Has COVID-19 Changed Our Internet Engagement?

Covid-19

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Covid-19 has changed much around the world, but how exactly has it impacted our relationship with the internet? And how has this affected businesses?

It’s safe to say that the last few months have been an interesting time. What with isolation, restrictions, schools and businesses closing, and of course, seeing the world unfold before our eyes. We have all had to adapt in one way or another. And as life in Australia begins to work its way back to ‘normal’, the question remains: what changes from isolation will stay, and what will go?

In a world that is already so consumed by technology, I wonder how Covid-19 has altered the way we engage with the internet, not just as individuals, but as a society. And particularly, what this has meant for businesses.

There’s no doubt that a big change came in the form of an upsurge of internet activity. Whether that’s people scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, Zooming their friends, family or colleagues, binging a great Netflix series, or online shopping. In fact, according to the ABC News,

“…the NBN has seen data demand increase by more than 70 to 80 percent during daytime hours, compared to figures calculated at the end of February.”

More people at home, of course, means more people online.

We often talk about how social media and the internet can disconnect us from the real world, when in today’s reality, it has been a huge contributor in allowing us to engage more and stay connected during the virus. The internet became our main avenue of connection to the outside world while we were all tucked away at home.

We became more creative and innovative.

We started adapting to methods of living we had previously ridden off as too disconnecting in a non-Covid world. We changed as not only friends, family and employees, but also as consumers. Less and less people were physically going to food stores and instead were choosing to order online. And even as restrictions begin to ease, many still opt for the online approach.

I’ve noticed this recently with my own buying habits. For instance, without thinking twice, I ordered a bunch of books online, rather than physically going into the store. Could this be of my own laziness? Possibly. But it is also a clear bi-product of the online world that has become, more than ever, accessible and respected as a result of Covid-19.

But How Has This Affected The Business World?

Well, with an upsurge in internet activity, comes the demand for more content to be consumed, and with that comes the demand for businesses to adapt. According to a research article conducted by Roy Morgan, an Australian Market Research company, more than 60% of Australian businesses report being affected by Covid-19. There’s no denying that the business industry has taken a huge hit. However, it is clear that businesses that have survived during Covid-19 have been those that were already largely established on the internet, such as E-commerce sites, entertainment programs and social media. E-commerce sites in particular have seen a large increase in popularity, which is only suspected to continue growing, owing to the behaviour of consumers.

Businesses, like consumers, also had to became more innovative and creative in order to combat this crisis, by finding ways to adapt to the online demand. Restaurants began relying more heavily on online orders, musicians continued to publicise their creations through virtual concerts, while many environmental movements took to protesting online. For businesses and brands, the internet has become their primary saviour, as it has allowed them to continue marketing themselves to the public, keeping the business image alive and steady.

So How Can Your Business Further Adapt To and Recover From This Recent Crisis?

Utilise the Internet:
If anything, Covid has highlighted how important it is for businesses to have an online presence for people to engage with. Whether that’s through online marketing or making sure that your business has contemporary e-commerce software, where applicable, ensuring that your business is adapting to the recent online demand and popularity is an essential element to getting you on the road to recovery.

Stay Engaged with your Customers:
Make sure that you are maintaining a connection with your customers and are providing recent and engaging content for them to be consuming. This will not only help in maintaining your business’s image, but will also further ensure long lasting connections with your customers, which will stay alive during the aftermath of Covid-19.

Re-Branding and Updating:
In a Covid-free world, re-branding is an incredibly successful way to promote a business, as it allows for more marketing opportunities, which can secure long-term results. Now, with more people online, cultivating an online image is more important than ever. Re-designing your website and making sure you are providing great first impressions for consumers, will further help to separate you from your competitors.

This is where White Peak Digital can step in. If you’re unsure of your options during this time, our experienced team will be able to help you and your business get on the right track and build a new era for the brand. So, don’t be afraid to get in touch!

If Covid-19 has shown us anything, it’s the reliance we place upon the internet and technology. However, instead of this reliance being a negative one, it seems to have been the silver lining amongst all the chaos. Providing an avenue for people to stay connected with one another, while allowing businesses to adapt and survive, Covid-19 has arguably given us the opportunity to engage with the internet in a more purposeful and creative way than ever before.

So, will this be the forever future of the business industry, and will we see the role of the internet continue to grow in importance in the years to come?

Maggie Mackenzie
About The Author

Maggie Mackenzie

Maggie Mackenzie is a Brisbane based writer and editor, with a passion for history, the environment, and all things reading and writing. She has had inhouse publishing, tourism and much creative writing experience.

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