Digital Services and Tools Fuel Fastest GDP Growth Since 1984
The crucial role of digital technology in this rebound is not doubted. Digital services and tools empowered the recovery by giving Americans more choices than ever before to more safely get back to work, school, shopping, and leisure. New digital-enabled options like remote work, remote classes, and contactless shopping options like buy online, pickup in-store/curbside and home delivery sparked this positive growth, despite ongoing pandemic challenges.
Digital services and tools have been essential to carry small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) through the pandemic, helping them connect with both workers and customers alike. By utilizing both new and existing digital tools, businesses were able to rapidly expand contactless shopping, dining, and entertainment options. For example, retailers rapidly expanded omnichannel offerings, allowing consumers to safely shop from home and choose whether to pick up their orders curbside in front of physical stores or have their orders delivered to their homes.
For many workers, digital tools enabled widespread remote work for the first time, allowing many workers to safely work from home while continuing to perform their jobs. As workers embraced remote work, additional benefits such as time and fuel cost savings, reduced traffic congestion, and environmental improvements from reduced commuter emissions each day also became apparent.
For consumers, digital services and tools were essential to help families and friends stay connected and entertained safely through the most dangerous days of the crisis. Social media and teleconferencing tools helped family and friends safely stay in touch with each other. Digital service providers rapidly implemented new features to enable family and friends separated by the pandemic to watch shows and movies together virtually.
Innovative digital services and tools continue to fuel the U.S. economy, offering firms, workers and consumers the flexibility to adapt to crises, maintain their competitive edge, and stay connected.