The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people interact, whether from a 6-foot distance or through online platforms. The pandemic brought about new technologies for consumers to embrace, and they are here to stay with lasting impacts.
1. Video Chatting Apps
Videoconferencing apps have been the backbone of connecting throughout the pandemic. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and Google are fast and simple to use, allowing remote work or learning to continue without interruption.
Consumers have embraced video chatting as a means of doing business. These apps have become a daily norm for consultations or medical checkups. In addition, they can cut down on travel time while keeping people safe.
Experts estimate roughly 70% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025. Consumers are aiding that transition by switching to video chatting.
2. Contactless Tech
Common touchpoints can be potential risks for spreading germs. Pin pads, money and just about anything else many people touch have become areas to avoid. Fortunately, new technology gets rid of touchpoints altogether.
For instance, e-signatures allow consumers to sign for deals or transfers online. There’s no need to meet in person or touch any materials. E-signatures simplify and speed up the process or any agreements.
Additionally, newer payment forms like Google Pay or Apple Pay allow consumers to complete a transaction by holding their phone up to a pin pad. Thus, contactless tech helps slow the spread of germs among consumers and employees.
One of the more noticeable changes is the drastic rise in e-commerce. Through shutdowns and limited capacity regulations, consumers have turned to the internet for shopping. E-commerce hit its biggest growth spurt yet, making up 21.3% of all shopping in the U.S. in 2020.
Delivery and curbside pickup have been uniquely growing within the realm of e-commerce. Consumers order online or through an app, then pick up their items outside the store or have a driver drop them off.
This kind of fast-paced and efficient sale will likely continue as a central part of online shopping. Consumers will flock to businesses that make shopping as easy as possible.
4. Online Banking
Consumers also turned to the online world for their banking needs. Mobile banking engagement rose by 85% as the pandemic began in the U.S. Moreover, only 40% of respondents in a survey stated they expect to return to branches after the pandemic.
Online banking helps consumers stay out of public spaces and control their finances from any location. Banks have their own apps for depositing, withdrawing and transferring money. However, other financial tech apps like Venmo and PayPal make sending money to friends or small businesses easy.
With these tools, consumers can connect better and faster in any financial transaction.
5. Gaming Platforms
Businesses need to follow consumer trends. They can then advertise the right content and partner with specific people. One massive and ongoing consumer trend is the increased interest in gaming.
From PC gaming to the Nintendo Switch to the PlayStation 5, gaming provides a form of entertainment as people isolate themselves and stay at home. In fact, gaming consoles have been in such high demand that the Switch was sold out for months during the pandemic’s first wave.
These platforms are only going to grow now that the pandemic boosted interest in gaming. Businesses should watch for the latest consumer trends.
Tech Connects People
Each of these five categories shows how technology is a beneficial agent during the pandemic. From video chatting to gaming, gadgets and platforms help connect people across any distance. With such heavy reliance on tech, consumers are shaping the future of all commerce to be more innovative and adaptable.
Devin Partida is a technology writer and blogger. She is the Editor-in-Chief at ReHack.com, where she covers consumer electronics, apps and tech trends.