The whole world dreams of the day when this COVID-19 nightmare is over and everybody can get back to normal life.
However, we should face the reality: the pandemic is far from being over and we are going to deal with the consequences for a long time. The first massive wave might be close to the end, but still, we should wear masks and use sanitizers. Still, we should hold our breath and patiently adapt to the new reality the COVID-19 has created.
Whether we like it or not, there have been shifts in the world that are not likely to change fast if ever. Experts doubt that our life will get back to normal soon. That concerns the epidemiological situation. What about the psychological impact? But what about the new habits we have obtained during the long weeks of the lockdown? Those are hard to change.
During the last few months, we had to live in a world that differs from what we were used to so we had to get new habits. That also means we had to redefine the way we buy and sell products and services.
Change Of Habits
The fists changes happened when we learned that we were only allowed to leave home to buy the necessary goods in the nearest shops. Do you remember what happened then? There was a race to get goods of everyday needs.
Then the panic gradually went down. But the reality remained different. Our relaxed weekend shopping for products, our shopping time with friends that many of us enjoyed mixing with having fun – all that became impossible.
Businesses had to change as well. Offline businesses tried to move online, entrepreneurs focused on online projects and opportunities. Learning how to run a business online with Shopify Compass or any possible source of information became a way for entrepreneurs to adapt to a new rapidly changing reality.
For many customers, the adaptation period went tough. Offline shopping was everything but pleasant. Social distance, masks, gloves, sanitizers, securities, and restrictions… That is where online stores got the advantage. People turned to online shopping to get food, clothes, and even things you would not think of getting online before – like bathroom shower cabinets, for example.
More and more people started starting to shop online. And the variety of goods they are looking for in getting wider.
Is It Safe To Order Online?
With time we learned more about the COVID-19 – how dangerous it is, how it gets transferred. So people started to question how safe it is to order goods online. Is it true that this way the risk of getting infected lowers to a minimum?
Experts have discovered that the virus may remain on surfaces for almost three days (depending on what type of surface it is). These figures may change since scientists are getting new results and knowledge every day.
But the most careful people may think: what if the virus can be on the goods they order? On the boxes, the goods are delivered in?
Well, it is highly unlikely that the virus will remain on the ordered goods. Usually, it takes a long time for goods to get from the packaging point to the hands of the customer. According to the CDC, “there is probably a very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped within days or weeks at ambient temperature.”
Then we have delivery services. Those companies have undergone a tough time implementing strict regulations to the processes to ensure security and safety. From drivers to carriers – delivery company workers got a list of rules to follow and a list of penalties they may get in case they ignore new requirements. That makes it hard for the virus to get on the goods you get during the delivery process.
The World Health Organization is also addressing this issue. They say it is not dangerous to get packages with goods even in places where COVID-19 was registered. From their website: “The likelihood that an infected person will infect commercial goods are low, and the risk of contracting the virus from packages that have been transported, moved, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.”
Think Global, Act Local
Online shopping is now a sort of trend. ECommerce websites are getting popular as never before. The businesses that operated both online and offline could not ignore the online activity of the customers. And before small shops could see the website as a hardly useful addition, but now selling online seems to be the only way for the small shops to survive.
Independently of the shop size, on how it operated before the pandemic – now, online sales are the priority for retailers.
The new reality brings new players to the game. Entrepreneurs are as enthusiastic as they only can be to start a business online. Crisis means new opportunities, they say.
Digital And Contactless Payment Methods Rise
The way we order goods is not the only change we see. Not only online shopping became popular, but contactless payments as well. Sure thing, when paying using your card and not touching anything the risk of being infected lowers considerably compared to paying by cash.
Some experts believe that since people have been paying for things using online payment methods and contactless card payments so much lately, it is highly likely those habits will remain.
And After This, What?
The question that we all have – what will our life be like after the pandemic is over? Well, the post-COVID-19 world is likely to be more digitized than the world we used to live in.
Remote work, careful interaction with others, online shopping platforms are likely to remain popular. Another thing the retailers should realize is that the economic consequences of the pandemic will make it hard for the masses to maintain their buying habits and will considerably limit their buying ability. That is why, probably, the factors listed below will matter:
- Price – probably, customers will more than ever search for cost-effective solutions;
- Customer loyalty – with new competitors in online retail obtain the loyalty could be harder;
- Omnichannel – digital marketing has vital importance to eCommerce – social networks, SEO, SEM, and other channels in the new reality should work coordinatively and just splendidly.
To Sum Up
The world we live in today is changing fast. The pandemic has turned it upside down and experts have controversial and sometimes polar opinions on what will happen next. That concerns the way we buy and sell things as well. So the question remains: will the world ever be the same?