Ever since December 31, when the mysterious nCoV was first announced and it’s 41 positive cases, to April 3rd with more than 900,000 cases around the world now infected with COVID-19, one thing runs over and over in everyones’ mind; PARANOIA. It is no surprise that with those whole lockdowns, which forced the non-essential businesses to close their doors for now, to minimize spreading the virus even more, a new sensation grew out of it - which is social distancing. COVID-19 took social distancing to the whole new level, due to shutting down gyms, education facilities, restaurants and shopping centers, everyone is home. At first, the lockdown looked like it was going to last only 14 days, to allow a certain time to pass until the affect would subside, but now the lockdown is still in full effect and there is much uncertainty around what the end date might be. So how does it affect the everyday life routines? Moreover, what does this mean for the future - what will be the new acceptable version of “the norm”?
According to Jason Goldberg from Forbes Magazine, this new situation will take time to work out and it will have a lasting effect on numerous every-day life routines. Jason explains that there are going to be three major changes; he calls them the “post-pandemic forces” that will influence our lives.
- Consumers will have adopted short-term behaviors during the pandemic that in many cases will become permanent.
- Consumers will emerge from the pandemic in a new economic reality, changing commerce behaviors in profound ways.
- A significant consolidation of retailers will fundamentally alter the competitive and partner landscape.
As a whole, the behavior of general consumption, purchasing and trading from now on will be conducted online much more than before. It is no surprise that virtual shopping is not a trend anymore - this situation has actually sped up human adoption to technology. More and more brick and mortar shops are opening an on-line department, and even more are closing for the soul purpose of shifting to an online model. The benefits of having it, for the very most part, would be - lower overhead costs, consumers can purchase at any time of the day, and their location will not affect the stores they visit - people are getting used to delivery from clothes to fresh produce.
Among the major industries impacted by COVID-19, perhaps the way we consume and experience food is at the top of the list. People will always be hungry, no news there, but now, because of total lockdown, an obscene amount of restaurants are closed, however, food delivery such as “Amazon fresh” “DoorDash” “GrubHub” and many more have enhanced in sales and app downloads.
According to apptopia.com, in just one month, between 2/15/2020 and 3/15/2020 the following app downloads increase by almost 1000%: Walmart, Amazon Fresh and Shippit.
This comes to show that the social isolation has arrived in full force, and it’s impact will trickle into our new approach to life. The behavioral shift of online shopping began a few years ago, but social isolation has changed the rules of the online shopping game for the future. Post lock down most likely many consumers will continue to purchase in this way. It saves time, energy, and provides a layer of security that was never as apparent as now. This means that as a business going through this challenging time - we must be wise and think through what consumption will look like. We cannot go back to the way things were because that is a huge part of the issues that we face today.