As economies all over the world start to reopen and gain some momentum, life as we know it is gradually making its way back after months of being stuck at home as prisoners of the coronavirus.
The months of lockdown has forced companies and businesses to either close shop or adapt to stay afloat. It is unfortunate that the sudden blow dealt by the worldwide crisis has caused millions of workers to be displaced, companies to shut down, and establishments to declare bankruptcies. All over the world, the crisis went from health concerns to financial and economic disruption. To say that it has upended the way we live our lives is such a huge understatement.
From transitions and adjustments to a new normal
Now that we’re more than halfway through the fourth quarter, things have started to become better for a lot of countries and economies because people were willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
The most notable thing that the pandemic has brought was how we have easily transitioned into the new normal, especially with industry and trade. Essential services and other related industries, such as chief marketing officer (CMO) services and logistics, prospered. While the need for essential services increased, the demand for non-essential items and services plummeted leaving these companies no choice but to close their doors indefinitely.
The transition to the digital platform was instantaneous employers and business owners immediately implemented work-from-home arrangements. And although several bricks-and-mortars still continued to operate under the unfavorable conditions, they made quick fixes to their system to still keep their businesses going.
Some of them pivoted their business to cater to a much bigger need in their communities. Several establishments started to make adjustments and implemented curbside pick-ups, front porch drop-offs, and cashless transactions.
As different states and economies started to reopen, several shops have made some changes in the way they do business. They rearranged their floor layouts, put up signs and barriers, had hand sanitizers easily accessible on countertops and tables to assure their customers that they are complying with the CDC’s COVID-19 safety measures. They believe that doing this will still somehow help them recover what was lost over the lockdown season, albeit gradually.
While physical shops do what they can to get back on their feet, some other businesses have already acclimated to the new remote working conditions and have fully embraced what work-from-home arrangements offer. They saved money on office space rentals and utilities so that’s a big chunk off of their budget. This also minimized the chances of workers getting depressed by the present health and financial concerns.
Although a lot of them are still adjusting to this new lifestyle, many are optimistic. A lot of these remote workers are actually anticipating that this arrangement will continue even after the pandemic is gone.
eCommerce at its strongest
The transition to a more digital world was fast-tracked by COVID-19 which also triggered plenty of changes in consumer behavior. Similar to work-from-home arrangements, experts and analysts believe that these changes in online shopping behavior will have a lasting impact on eCommerce.
Up until the pandemic broke out, folks flocked to bricks-and-mortars for their shopping. While eCommerce has been around for quite some time and has steadily increased in popularity in recent years, the majority of the buying public still prefers to do their shopping in-person where they can physically touch, see, taste, hear, and smell what they are buying. The risks of buying online, getting something in the mail that did not meet your expectations, and then returning it to the seller is too complicated a process for most folks.
However, when shops closed down, people were left with no choice but to purchase whatever they need or want from online shops. And while the actual rate of increase in online shopping activity is still modest compared to what was previously projected at the onset of the health crisis, it is still strong enough at an almost 32% increase. Even then, because of the temporary decline in non-essential purchases, consumer spending this year has somehow gone down significantly even as the number of online purchases increased.
But despite the numbers, experts claim that these changes in both employment, business, and consumer behavior, especially online shopping activities, will likely outlast COVID-19. Plenty of people from all over the world have expressed their intentions of continuing to shop online and prioritizing their purchases to essential items as much as possible. A lot of people have also expressed their willingness to support small and local businesses since a lot of those who were displaced and left unemployed decided to become entrepreneurs and tried their hands out at running home-based businesses.
This pandemic has definitely reshaped the way we do business and has made a lasting impact in all industries across the world. This just means that there are plenty of opportunities for us to continue to improve our businesses and organizations and the way we operate. It might not seem like it now but exciting times are up ahead.