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COVID-CRISIS
INFLUENCE OVER THE DIGITAL WORLD

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The slippery path through a COVID world

Do you know the feeling when you are in the shower and accidentally turn the icy water on? You scream from chills and rush to the tap. Now, imagine that the housing management office turned off the hot water for a month. First, having showers will seem like hell, and you’ll avoid it. However, people have an exceptional ability – to adapt to the outside environment. Thus, with each cold-water-session, it will bother you less and less. The beauty of becoming tempered.
 

Coldwater and coronavirus? Yes, I am trying to make an analogy here. When the outbreak happened in China in December-January, it seemed like a cold shower. However, it was second-lasting. Then it went on for minutes, hours, days… until it became the reality we live in. First, there was always “a way to turn off the icy water” – by switching off your TV or blocking COVID-news from your newsfeed. And it could remain this way if there wasn’t for globalization.
 

The virus spread around the whole globe and it sped up the 2020 stock market crash (caused by Russian-OPEC oil wars). Now we get cold showers every day with no ability to turn it off. With every new number of infected and dead. With all businesses crash and experts’ negative predictions. With job losses and bankruptcy. So, now, you either adapt or… do nothing and sit there with unwashed hair.
 

Now, analogies to the side – this crisis will influence all aspects of our lives and businesses, and they say that we already live in another world. We had time to learn the lessons the 2008 recession gave us. Your business can never be too great to fail. Instant gratifications don’t work in the long run. If each of us is strong, we are twice as strong together. However, if each of us is weak, we double our common weakness. Great lessons, still, we postponed them like some non-diligent students, and now we have tons of deadlines to face and little energy to invest in it. Even if there was energy – we must stay at home, preventing the transmission of the virus and spreading the crisis instead. What is the lesser of two evils, though?

Economical and social influence

With implemented quarantine, the global economy will suffer because it forces all businesses to put their productivity on pause. The sheer sense of business existence is making money. If they stop producing goods or providing services, they stop making a profit. This makes them less able to pay taxes and employ more people, providing them with salaries (*read – mean of living). Yes, businesses can pay wages to the workers during the quarantine. For a month. Maybe two if they were profitable before. However, the more time the business doesn’t work – the more endangered its existence is, so people lose their jobs. They lose their jobs – they get less or no money. They have no money – they buy nothing but minimal food and means of living. People spend less – businesses that were still afloat, sell less and they need fewer people to work. People lose jobs. They buy less and… A vicious circle of COVID life. 
 

Only think of it – we could solve it if we only could work and buy more from the companies that suffer from recession. However, traditional means of “working harder to overcome the crisis” are not available today. That’s where the 2020 recession differs from all the previous. We cannot go to work because of the quarantine. We buy less under such circumstances even if we have money. The circle becomes even more vicious. Crisis, social distancing, “stay-at-home” routine – all of it makes the new economical environment filled with unprecedented obstacles we weren’t taught to overcome. People cannot travel and support the tourism industry. They cannot go to cafes and restaurants, giving life to small businesses. No, we would love to, but we just can’t. Quarantine is like a rope around your neck – making you stay in one place so you just don’t die. Tearing the rope is hard. Bringing yourself together afterward is even harder. Unfortunately, quarantine accelerates the crisis. Below are some numbers, showing the experts’ forecasts and recent influences over the major industries because of the outbreak:
 

1) The forecasted global loss to the travel and tourism industry – almost 117 thousand million dollars, while in 2019 the post-COVID predictions were that it would increase by 26 879 million dollars. Asia is predicted to suffer the most, having 225 889 million dollars in 2019 and ending up losing a third of this sum in 2020. 
 

2) Business travels expenditure reduction is forecasted to decrease by 404 billion dollars in China and 190 billion dollars in Europe.
 

3) Weekly global airline flights change from January 6 to April, 6 – 92% in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Italy; -79% in Spain; – 60% in the United Kingdom; – 50% in the USA. 
 

4) Price of crude oil in U.S. dollars per basket is reduced from 60-70 to 20-30 (differing for Brent, OPEC basket, and WTI).
 

5) The number of vehicles lost due to auto plant stoppages (March 2020) – 1,700,000 units; in Europe – 880 000 units; in North America – 478 000 units. 
 

6) The percentage of chemical production is decreased by 2.4% globally. 
 

7) The film industry worldwide loss is 7 billion dollars as of March 2020. The predicted forthcoming loss is 10 billion dollars.
 

8) 75% of companies have supply chain disruption globally. 
 

9) IT expenditure decreased to – 6% with mobile phones, -12% with PC and tablets, -3,3% with servers, -2% with IT services.

What are the future lessons from this COVID-recession? 
 

  • In Ukraine, we often say “Головне – здоров’я. Все інше наживне”, which is translated as “Health is the most important thing. Other things are attainable”. The phrase seems so easy and ordinary, like saying that 2+2 equals 4. Turned out, we were amateurs in health mathematics. 
  • We found out the other side of globalization. 
  • The unpopular jobs turned out to be the most necessary for society’s survival: medical workers, supermarket assistants and refuse collectors.
  • Working from home is not as great as we imagined it would be, sitting in the office.
  • Solving public goals is more important than increasing revenue while sacrificing them.
  • The governments should not just give bailouts to the industries for the sake of giving. It should serve a purpose. 
  • The unbelievable cannot happen today. It already happened yesterday.
  • The digital world is a “first aid kit”, keeping society alive during such unprecedented times. 

Is the digital business an anti-crisis sanitizer?

The previously unknown Zoom broke its records in the number of downloads because the education process, conference meetings, and friendly get-togethers turned online. General practitioners consult the patients via the apps, bringing healthcare to the web. People, whose work was on the Internet, now can work remotely without losing the salaries (still with losses in productivity). Messengers become a way of dating. People marry online. So, does it mean that the digital world will save your business? Well, yes and no.
 

It depends on the value you bring under COVID-crisis-conditions. People order more food online and fewer clothes because eating is a bigger necessity than fashion. If you lost your job, you are less likely to buy a subscription to Netflix and Apple Music. If people are less likely to spend in offline life, it means they are also less likely to pay on the Internet. Thus, today the most important aim of all businesses is not to stay remembered. 

E-COMMERCE

On the one side, people stay at home and cannot go to the shops often, so they will more likely to order online. On the other side, retail companies cannot provide fast delivery, especially when we talk about cross-border shipping. Also, there are certain types of products that frequently occur in the basket (medical supplies, baby-products, cleaning items, food), and those that occur there fewer times (clothes, jewelry, electronics, sports, and fitness supplies).  
 

Bringing your store online always seemed to be a significant step for businesses because globalization broadened their target audience, hence profit. Now, local online shops play a bigger role because they don’t delay the delivery. So, today there’s more sense to target a local consumer more than a global one.  
 

What can e-commerce brands do to stay afloat?
 

  • Choose less pricey delivery options and count on the customers’ understanding;
  • Target other manufacturing centers instead of China, Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and…
  • Support local manufacturers;
  • Choose the essential products’ distribution instead of luxury ones;
  • The well-thought acquisition is a must. Companies will provide only the items they are sure will be sold;
  • Understand panic buying and prevent people from doing so to avoid supply chain overload.


How can the IT industry help?
 

  • Allow customers to track the delivery of the product and be sure that, although slow, it is being shipped;
  • Target the user’s purchasing desires best with more advanced algorithms for “recommended items”, according to the previous experience and the customer’s budget;
  • Provide accurate supply chain management, with a highlight on the timing, along with the quality;
  • Model new cost structures;
  • Implement anti-panic-buying features.

SAAS

There are two types of SaaS business models: vertical and horizontal. Vertical SaaS focuses on a specific industry, like retail, healthcare of logistics, and produces software for it. For example, Salesforce targets CRM only. Horizontal SaaS provides software that would be of use to different sectors, like Slack. You can use it no matter what team you are in – a team of software developers, a team of photographers or general practitioners. It’s a one-fits-all product. Logically, the vertical SaaS suffered more than the horizontal because it had a too specific and small target audience. 
 

What can the SaaS companies do to stay afloat?
 

  • Make payment terms more flexible and prolong them;
  • Offer annual contract with a reduced price;
  • Negotiate discounts with the clients who want to stay but need to quit due to budget changes;
  • Build a “stress-response” scenario in case the worst happens;
  • Provide free trials and prolong them;
  • Give paused account suspensions; 
  • Mitigate pricing-per-user structure and provide free seats;
  • Provide contact pause.

DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT

People stay at home. Those whose work is not possible to be brought to a remote online world, have tons of free time (the free time they’d prefer not to have). This way, Netflix has seen a 30% growth in the number of international users. Over 1 million users were playing Counter-Strike online in April. Before that, the biggest amount of people engaging in this game was only in January 2017 – almost 100 000 users. Being forced to stay at home, people resort to online entertainment, like watching movies, listening to music, and playing games. This way, popular singers conduct live sessions on their Instagram pages instead of concerts. There is even an example of a new unfamiliar type of art delivery – Digital Theater.
 

What online entertainment companies do is encourage users to stay at home. Although it serves a public role, there’s no way to deny that they [the companies] will only profit from that. In the long run, however, the subscription-based products can suffer from the loss of users if the crisis escalates. No matter how much the people enjoy watching “The Irishman”, he won’t feed them. Still, it seems to be a worst-case scenario. Below are the statistics of how the users react to the brand’s engagement in the COVID-informing. 

DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Here, we witness the revolution. Hospitals, being the places filled with the infected people, are not available for those who suffer from non-virus conditions. COVID-19 didn’t cancel the heart diseases, headaches, indigestion, and depression. People still need medical support, not related to the epidemic. Thus, the digital healthcare system enables general practitioners to treat patients with mild symptoms remotely. EHR software allows keeping track of all infected people, gathering the data about the conditions of each specific case. It will not only provide a general idea of global health but also allow more accurate data to support scientists when developing new drugs and vaccines, and we talk not only about coronavirus here. 
 

For example, Maccabi Healthcare Services is Israel’s second-largest health maintenance organization. It managed to transfer all of its 5,000 medical staff to remote health services in less than two weeks while. London hospitals have used the EHR system to request the test results faster.

Remote software development

Software developers are magicians, creating apps that serve many purposes needed in this “stay-at-home” reality. Another superpower is that they can do these amazing things from everywhere with an Internet connection. In terms of this, it privileges us, although there’s no way to deny that working in the office is more beneficial for the productivity of the team. Also, most companies, both in-house and especially outsourcing ones, have the experience of the remote type or work. They are aware of all the necessary tools that enhance communication and productivity. It seems life prepared us for such a challenging situation. 
 

How can we help your business in COVID-times?
 

  • Improve your contactless payment solution;
  • Engage in the development of eLearning;
  • Help to improve online banking;
  • Create a tracking system to monitor the spread of the outbreak;
  • Improve your communication tools;
  • Drive the digital healthcare application forward. 
     

Feel welcomed to contact SapientPro during these challenging times. Understanding the risks, valuing the opportunities, we are ready to face the difficulties. Are you with us?

DEVELOPMENTBACKENDTESTINGFRONTENDSAPIENTPROWEBDEVELOPMENTECOMMERCEMANAGEMENTARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCESaaSDESIGNCUSTOMERSBLOCKCHAINSTARTUPSEOMOBILEDEVELOPMENTTEAM BUILDINGELEARNINGQA/QCESTIMATIONMARKETINGDEBUGINGNEWS
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The FinTech industry is one of the most challenging for software development due to multiple regulations, requirements, and expectations. Your team should know the ropes to seamlessly integrate all the needed features and create a powerful project. SapientPro gathered its experience in this post to help you understand what to prepare for.

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DEVELOPMENTTHAT’S WHY YOU NEED A PWA FOR YOUR WEB-SITE

Have you ever tried to open any web-site on your phone’s browser? If you have, you’ve probably noticed how clumsy it can be. Yeah, opening and utilising a web-site on a PC with a big screen is pretty convenient, however doing the same on smartphones, especially older models with screens smaller than 4 inches is less satisfying. The text is really badly read and the buttons are small, ads may cover too much of your humble space.In order to cope with these and other issues at the dawn of the smartphone age PWA technology was developed.

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SAPIENTPROHow to update your marketplace app in 2021?

Creating a successful marketplace application may seem a Herculean task to cope with. However, its maintenance is not a simpler task either. Here we come across the helpful app upgrades. But why do you need to upgrade your application and what features a renewed app should have? Let’s dig deeper into these questions.

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SAPIENTPROHow to upgrade your old website for 2021?

Living in a hectic constantly changing world, you can hardly ever find something that remains the same. This statement relates not only to daily routine, but also to any job issues such as keeping your website updated. If your site doesn’t adjust to the latest trends and you haven’t done any rebranding or upgrades for ages, you risk to appear old-fashioned and stagnated. Here is some good news, too. You can always come to grips with reality and start to develop your own upgrading plan for a website. In order to speed up this overwhelming journey, we recommend you to stand still for now and scan carefully the information presented in this article.

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SAPIENTPROHow to build a successful development team? (Part 2)

You have already got acquainted with the aspects of first and foremost importance related to forming a successful development team. Let’s proceed with our journey and dwell upon the matter of adequate maintenance of the enhancement team on a certain level. Which characteristics and skills should remain firm with the flow of time for your web development process to be successful?

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SAPIENTPROHow to build a successful development team? (Part 1)

When you begin to work on a new (especially large-scale) project, organizational moments themselves look quite intimidating. Despite all the possible challenges, take a deep breath, count 1,2,3 and think carefully about the particular task the team is supposed to solve and what’s the team role within the project frames? Clear targeting and coming up with first juicy ideas will set you a decent start on the way to forming a successful development team.

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DEVELOPMENTChoosing Technology Stack for custom eCommerce Development: a guide for the non-tech entrepreneurs.

If only there were an analogy of Hogwarts’ sorting hat for software development… Imagine: you enter your idea of the product, how much budget you have, and get the list of the technology stack and contacts of the development team that would work ideally with your niche! In the real software development world, choosing a technology stack requires planning, discussions, and analysis. Some technologies will work better with your project, and our task is to detect which ones. However, you also need to understand that the tech stack is not something fixed. As your product grows, there comes the need for new and better tools. This way, software development requires flexibility. Thus, prepare that your initial technology stack may not stay with you forever. You may need to scale your project or implement new features and store more information. There may be better versions of some tools available. Prepare to be flexible. Prepare to change and alter things when the upgrades require it. That’s what will make you competitive from a technological standpoint of leading an E-Commerce business. In this article, we will tell you about the most popular technologies that power E-Commerce products. Next time you communicate with your development team, you will know all the essential information and, most importantly, you will ask the right questions.

Kate

8 min read

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SAPIENTPROCommunication in the software development workplace

IT office jungles are filled with computer forests, cable lianas, and rivers of coffee. The temperature varies between 24 and 27, depending on who keeps the conditioner remote control. The sunlight mainly comes from computer screens and lightbulbs. Developers are working like bees: they take the pollen of code and create honeycombs of apps. It is a beautiful environment filled with the magical power of innovation, creativity, and agility. However, this ecosystem only works if there is one more component. This component is communication.

Kate

6 min read

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DEVELOPMENT10 reasons to update your website

The day has come. Your once successful and well-performing website wears off. And you know what? It is okay. It happens to the best of us. Even while you are reading this article, we are revising our website to improve your experience with it. So let us explain how the updating process works, and not just because we are a software development company but because we understand. Right now, our designer is creating a fresh way of delivering cases, and our backend developer is engaged in the improvement of the admin panel.

Kate

7 min read

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DEVELOPMENTECOMMERCE REPLATFORMING GUIDE: SWITCH FROM ONE CMS TO ANOTHER

Outdated CMS may be among the reasons why your business hit a plateau.Developing and launching a website is not where the work stops. Besides, you have to maintain it constantly and implement profound changes. As for the latter, sometimes you may need to do something more than a simple redesign, and that may be a switch from one CMS to another. If your e-commerce business is continuously evolving and growing, it brings along more work to do. New technologies are always here to make your life easier. When it comes to CMS, there is also a great variety of opportunities you can use. In this article, we will walk you through the reasons, things to consider, and steps of CMS replatforming.

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DEVELOPMENTGUIDE TO BUILDING SEO FRIENDLY E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2020

Let us be clear, the absence of SEO may result in the absence of website visibility.What people usually do when they need to find some information? Of course, they google it. The same goes for online shopping. When someone wants to buy or just compare prices for a certain product, Internet users simply open their devices to find necessary items online. Although you can now hardly find a person, who doesn’t have a computer or a laptop, people still use mobile devices more often. Thus, 93% of all internet activity starts with a search query. This number is for you if you doubt the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW TO BUILD & IMPLEMENT DYNAMIC PRICING FOR E-COMMERCE

Bear in mind, the whole purpose of dynamic pricing isn’t all about making sales.Price is among the key priorities when the consumers make their final decision whether to buy a product or not. Too expensive or too cheap offers can easily avert the buyers from your store. What if other stores have smaller prices? Or similar products of cheaper brands attract visitors more? The solution for not losing the client base is keeping track and controlling the costs on your website with the help of dynamic price strategies.

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DEVELOPMENTCOSTS OF E-COMMERCE PROJECT REDESIGN

The rise of sales, increased traffic and positive reviews are just a couple of benefits you may get from a website redesign.If you want your e-commerce business to grow and develop (we believe you do), you need to keep track of events in the online retail industry and, of course, implement on-time updates. Sometimes, small changes are not enough, then significant renovations should take place. Those may include changing the offers you provide and product lines, updating the website and finally redesigning. The question of redesign should be taken up seriously, as the first impression is what most people rely on when it comes to the Internet and its tough competition. Be ready to invest enough effort and budget to the renovation that will increase your business’s value. To know how to determine your budget. It’s important to consider at first the features, reasons, and type of changes, necessary for your website in the process of redesign.

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DEVELOPMENTADDING AN ONLINE STORE TO YOUR WEBSITE: DETAILED GUIDE

Adding an online store to your website will cost you less than developing it from the ground up.Selling online is never a bad idea, especially nowadays, when people wish to buy everything they need right from their cozy homes.What if having a ready website a business owner decided to sell something? Good news! There is no need for you to start all over again. There is a solution – adding an online store to the existing website. The opportunities of eCommerce are growing as fast as the customers’ demands.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2019-2020

The e-commerce development company you choose will certainly affect the money you have to pay.The e-commerce website can definitely enhance the profit you receive from your business. But how much does e-commerce website cost? The figures you will hear in an answer to that question can vary a lot. Even after development, you will have to invest money into maintenance, improvement and adding brand-new features that are constantly appearing on the market. That’s in case you want your e-store to be attractive and profitable, of course. It’s even difficult to tell the average cost of how much should I charge for an e-commerce website. The numbers will vary due to different factors. In this article, we’re going to discuss them all in detail to help you grasp some idea about the money you need to pay for the e-store. First of all, you need to decide what you want your e-commerce to offer the customers. It may be anything from small business e-store up to a large website with a big amount of integrated (useful or just good-looking) features. It is also a good idea not to wait until everything becomes outdated. We strongly recommend to update all the features continuously and save money for more innovations.

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DEVELOPMENTGUIDE TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING FOR E-COMMERCE

To avoid the negative consequences, start with determining what you intend to achieve.The popularity of e-commerce is growing at a blistering pace. Many companies around the globe regard the internet as a powerhouse with high commercial capacity and opportunities to boost their business and attract more customers. Those companies are completely right – more and more people prefer clicking the mouse over walking for hours when they need to buy something. Online stores nowadays provide their customers with more possibilities for less effort. But how to make people buy on your website, not any other? The answer is in thorough planning and management of e-commerce.

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DEVELOPMENTWEB DEVELOPMENT TEAM STRUCTURE AT SAPIENTPRO

We don’t say there isn’t enough knowledge, because our specialists are always broadening their abilities, delivering first-rate products and making the customers satisfied.Being a client of a Web Development company doesn’t mean you have to know all the ins and outs of the development process. However, what may be interesting for you is the stages and main characters of the project delivery. You cannot address front-end developer directly if you need to add a new payment method. Even this, as you may think, simple task involves a well-thought teamwork. So, here is a brief insight into the mechanism of SapientPro Clockwork.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW IT OUTSOURCING MAKES UKRAINE ATTRACTIVE FOR BUSINESSES AROUND THE WORLD

If a customer wants to find a development company they can work comfortably with, the staff becomes a really important point to encounter for making a choice.Without any doubt, while visiting some websites, buying goods online or even using a digital map to reach your destination you don’t think of the fact that Ukrainian IT specialists might have taken part in the development of these apps. A great number of companies around the world choose to outsource web development to Ukraine and they do have strong reasons for that. So, let’s give a detailed look at the biggest of them:

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DEVELOPMENTMAIN FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application.Before starting something new, people usually ask: “How much will it cost me to do this?” If you expect to hear the exact sum once you come to the software development company, here is something you need to know. The factors to be considered for the cost estimation are numerous and most of them depend on how you want your website or app to look like.As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application. Let’s have a closer look at three most important factors that affect the client’s budget.

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