The Times They Are a-Changin’
Technology is changing the world.
Large, widespread changes usually happen slowly and incrementally; look back years later and only then are things clear. But the pace of change is speeding up, and recently Covid-19 has pressed even harder on that throttle. A decade or two ago, many people were hesitant about buying big-ticket items online. A bathroom was bought in a showroom. Radiators were boring white rectangles picked up from your local DIY store.
But two things have been happening in tandem. First, it’s easier than ever to get a feel for a product without seeing it up close. Better product imagery; 360-degree photos; video content; customer reviews; the inevitable normalisation of virtual and augmented reality – all of these factors combine to break down those traditional barriers.
And second, consumer behaviour is changing. We are becoming used to immediacy and convenience. We have access to a world of information and advice at our fingertips. Why traipse around a shop between the hours of 9am and 5pm on a weekday if it’s not convenient? Why suffer pushy salespeople and tired sales tactics when we can access reviews, guides and a world of inspiration in seconds, and from anywhere?
The steady shift from bricks & mortar to online has been happening for a while. But from 2020, global events have caused that shift to pick up pace. People who very rarely shopped online before had little choice but to give it a try.
At Beyond, we expect much of this behavioural change to stick around. Technology will continue to advance. The idea of visiting a showroom and browsing from a small range, limited by physical space, will become less and less relevant as time marches on. In 2020, 8 million people visited our 3 websites. 2021 marks our 10th anniversary year, and we look forward to continuing to play a role at the forefront of these colossal shifts within retail.
Work isn’t a place – it’s something we do.
Technology has changed the face of retail, and now it’s changing how we work too.
We’ve always felt very strongly that the best companies are those that look after their people. Happy people do great things. Culture plays a big part in everything we do, and ours prizes entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and opportunity. We like to explore, question, and challenge conventions. And we do this with a collective goal of putting our customers at the centre of everything.
One of the biggest recent changes has been the shift towards a remote-first way of working. Like most companies, we didn’t opt to work remotely out of choice. But we quickly woke up to its value, and to it’s role in our future. We have a physical office, a warehouse, and a desire to offer flexibility wherever it’s possible. Many of our people enjoy working from their own homes. Some like to work in the office occasionally, or exclusively. We think people should be able to work wherever and whenever they get their best work done, and we’re determined to keep improving how to best facilitate that.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
― Barack Obama