The pandemic has upended life for almost everybody all over the world. Over 5 million people all over the world died of COVID-19 between January 2020 and November 2021. As a result, countries all over the globe mandated strict social distancing measures to minimize the spread of the virus. However, even when these measures were relaxed, many people were reluctant to go out and risk exposure.

The threat of the virus is finally winding down in most developed countries as mass vaccination campaigns have been implemented. However, the pandemic has left many aftershocks in its wake.

Busy shop owner talking with customers

Many businesses are facing challenges, even as consumer demand is beginning to pick up. The growing demand for many services is part of the challenge for many companies. Many companies like Luxury flooring, a wooden flooring company, are making changes to prepare for these new challenges in a post-pandemic economy.

As a business owner, you need to be aware of the seismic shifts in consumer buying behavior due to the resolution of the pandemic—some of the issues that need to be taken into consideration are listed below.

Employees shortages continue to be a problem as the economy rebounds

Many employees are still hesitant to return to the workforce. Economists, business owners and various political interests have all suggested multiple reasons for this. The most popular theories were that employees were not returning to work because wages weren’t high enough, people preferred the extended unemployment benefits over working or didn’t have access to affordable childcare.

None of these reasons turned out to be accurate, at least according to the findings of a study from SHRM. The study found that the most significant reason employers are having trouble finding workers is that employees aren’t getting replies to job applications that they have already sent. The second biggest reason is that people are still concerned about contracting COVID-19.

Employers need to consider changing their approach to employee acquisition and retention. The study shows that employers will need to provide safety controls to minimize the spread of the virus. This includes helping employees continue to social distance as much as possible and giving PPE equipment to reduce the spread of the virus. They might also want to continue with mask mandates, even if vaccination rates are high in their area.

Of course, they must also be more proactive about processing job applications. Forty-two percent of employees stated that not hearing responses was why they were still out of work. This suggests that many employers are responsible for their workers shortages.

Busy chef in a restaurant kitchen

Many employees have moved from major cities

Around 15.9 million people moved during the first six months of the pandemic. Some people moved temporarily, but a large number of people left permanently.

The shift is mainly from large cities to smaller suburban and rural communities. The number of relocations from major cities to midsize and small metropolitan communities increased by 23%.

This means that businesses operating in smaller communities can’t rely on historical market data because it doesn’t account for the larger population due to relocations. Communities that have grown due to relocations from larger cities need to account for this change.

These businesses need to go beyond just scaling demand due to population changes. They must also consider the demographic differences and buyer preferences. Companies that offer products and services that appeal to recent transplants from the largest cities might have a larger competitive advantage.

Consumer demand will not grow uniformly across age and income profiles

The average consumer is experiencing at least a modest improvement in their economic circumstances due to the pandemic coming to an end. However, those changes are going to be felt differently across different demographics.

For example, a study by McKinsey showed that higher-earning young adults are among those that are expected to see the most significant economic rebound as the pandemic comes to an end. On the other hand, higher-earning older adults are expected to see the biggest decline because they are among those most likely to retire during the pandemic.

Companies need to be mindful of their target demographics. They will need to forecast demand across different customer segments accurately.