Father works on laptop as mother helps son with homework on kitchen table
To say the least, it has been a strange year. While some changes for COVID-19 will be temporary, others seem likely to stick.
Already, companies are extending work-from-home arrangements into next year. Consumers are developing new purchasing habits. Squint, and you’ll see the “new normal” emerging.
Those who were slow to adopt online shopping before the pandemic may now be locked into using it. Professionals who no longer have to be in physical offices may opt to live in different neighborhoods, cities or regions all together. And companies that are saving on office costs by working from home may never revert back.
The through line that connects these ripples is that we have realized there is a digital solution for almost everything. What this will mean a decade from now in terms of social interaction is anyone’s guess. Although we’ll still make social connections, we may have fewer random interactions.
The rom-com industry may not like it, but these trends won’t be erased as the crisis ends. One such safe bet? Education isn’t going back to traditional classroom instruction.
What Post-Pandemic School Will Look Like
Education is arguably the industry most impacted by the pandemic. We already saw digital growth in the space — especially K-12 — this past decade, but obviously it’s accelerated this year. The largest platform, Canvas, already has 31 million users in all 50 states.
Under the hood, however, the growth is even more impressive. Canvas went from 3 statewide agreements to 13 this year, including large states like Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. Districts are doing their best to prepare for anything right now.
State education leaders are looking to online platforms as a foundation that can adapt to support classes online, in-person or a hybrid of the two. LMSs like Canvas make the transition to the classroom easier and ensure parents can stay involved in their children’s education.
Beyond the pandemic, it’s tough to see how more flexibility in education could be a bad thing. There will always be in-person school for the simple reason that our economy relies on students learning while parents go to work. But as the way we work changes, so will how we educate our kids.
What’s important to note is that the digital transformation of school will prepare our kids to enter a hybrid, work-from home workplace from day one. Companies will benefit from a generation of technologically savvy self-starters.
How We Pay For Things Has Changed
On the consumer side, how we make payments is easier and less complicated than ever. We expect instant gratification because technology affords us that. Whether it’s via a tap, an app or a credit card stored on our phone, we have options.
But on the back end, this can get really complicated. With convenience comes an increased need for security. Peer-to-peer selling sites, like Etsy, Mercari and Poshmark, are particularly prone to fraud.
For these platforms and individual sellers to succeed, they need to know transactions are conducted securely. On the backend, FIS Access Worldpay has created a single API for merchants worldwide to access a suite of online payment capabilities. Making modern transactions seamless requires a single centralized management system.
The good news is, payment suites can be comprehensive and customizable for varying needs. Data analytics, tokenization, fraud protection and conversion rate optimization are all pieces of the same puzzle for merchants. And major players recognize how much of a lift these platforms can provide to consumer confidence.
“At Etsy, we give our community of sellers the platform to turn their creativity into success, but we also need to protect every payment for our sellers and buyers to shop with confidence,” said Austin Taylor, director of payment operations at Etsy. “Because of the ease of integration, highly-secure tokenization and rich data analytics capabilities, Access Worldpay offered us industry leading differentiators—the ability to see and understand our payments acceptance rates across all markets, and what steps could be taken to optimize authorizations.”
Etsy, like other companies, knows that speedy, secure payments are key to its business. Consumers will continue to demand faster, simplified checkouts and more security at the same time. The back-end simplification of complex transactions will make it easier for businesses to compete and to offer a variety of purchasing options.
Online shopping and K-12 education are becoming easier and more accessible, even as COVID-19 makes other areas of life more challenging. And during an event that has everyone’s hackles up, it’s important to keep an eye out for those silver linings.