Let’s imagine customer experience in a post-Covid world. We should anticipate that the changes in consumer preferences and business models will outlast the immediate crisis. Once consumers acclimate to new digital or remote models, I expect some of them to change people’s expectations permanently — accelerating shifts already underway before the crisis. With Covid-19’s outbreak, one only recognized how technology had been a blessing all along. With everything going digital and technology being a significant part of every human’s everyday routine, we couldn’t stop listing how many new trends came into being. Even the businesses that we couldn’t imagine going remote and using technology to continue working went online. While Covid-19 did bring in multiple security risks, companies did what they had to do to sustain.
Here are a few technology and business trends we will see in 2021.
Trend 1: Drug development revolution with advanced Covid-19 testing and vaccine development
Covid caused a major shakeup in the drug industry, making it quicker and easier to trial drugs. Researchers have put many traditional clinical trials on hold, or they have shifted to a virtual structure by performing consultations online and collecting data remotely. Remote clinical trials and other changes may permanently alter pharmaceutical development.
Trend 2: Continued expansion of remote working and videoconferencing
This area has seen rapid growth during the pandemic, and it will likely continue growing in 2021. Zoom, which grew from a startup in 2011 to going public in 2019, became a household name during the pandemic. Other existing large corporate tools such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft’s Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are also providing state-of-the-art videoconferencing systems, facilitating remote work across the globe.
Trend 3: Contactless delivery and shipping remain as the new normal
No-contact delivery is the new normal. DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart all offer drop-off delivery options, reportedly borne from customer desires to minimize physical contact. Grubhub and Uber Eats also grew their contactless delivery options and will continue to do so in 2021. China-based delivery apps like Meituan, which was the first company in China to implement contactless delivery in Wuhan, began using autonomous vehicles to help fulfill grocery orders to customers. While Meituan tested this technology last year, the company recently launched this service publicly.
Trend 4: E-learning
Yet another new trend for students was online education or e-learning. Thanks to technological innovations like Zoom, online learning became possible, which allowed students to stay on track with their syllabus, studies, and exams. Online courses also became a powerful tool of learning. Udemy, Coursera, and Age of Learning were the famous ones out of the lot. There is a major opportunity with schools, colleges, and even coaching centers conducting classes via videoconferencing. Many institutions have actually been recommended to pursue a portion of their curriculum online even after everything returns to normal.
Trend 5: 5G infrastructure, new applications, and utilities
There is no doubt that demand for higher-speed internet and a shift toward well-connected homes, smart cities, and autonomous mobility have pushed the advancement of 5G-6G internet technology. In 2021, we will see new infrastructure and utility or application development updates both from large corporations and startups.