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COVID-19 Crisis Highlights Need for Online Presence for Businesses

by James Townsend

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people and businesses to adjust to social distancing with new behaviors. 

Many businesses such as retail and restaurants have had their physical locations closed and forced to conduct all their transactions online.  Some of these businesses already had web infrastructure and delivery capabilities in place.  Others scrambled to create new ways to place orders and pay for products and services online.

These challenges have underscored the need for flexibility in your web presence.  For those who are active on social media, these platforms have been valuable to share updates on the status of institutions.  Churches have broadcast online with Facebook, and Twitter is a great source for sharing breaking news.  LinkedIn provides similar capabilities for businesses to maintain contact with customers and suppliers. 

One of the lessons for bricks and mortar companies may be to develop online alternatives to deliver their products and services.  I, for one, may be more inclined toward carry-out fine dining than I was in the past. 

Office workers have been forced to work from home.  If we remember nothing else, it will be the rapid adoption of online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.  Who didn't experience the thrill of helping first-time users get connected?  Many also learned online rules of decorum and how to mute and unmute at the right time. 

Today's technology made the pandemic a different kind of crisis than it would have been twenty or thirty years ago. We can hope that science and technology advancements will reduce the severity of the next pandemic. 


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