The year 2020 is marked with rapid changes taking place overnight and the sense of uncertainty about health, business, education and even life is lost. Nothing is spared by the globally hit pandemic of COVID-19 that has now spread to almost all the corners of the world. By every passing day the pandemic is getting uncontrollable and the concerned authorities are unable to cope with it. The number of people deemed safe to gather in a single place has dwindled from thousands, to hundreds, to tens. Restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and gyms in many major cities have been shut down.
Essentially, people are coming to terms with the realities of our interconnected world and how difficult it is to temporarily separate those connections to others. One of the responses that can be seen to how people are approaching this period of isolation and uncertainty is in huge overnight changes to their shopping behaviors. From bulk-buying to online shopping, people are changing what they’re buying, when, and how.
Moreover, through the period of COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and staying home is further expected to push the consumers towards online shopping. However, uncertain consumer demand and supply chain issues can affect the e-commerce industry. The COVID-19 pandemic issue can also affect big merchants such as Walmart, which are experiencing a drop in casual shopping, supply chain disruption, and an increase in purchases of essential toiletries, groceries, and other products. Lack of productivity during the worldwide lockdown resulted in the loss of jobs, pay cuts, and finances. Shutting down of shops and family-based businesses has made many people sway towards online retail to meet their financial requirements.
But now the question arises, is it safe to order online during COVID-19?
As everyone knows how infectious COVID-19 is, some people have raised questions about the safety of receiving their online orders. Experts have found that the virus can live on surfaces from three hours to up to three days, depending on the material. Therefore, it is unlikely that COVID-19 would survive on the purchased items from the time they were packed to the time customers would receive their package. Also, the shipping conditions are such that Covid-19 would not be exposed via the package itself, either.
Customers are trying their best to adapt to strange times. Even the business owners are facing almost the same uncertainties, while trying to support the customer’s needs and their own. Also, e-payments have experienced a fast growth, particularly through mobile money, but Cash-on-Delivery still remains prominent.
However, the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic are double-sided. On one hand E-Commerce is experiencing a boom in production and earning profits while on the other hand these businesses are facing troubles in the normal running as there is delay in delivering the products to the customers and the process of shipping is also badly affected because of the restrictions on vehicles. Only time will tell whether this pandemic is a bane or a boon for the E-commerce industry.