifted their usual shopping habits to the outlets that help them get what they need safely.

In addition to curbside delivery, we’ve witnessed many other digital innovations gain speed as the pandemic continued to put limitations on in-person interactions, such as:

And we predict we’ll see even more inventions as the months roll on. Companies that don’t have their own mobile app are finding that customers are turning to apps like Instacart, DoorDash, and UberEats to get what they need. And while all of these experiences are good, business leaders have the opportunity now – while we’re deep in this global pandemic – to stand out by solving their customers’ unmet needs. 

But what completely new technologies will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic?

While we don’t have a crystal ball, past experience tells us to look to the points of friction to understand where we’ll see the birth of new technologies and companies. Think about the biggest issues stressing consumers and it’s likely that new businesses will emerge to solve them. These include but are definitely not limited to:

  • Homeschooling - With millions of school aged children likely to be engaged in some degree of virtual learning for at least part of the 2020/21 school year, how can leaders in this space improve upon the challenges of remote learning? Cloud migration will likely be a key to success.
  • Social distancing - Having to consistently maintain separation from other people creates challenges that technology may be able to solve. How can people accurately know who they’ve recently come into contact with for contact tracing? How could technology help people be sure they are maintaining the correct distance from others?
  • Transportation - What solutions can technology offer to alleviate transportation issues as a huge percentage of the population works from home and another percentage has to figure out new ways to get to work without public transit? Or if consumers have to use public transit, how could technology help them make the choices that keep them as safe as possible?
  • Access to food and beverages - While many companies have figured this out with curbside, some are still struggling. The adult beverage industry specifically has been challenged by some of the reopening phases. Digital identity verification could be a huge game changer for them, in addition to curbside delivery.
  • Personal care - Getting a haircut has been a hot button topic. What companies or new resources will emerge to help people feel good during these challenging times?
  • Shopping and celebrations - As we approach the latter half of 2020, many are wondering what happens as we get closer to the holidays. What will companies do to be the hero for their customers during the holidays in the time of COVID?

All of these challenges open a new set of opportunities for businesses to be the hero for their customers. 

What innovations will you implement to provide great customer experiences?

If you’re starting to think about how you can get innovative during the global pandemic, let’s talk. Mobiquity’s experts spend their days thinking about digital strategies, creative innovations, and transformations that will make consumers’ lives easy. Reach out today to get the conversation started.

Let our expertise complement yours

Leave your details below and we'll be in touch soon.