Many are speculating about the state of life and businesses post-coronavirus. Including experts and analysts giving in-depth predictions on what they think life will look like.
The team at Mo Works has been asking our network of industry leaders and have collated the information for you all!
From aviation to export trade, hospitality to marketing apps, here are the views of some CEOs and Directors.
While you’re here, hop on LinkedIn and join the discussion of these predictions!
Prediction: People will avoid airlines and airports, in favour of private aviation.
We spoke to Luke Hampshire, the CEO and Co-founder of the private aviation company, Airly.
“Tourism in Australia has taken a hit since the bushfires but the COVID19 pandemic has completely ‘obliterated’ the market”, says Luke. Over the whole aviation industry, there has been a 70% reduction in traffic.
However, there have been some silver linings, he has used the downtime to improve Airly, including a new website and app, ready for launch once travel restrictions ease.
Whilst airlines reduced their frequencies, Luke has seen an increase in enquiries for private travel, from high profile flyers looking to get home to those avoiding commercial flights and the exposure risks. He predicts this behaviour will be a trend in the market.
Looking at the behaviours so far, Luke believes in the short term the private aviation industry will see a boom. This will be partly due to those who could always afford to fly private finally considering it. Also, in the wake of an infectious disease pandemic, people will be avoiding crowded airports and commercial flights, choosing private jets and less contact with others.
International Trade & Development (USA)
Prediction: Trade and investment between the USA and Australia will increase.
Paul Adler, experienced Global Business Development expert, gives his take on how Australian traders will move forward after the pandemic.
Paul’s clients have been using this downtime to perform extensive internal reviews, looking at the markets and industries they’re currently involved with and when changes will need to be made.
He believes the reliance of Australia and America on each other for trade, in particular in the defence and agriculture industries, will continue despite changes in the state of international trade and travel. In Paul’s view, it’s more important now than ever to make sure trading partners are allies.
Paul also says US companies wanting to enter the Australian market also shouldn’t assume that the market is the same and should conduct thorough market research prior to entering any new market.
Marketing & Mobile Apps
Prediction: We will switch to cashless society faster than anticipated.
Moving back to a local focus, we spoke to our resident marketing app Zukaz, their Chief Operating Officer, Liam Scammell, believes the future of a cashless society will be sooner than we anticipated.
Zukaz is a free, location-based augmented reality app, that allows merchants to drop real cash vouchers right into your path. The vouchers can be redeemed in-store or traded in the app.
With the lockdown restrictions, many of Zukaz’s merchants are closed, or receiving little to zero foot traffic. With an app that is about hunting outdoors, Zukaz was of course hit with quite a predicament.
Liam has taken this downtime to work on their app and improve its offering.
To pivot with the current climate, Zukaz introduced a wider radius around vouchers, so a hunter can capture vouchers from home. They also supported their merchants by waiving all fees until further notice. Further down the line, Zukaz will allow customers to order through the app and introduce a loyalty program to reward long term users.
The pandemic has made even those who were uncomfortable with credit cards convert to cashless means of transactions.
Aside from that, Liam predicts businesses will be looking for more efficient marketing spends and those who previously didn’t handle their marketing and budgeting will now be looking to understand it more.
Hospitality & Hotel Industry
Prediction: Interstate travel will be reinvigorated.
The first to be hit by COVID-19 and last to recover, Quest Hotels’ Director of Sales, Stacy Andronikos, has watched the hospitality industry be decimated and says they will be feeling the hangover from this pandemic for some time.
He reported real-time numbers to us, including:
- 10%-20% of hotels have closed in April.
- Those still open have occupancy rates of less than 20%.
- This time of year should be around 80%.
- 240,000 hotel rooms around Australia are either closed or unoccupied.
Confidence in travel, particularly international travel, has changed. Customers are cautious now and will be for a long time, with the threat of coronavirus fresh in their minds.
A silver lining will be the reinvigoration of interstate travel by tourists, which will help the hotel industry’s recovery.
International groups with a presence in Australia around sporting and conference space will be impacted due to reduced international travel.
To adapt to the changing climate, Quest has taken many precautions, including changing their business model, not pausing infrastructure and construction projects, offering day use for mobile offices, and offering short term leases for residents who have been evicted or going through hardship.
Prediction 2: Products like Airbnb will have to change the way they present themselves
There has been a massive closure in Airbnb listings in Docklands, due to of course a lack of travel and demand.
Also impacting that sector are people’s mindsets. People want a clean, comfortable and secure environment to stay. They feel they will get that from hotels and apartments in terms of cleanliness and service.
Nevertheless, Airbnb will recover. The way they present their product will need to evolve in terms of setting standards in cleanliness, and other online booking platforms will likely take a hit. Quest rooms are checked two or three times before they go back into inventory, adhering to all government regulations in terms of cleaning products and use of chemicals. Because of this, Quest believes people will sway more towards hotels and apartments instead of Airbnb.
Property Investment Management
Prediction: New customers will have extended rental guarantees.
OpenCorp CEO, Matt Lewison, has faced a decrease in property turnover. Banks also have been providing leniency for landlords and tenants.
Changes in his operations include hiring more contract property managers to deal with an expected increase in demand for rental properties. Work has also increased regarding inspections, no longer can multiple groups of people inspect at once, but now only one at a time. This means that it’s taking longer for properties to be viewed. Only successful applicants can view a property, usually on their own.
Matthew and his team have also started video conferencing with clients, and looking into mechanically coded locks, so face-to-face contact is even eliminated during key handovers.
This has prompted him to plan for improved customer convenience in the future.
Matthew is planning to extend rental guarantees for new customers, from 1 year to 5 years, ensuring his business supports those financially affected by COVID19.
International Trade & Development (MENA and SEA)
Prediction: Australia will come out stronger with improved local product offerings, better producers, enhancing our brand image internationally. We may become a number 1 preference.
Founding Director of Export Connect, Najib Lawand, gives his insights into the Australian food export sector, and a summary of just how much COVID-19 has impacted his business:
- 20% of revenue lost due to travel restrictions – leads generated through their market visit program have been lost completely.
- 25% of revenue comes from stakeholder projects – working with governments and industry associations to run workshops and forums, which have all stopped due to social gathering restrictions.
- 20% drop in revenue due to not being able to generate leads through workshops.
Najib’s clients are looking at more local sourcing within supply chains - many relied on China for packaging. They are now reviewing that strategy and looking at sourcing these from Australian suppliers.
He also noted the change in channels; the COVID-19 response has forced people to buy products using e-commerce channels, e.g. food, that they would not have previously considered.
Going forward, he believes Australia needs to be a stronger exporter in fresh produce.
Tourism and Entertainment Industry
Prediction: It will take close to a year to bounce back from COVID-19 and customers’ spending habits will change.
Melbourne Star’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Nicole Hill, explains how it’ll be a long road to recovery, and how the business has been feeling negative impacts since the bushfires.
Once the economy reopens, Nicole says things won’t go back to normal, rather customers will be behaving differently, with different spending habits and marketing and communications will need to be adjusted accordingly.
The Melbourne Star has been closed since March 23rd. Despite this, the Melbourne Star continues to light up our skyline and provide a constant reminder that they’re still here and will be open for visitation after everything subsides. Other measures taken by the team have been to extend memberships and travel periods of tickets until the end of 2020 and extend annual passes. Nicole maintains that all their partnerships will continue to stay strong and be there once restrictions are eased.
What we learnt from speaking to our experts is that the post-coronavirus world will be different in various ways for businesses. Requiring them to be agile in order to survive and thrive. We also see a strong focus on technology as a critical business support.
For continued updates across all industries, marketing tips, and to join the conversation, come say hi to us on LinkedIn! If you’re feeling the pressure to update your business strategy and need support, get in touch with our team today.