Bar Sweden, where experts now acknowledge the shortcomings in its less-restrictive response to the pandemic, the Nordic countries are now gradually easing measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19. Nordic businesses face much the same reality as the rest of their European counterparts.

Across Europe, broadly half of customers say they can’t wait to return to their pre-pandemic shopping habits, and half of employees want to return to the normality of the office or work environment. However, the enforced digital adoption of the last three months means that the rules have changed:

  • Customers expect digital experiences. The pandemic has massively accelerated consumer digital adoption — shopping, watching movies, taking exercise classes, you name it. This cuts both ways, as while IKEA, traditionally resistant to the concept of eCommerce, now sees 10% of its sales coming from digital touchpoints, Viaplay has been forced to slash sports streaming prices in addition to facing fears of reduced ad revenues until live sports events resume.
  • Employees expect a digital workplace. Knowledge workers have found themselves as or, in some cases, more productive working from home. They’ve turned to a hodgepodge of cloud-based free tools to continue to work, and they’ve learned to use video conference and collaboration software. Norwegian firms could be in an early lead here. Our own PandemicEX data suggests some 26% of European employees had previously worked from home at one time or another, while a recent study suggests almost half of Norwegian employees had home offices set up even before the pandemic struck.

While your employees have navigated working from kitchen tables while feeding cats, home-schooling children, and balancing work and home life in new ways, they’ve found that they have learned to embrace unexpected benefits.

Firms can’t walk these changes back.

What Now?

Regardless of your industry or focus, you need to feed activities like virtual customer journey mapping with data and customer insights to work out which customer experiences you should pause, accelerate, or launch as you move into recovery mode.

What Next?

Here’s the challenge: While we know Nordic firms, like their counterparts in the rest of Europe, need to digitize both customer and employee experiences, we can’t predict the next major disruption. A volcanic ash cloud (remember that one?). An innovative new technology. A change in legislation.

Change is the only constant.

The businesses that thrive most during times of constant change and uncertainty embrace adaptiveness. Forrester data shows that adaptive companies grow more than three times faster than the rest of their industry, and technology leaders play a vital role in this shift. Forrester has launched a resource hub to provide European technology leaders with the tools and insights they need to build the capacities and capabilities of an adaptive enterprise. In our series of blogs, webinars, videos, and guides, our analysts provide their expert perspectives on where we are now, where we are going, and how to proactively adapt to changing market forces.

From the 8th to the 10th of June, we are running a series of complimentary and client events focused on what it really means to be an adaptive enterprise. Please join us!