Innovation in Times of Crisis: Be the Hero for Your Customers

Written by Mike Welsh, Chief Creative Officer, Mobiquity

The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” is truer now than ever before. As the world reacts to living through a global pandemic, we reflected on other times we’ve implemented creative solutions to survive. According to Hubspot, the following companies were created during the 2008-09 financial crisis:

  • Venmo
  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • Square
  • Groupon

These companies were created to help people and businesses navigate a difficult time. While popular opinion is that starting a company during a global crisis is a bad idea, providing the market with a resource that solves a new unmet need makes for perfect timing.

What technologies will define the COVID-19 pandemic?

There have been numerous ways that communities and businesses have stepped up to make life easier during a time with so many unknowns. Technologies that were just beginning to gain acceptance have quickly become mainstream and companies that already invested in these technologies easily transitioned to life with social distancing. That’s because they made contactless experiences possible so that employees and customers were safe from the coronavirus.

One of the biggest heroes to come from the pandemic has been curbside delivery and pickup. This offering has been a huge saving grace for many consumers who want to support their local restaurants and shops without putting anyone at risk. Companies with established programs have also benefited as consumers have shifted their usual shopping habits to digital ones.

In addition to curbside delivery, we’ve witnessed many other digital innovations gain speed as the pandemic enforced limitations on in-person interactions, such as:

And we predict we’ll see even more inventions as the months roll on. Companies that don’t have their own mobile app are finding that customers are turning to apps like Instacart, DoorDash, and UberEats to get what they need. While all of these experiences are good, business leaders have the opportunity now – while we’re deep in this global pandemic – to stand out by solving their customers’ unmet needs.

But what completely new technologies will emerge from the pandemic?

We don’t have a crystal ball, but past experience tells us to look for points of friction to uncover the birth of new technologies and companies. These include but are definitely not limited to:

  • Homeschooling – With millions of children likely to be engaged in virtual learning for at least part of the 2020/21 school year, how can leaders improve upon the challenges of remote learning? Cloud migration will likely be a key to success.
  • Social distancing – Having to consistently maintain separation from other people creates challenges that technology may be able to solve. How can companies help people accurately track who they’ve come into contact with for contact tracing? How could technology ensure they are maintaining the correct distance from others?
  • Transportation – What solutions can technology offer to alleviate transportation issues as more people work from home while others need to find new ways to get to work without public transit? Or if consumers must use public transit, how could technology help them make choices that keep them safe?
  • Access to food and beverages – While many companies have figured this out with curbside, some are still struggling. Specifically, the adult beverage industry has been challenged by the reopening phases. Digital identity verification could be a huge game changer for them.
  • Personal care – Getting a haircut has been a hot button topic. What companies or new resources will emerge to help people feel good during these challenging times?
  • Shopping and celebrations – As we approach the latter half of 2020, many are wondering what happens as we get closer to the holidays. What will companies do to be the hero for their customers during Christmas in the time of COVID?

What innovations will you implement to provide great customer experiences?

If you’re starting to think about how you can get innovative during the global pandemic, let’s talk. Mobiquity’s experts spend their days thinking about digital strategies, creative innovations, and transformations that will make consumers’ lives easy. Reach out today to get the conversation started.