For a long time, the WHO and others have warned of the inevitable spread of a global flu pandemic. Those predictions seemed exaggerated to most until now. Though sooner or later a vaccine will be created, the real concern is the warning that this is unlikely to be the last pandemic of its kind in our lifetime. Add the looming effects of climate change manifested in droughts, forest fires, and add other real world issues affecting daily life. It is fair to say we are entering more uncertain times. But there is also a big opportunity. Companies that harness data currently being accumulated into actionable intelligence are better equipped for the post-COVID world.

We have the capabilities

We have the capabilities to weather many of the incoming storms and smarter businesses are taking advantage of that. Consumer behaviour is quickly changing and there is no bigger witness to this than the e-commerce sector. It is difficult to say if e-commerce is changing consumer behaviour or if it is the other way around. For successful managers, an intimate relationship with customers will be a minimum requirement going forward. Big data is the secret sauce that turns this relationship into a profitable one.

Even government

Even some governments are giving examples of how data should be used going forward. Taiwan and Singapore for example. Due to previous experience with flu pandemics, it is no surprise they are among the most agile in their response. They have built in capacity, due to actionable data gathered previously. The governments has earned the trust of the people as a result. To mitigate the effects of COVID, customers must trust businesses can deliver for them even in difficult times.

Many Options

The major e-commerce platforms come with good data analytics capabilities. They differ in efficiency, design, ease of use and integration process from your current system. However, the actual integration process is the difference between getting the most out of the analytics capability. Otherwise, it could be doing something akin to letting a baby drive a sports car. You are just not going to get the best out of the technology. Systems integration is ultimately about giving long term value for money to business processes. Digital agencies like DigiCommerce understand this and we stress this to our current clients. Some have seen dramatic increases in online sales over the past two months as a result.

Smart decisions

With the right third party integration and support, companies can use technology like Shopify in a fashion that is truly unique. Management can make decisions based on in-house actionable data. This make for smarter, more agile decision that reflect an actual understanding of the customer. In an uncertain world, these managers will be the best prepared for a similar crisis like COVID. For the companies who don’t, their future seems to be even more precarious and uncertain.