The Pandemic accelerated consumer behavior 5 years ahead of time
The pandemic is the defining event of the last few years. Overnight, it changed the way we work, live, and interact with other people, and the effects are still being felt today. Whether that was working from home or the gym and restaurants closing to keep people apart, suddenly the digital world became as important as the real one.
From video chats wishing loved ones a Happy Holidays to collaborative platforms that allow teams that used to work together in offices to collaborate on projects when separated by hundreds of miles, significant parts of our lives shifted from the physical to the digital world.
Of course, this also included the broader healthcare industry in addition to Wellness, where online consultations and health classes replaced physical ones as people could not safely gather in numbers. This shift was doubly important for Wellness experts, as the very pandemic driving this change also presented extreme stress, isolation, and other challenges, exacerbating the need for Wellness guidance at the same time.
Online Was Always Inevitable
However, while the changes have been largely successful and welcomed by most who have experienced them, the rush to the digital world has been a challenge in itself. The speed of change created its own issues for Wellness, with few having the experience to know the best approach and most having to rely on the skills and knowledge of others. This has meant some teething problems in the provision of online services, and the industry is now playing catch up to match customer expectations.
This is on the surface understandable, things changed so quickly that it seems odd to say that as a whole, the Wellness industry should have been better prepared. But in reality, if we look at other healthcare operations, or indeed many other industries, the reality is that a shift online was inevitable, the pandemic just pushed the pace of change.
Online consultations have been available in the medical industry for a few years now, and in areas such as coaching, commonplace since the technology allowed it. As trend data shows, people are using the internet more and more, to talk to others, research purchases and find help. As audience expectations include being able to reach out online, the inevitable shift to online Wellness provision was always coming. It just happened faster with the pandemic forcing the issue.
Wellness Online Moving Forward
The question is, with extensive demand for online Wellness provision, what happens next? Those fastest to adapt, offering a range of online solutions for Wellness including everything from stress and anxiety treatments to Yoga classes, have enjoyed great success. For every Wellness clinic, offering their services online will be as essential as simply having a website was 5 years ago.
Rapid adoption can lead to issues, as we have seen, so while the need to catch up with consumer expectations, that they can access Wellness services online, is crucial, doing it right is even more important. For Wellness experts, this means planning an online strategy, and ensuring the service offered delivers a patient experience that exceeds expectations. Part of this is the shift towards multi-disciplinary clinics, giving businesses the opportunity to capture a larger audience through providing a range of Wellness solutions that meet the numerous challenges people face today.
While the pandemic may have brought the expectations for online solutions forward faster than expected, the solution remains the same. Quality, easily accessible Wellness treatments through easy-to-use online portals that cater to patients around the world and meet all their Wellness needs.
It is an area for every Wellness expert, an opportunity to build the platform consumers are actively seeking. The demand is not going away, as with other areas of impact from the pandemic, including working from home and more, the ability to access services from home without having to spend time traveling is very desirable. Throughout the medical industry, online consultations grew exponentially during the pandemic and have remained just as popular since the vaccine was introduced. Like those other industries, Wellness needs to adapt and deliver the service consumers are looking for.