How the world will change after quarantine according to Viber
Christina Constandake, VP Global Partnerships at Viber
In March 2020, Rakuten Viber recorded a strong increase of activity comparing with the previous month of the same year. Within a few weeks, the number of group calls in the application increased 4 times, and the number of messages in group chats around the world increased by 137%. This is mainly due to the fact that during the global pandemic COVID-19, communication, work and education became online. And although many of us hope that after the end of quarantine, the situation will change, but this is far from the case.
The Harvard School of Public Health designed the COVID-19 distribution model based on the experience of the United States of America. According to the results, people will be forced to adhere to social distance up to 2022. By the concept of "distance", scientists mean a 75% reduction in contacts with the outside world. This does not mean that instead of walking four times a week, you can walk once a week. This suggests that we will have to limit all types of contacts to 75%.
What will be the result? This will lead to the fact that we will solve more and more issues online. This applies not only to friendly conversations, but also to the organization of the work process and education. Most of the communication will take place by services for online communication, where it is possible to keep in touch not only through messages, but also voice and video calls. Such measures are necessary not only in order to maintain the effectiveness of the company, but also in order to reduce the level of discomfort among employees due to the lack of live communication. According to a survey by The Harris Poll commissioned by Glassdoor, 22% of employees began to feel anxiety due to lack of conversations with colleagues during self-isolation.
At the same time, at the end of quarantine, those who don’t want to go to work to office will remain. So the results of a survey by Gartner Inc. state that 41% of those who have now switched to the remote mode of work in connection with the pandemic, after its end, want at least partially to be able to work from home. 50% said that productivity remained the same or even increased comparing with the period of work in the office. 60% are sure that their work does not require a presence in the workplace for high efficiency. So communication using platforms for communication in the Internet will be an indispensable solution to this issue. Already, the statistics of leading services for communicating in the Internet state about the increase in demand for the use of services, be sure - the numbers are still continuing and will continue to grow. So in the leading mobile communication application in Ukraine, Viber, the number of daily active users over the past month has grown by 18% around the world. The number of new registrations on the platform daily has increased by 25%. Active users began sending 75% more video messages to each other, and the average duration of an audio conversation increased by 35%. This jump in activity is explained not only by the appearance of free time among users, but also by conducting business communication through the application.
But the changes in the work of companies will not stop. The trend that we have been seeing for the last few years - the active transition of business from offline to instant messengers — will only begin to intensify. According to statistics, 56% of users want to communicate with brands using their phones, and 53% prefer to make a purchase from the company that has its own digital version in the messaging application. During quarantine and after its end, this will continue, as it is not only an effective way to keep in touch with the buyer, but also safe. For example, in China, large automobile holdings began to publish their products on social networks in order to attract the attention of new customers. If we talk about Ukraine, then an international company providing payment transaction services, Visa launched a chat bot in Viber, with which you can now issue a bank card without leaving your home. The NOVUS supermarket chain has also launched a chat bot, but it can be used to check and take advantage of promotional offers in any supermarket of a chain store without contact.
The new goal of marketing strategies will be customer comfort. To do this, it will be necessary to make communication as personalized as possible and offer a unique service that was not previously available on the market, but which will be most useful during the quarantine period. For example, in China, according to a study of the Dentsu Aegis Network communications holding company, Meitun delivery service introduced contactless delivery service, which resulted in more than 80% of orders during the quarantine period.
The e-commerce industry will continue to develop. On e-commerce platforms, food demand has increased by 215%. The same applies to Europe — in Germany, the demand for online shopping has also grown significantly — 30% of the population began to use platforms for ordering products online and 36% less often use cash. In Ukraine, Moneytou service in Viber is used for contactless money transfers. Now, during the gradual end of quarantine, companies are not going to stop working in the field of e-commerce, but rather, they plan to increase the number of investments in this direction.
The future lies with multi-functional online platforms and those who work with them. This is explained simply: they are able to solve several problems simultaneously. For people, such service will be useful as it can keep a person in touch with the outside world: communicate with other people and employees in both text and audio and video format, order products, make a mobile cash payment. For business, the platform is necessary for communication with the target audience, which is now several times more likely to be online. The services themselves also need to develop and expand their functionality. So, since the beginning of the pandemic, Viber has increased the number of possible participants in group calls to 20 so that it is more convenient for users around the world to communicate with each other during self-isolation. The company actively cooperates with international organizations in order to make the application even more useful for both the average person and business. For example, the World Health Organization, together with Rakuten Viber, launched a chat bot in Viber with basic rules of behavior during quarantine, instructions on how to wear a mask and the latest statistics on COVID-19. Already today, such services help users around the world, and after quarantine ends, they will still remain no less relevant.