It’s no secret that the world was forced to move online due to the pandemic. While our lives had been gradually moving online, it was the pandemic that forced most of us into a more digital world.
Two years later, do we abandon the digital progress and go back to conducting business and transactions in person again, or has everyone become accustomed to the convenience and efficiency of the digital world?
This is what Americans are saying in a brand new survey conducted by Harris Poll and Notarize.
59% of people said they complete professional services online now more than pre-COVID, and 84% of respondents would prefer to continue completing them online vs. in person. Pre-pandemic, there were many services already getting traction online, like taxes, customer service and online tutoring. But now there are some newer categories to add to the list, including drivers license or passport renewal, loan applications, job interviews, home closings, legal support and notarizations, to name a few.
The survey found it’s not just younger generations who see advantages to moving some services online. Older generations agree, though for vastly different reasons. Older generations cited they were more likely to do things online to save time, reduce travel and because it’s more convenient for scheduling.
Young people said they prefer online options to save money, reduce Covid exposure, reduce resources (from an environmental impact perspective) and because they believe online is more secure than in-person. Additionally, younger people, and more specifically for those with kids at home, were more likely to choose an online option because it’s more convenient for scheduling purposes.
According to the survey, 78% of people aged 18-34, 81% of people aged 34-55, and 82% of people aged 45-54 hope to see even more professional services available online. They also cited the pandemic as the driving force to making them realize the value in using online services.
Older generations did not share this sentiment, with only 31% of those age 65+ wanting more services to move online.
There is a clear divide in the way people want to experience services in a post-Covid world. Younger generations tend to see value in having online options, and are looking for more experiences to be brought online. Older generations, however, might prefer to go back to doing everything in person, or a mix between in-person and digital offerings, depending on the service. Businesses need to assess the journey that their customers are looking for and meet them where they are (whether that’s online or in person).