For consumers who have become accustomed to the convenience of at-home virtual services during the pandemic, it might not be something they want to give up any time soon. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says while the pandemic led to increased demand in at-home services for certain types of businesses, such as health, fitness, food and technology, the demand for those services doesn’t appear to be slowing. In fact, the demand for virtual services seems to be increasing.
With Americans having better access to 5G, Wi-Fi calling services such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), and virtual meeting and video conferencing software, these types of businesses will continue to offer at-home services for those seeking them:
When gyms and yoga studios closed during the pandemic, home-based fitness products and online workouts filled the fitness void. Companies, like Peloton and Mirror, that provide home-based fitness products and online classes became a popular part of the overall wellness routine. Consumers who continue to enjoy the customized workouts that fit their schedules and lifestyle, may not want to head back to the gym.
With so many people working from home, IT has become an issue for companies. As many businesses plan to continue with a remote workforce, they’re investing in cybersecurity to help protect company computers, phones and data that are being used all over the world. Choosing an internet business phone service provider with a secure cloud is an important first step.
For safety, availability of products and convenience, more consumers than ever are shopping online. According to data from Adobe, e-commerce sales in the United States were up 40% year-over-year in August 2020, reaching $63 billion. BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) was becoming a popular delivery method before the pandemic, but now it’s gone mainstream. Contactless pickup continues to make it a favorite way to shop.
Online food ordering and delivery has been around for decades, but technology, and a pandemic, has helped it progress. Now that more consumers have been introduced to the ease and convenience of ordering from a restaurant, fast-food or grocery store via phone app and having it delivered to their door, it’s fast becoming the norm.
Remote work software
Companies are investing in remote work applications, such as Wi-Fi calling with VoIP phone service, softphones, virtual phone numbers, video chat and conferencing, instant messaging, and virtual meetings. The software apps literally make the world your office by connecting employees from all over the world who no longer go to the office every day. Software apps in a secure cloud service are likely to be even more in demand in the coming years.
Due to safety concerns of in-person office visits, as well as less cost and more convenience, virtual medical appointments are on the rise. According to Bipartisan Policy Center and Social Science Research Solutions’ survey, in 2020, one-third of U.S. adults used telehealth services instead of visiting a healthcare professional in person. More than half (63%) of adult respondents used telehealth for a preventative service, to have a prescription refilled, or as a routine visit for a chronic illness. Eight in 10 said they plan to use telehealth again.
Telehealth companies are predicting by 2024, there will be more virtual visits per day than office visits.
Virtual and hybrid events
Virtual events and conferences have become commonplace in today’s business world. While some in-person events are slowly returning, companies still want to make use of the technology they’ve already invested in to make their virtual events work. Some companies are also experimenting with “hybrid events,” which combine in-person conferences with an online version for virtual attendees.
With the popularity of virtual services on the rise, companies that have the ability to provide them may have the best chance of surviving in an ever-changing world.
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