The pandemic has hit us all in the most unexpected ways. The affect has been so great that even a year after the coronavirus outbreak, people are still suffering the consequences and are forced to adjust to the new ways of living and thinking.
Covid has extensively affected the way we conduct business, and one of the most affected industries during the pandemic was the retail industry. There were tectonic shifts that the retail industry had to undergo due to the sudden introduction of the coronavirus into our lives. Retail economy news reveal the changes that the industry has experienced over the past months. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
The Online Tussle
One of the greatest shifts in the retail was that everyone had to become available online. With many parts of the country and the world under the lockdown, traditional brick and mortar stores were not allowed to open for months. However, to ensure everyone had enough daily essential items, online ordering and delivery was allowed. This has led to a sudden increase in online sales and transactions, rendering the physical stores useless. Now more and more stores are increasing their online presence in the market due to the drastic shift in the consumer behaviour.
A Shift in Payment Mechanisms
Since the physical stores were not allowed to operate, most of the shopping was done online. Furthermore, in order to comply with Covid protocols and ensure proper safety for all, many stores stopped accepting cash. Even online giants such as Amazon disabled cash on delivery payment option and only allowed payments by card, net banking or UPI. This led to a manifold increase in online transactions, and till date, it is the preferred mode of payment for many people.
Setting Channels For Delivery
Because of the advent of the coronavirus, freedom of movement became restricted in most parts of the world. Nations were put on curfews and lockdowns for months, and only few people were allowed to go out at certain times, and only in order to fetch the most necessary products. Since movement was largely restricted, it became the onus of the retailers to deliver the goods to people’s homes. Because of this retailers had to introduce, or expand, their delivery channels to make sure that the goods reach everyone in a timely manner. Even now retailers continue to work in this fashion – having set up their own delivery channels, they are able to serve both online and offline customers.
Although now it has been more than a year since the pandemic first struck us, retailers are still continuing to function in the newly adjusted manner in order to grow and sustain in the long run – since because of these changes that the retail industry was able to survive the pandemic.