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Business Innovation is no longer a “nice to have” approach

Designing an innovative business model within a startup or already established company became trendier than ever during the last two months of COVID pandemy.

The year 2019 showed a clear internet based approach of companies when performing many types of activities such as digital marketing, recruitment, accounting or customer support.

It is clear that the level of internet use differs across EU regions – from 70% penetration rate of internet in Eastern countries, up to 80% in Western countries and more than 95% in the Northern countries. However, more than 70% of internet users are already accustomed to online purchases which is a really good opportunity for any EU business to digitalize its business model.

Nevertheless, most of the companies preferred to approach sales as a face-to-face process. The small retailers would have never imagined to sell their goods online.The fancy restaurants were never supposed to deliver food as a result of an online order platform.

As for the already established educational services, either private or public, the video sessions were rather an exception for Optional courses.

Healthcare services were among traditional industries which used to operate only with in person patients. As for the events organisers, their exceptional role of bringing together companies in the same location was mostly related to exhibitions and conferences large locations.

Most of the consumer services and retail industries were hit by the pandemy crisis especially due to moving restrictions and social distancing, necessary to limit the pandemy extension.

Only few companies from these industries have already started before the crisis to adapt their business models to online environment. They will most probably go out with less damages from this crisis and setup the road to a successful business in the digital era.

Food delivery platforms contributed to the partial functioning of the pizzas and restaurants. Educational institutions who were fast enough to switch from their classroom model to online based content platforms and video conferencing kept their audience active.

While only few retailers invested into online shops, the crisis was an excellent reason for some of them to add a new sales channel. However, logistic was one of the toughest barrier especially since couriers were overloaded. The winners are the companies who already built strong partnerships with these couriers or even setup their own delivery company.

As for the healthcare services, more and more clinics offer mobile consultations on their own platforms either by using Video or instant chat applications.

Last month I received an email from a large events organiser in Romania who also owns a catering company. They managed to monetize this company and sell on their recently issued food delivery app the cooked meals for many individuals. Moreover, some of their conferences switched to online events.

This crisis turns to be an exceptional motivation for many companies to upgrade their business model and fit into the new digital era. Online advertising, payment solutions, mobile apps, remote help desk and customer care, digital sales and business processes, product delivery and fulfilment will become operational words. Only the ones who will adapt fast enough will successfully survive.

Don’t be afraid of innovative business models and processes as long as they will keep your customers active and increase your business. Now it’s the time to reconsider your current business model so that you can be among the winners!

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