The increased risk of contracting Covid-19 led to tough restrictions on domestic and international travel, socialising and interacting with others in communal spaces, such as riding on public transport, visiting the post office, and using gym facilities. As these restrictions limited physical footfall, businesses were left with no option but to enter the online marketplace to stay afloat.

This gave businesses the chance to transition to online shopfronts, invest in technology and reach customers during the Covid-19 lockdown. It also provided them with the opportunity to digitally transform their trade and provide an online service accessible and convenient for all customers.

This unprecedented period in retail history changed the way customers shopped, communicated, and interacted with each other, and with it – consumer expectations and buying habits changed overnight.

How Covid-19 pushed customers and businesses online 

As many customers began stockpiling, people started shopping online for easier access to products, to bypass queues and to shop comfortably without having to socially distance or wear a mask. During the pandemic, technology transformed the way customers searched for products and services, which made both parties more reliant on digital services.

From a business point of view, technology was used to fill the social contact void experienced by workplaces. Professional communication software, such as Slack, was used to video or voice call colleagues through the click of a button. Businesses quickly became dependent on software like this to connect with colleagues, track progress and support the change from office working to working from home.

survey carried out by McKinsey, a global management consultancy firm, found that Covid-19 accelerated the digitisation of customer interactions by several years. Here’s a summary of selected key findings from the survey:

  • Respondents are three times likelier now than before the crisis to say that at least 80 percent of their customer interactions are digital in nature.
  • Across regions, the results suggest a seven-year increase, on average, in the rate at which companies are developing these products and services.
  • When respondents were asked why their organizations didn’t implement these changes before the crisis, just over half say that they weren’t a top business priority

As customer expectations now included access to industry-standard technology, from booking virtual consultations to signing e-contracts, businesses invested in digital technology to redefine the customer journey. We take a closer look at the postal industry and how online posting platforms are an ideal fit for businesses on the road to modernising their brand.

The modernisation of the postal industry 

The postal industry in the UK is highly reliant on customers visiting the post office which is a network made up of 11,638 branches. During the Covid-19 lockdown when offices were told to close, more companies took advantage of digitising their letters to reach their recipient as this could be done independently, without having to visit an office or use a franking machine.


This not only simplified the process but also helped support businesses from a sustainability point of view. Businesses could cut down on their paper usage to follow paperless office policies and reduce their carbon footprint. When using online postage services, senders can digitally create a letter and the provider that will take care of the rest, like letter production and delivery.


This guest post is written by David Tattersall, Head of Client Relations at Handpicked Accountants. David matches businesses on the search for a professional accountant, bookkeeper, or tax advisor, with highly recommended local providers carefully selected by the Handpicked Accountants team.

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