It is no secret that Covid-19 has significantly affected both online and offline businesses. It has been powerful enough to create drastic changes in consumer behaviour and business operations worldwide.
Suppose you are interested in knowing what exactly are the effects of Covid-19 on online and offline businesses. In that case, you are on the right page. Continue reading below for more valuable insights.
Impact of Covid-19 on Offline Business
2020 and 2021 was difficult year for brick and mortar businesses. Here are the notable effects of Covid-19 on offline business:
● Business Closure
The World Health Organization’s primary recommendation in slowing down virus transmission is to mitigate the non-essential movements of people. As a result, many businesses such as spas, cinemas, and restaurants were forced to close down for several months.
Some of these were allowed to operate again recently but are required by the state to follow strict health protocols. Although these measures can significantly reduce the transmission of the virus, many businesses have to cut down the employees’ work hours to adapt to the requirements.
Unfortunately, others could not open again due to unbearable overhead costs and lack of revenue income resulting in bankruptcies.
● Work From Home Setup
One of the most significant changes in business operation caused by Covid-19 is the rise of work from home set up. Many companies have temporarily or permanently close or downgraded their offices and asked their employees to work from home to limit people’s movement. This is an effort to help save rental cause while still continuing the operation of the companies.
This shift to a different work setup has also significantly affected the real estate market in many metropolitan areas. Since employees can now work anywhere, many of them are moving to the suburbs for bigger spaces and lesser housing costs. As a result, there are a lot of vacant spaces in many major cities.
However, the freedom of working from home has also resulted in unprecedented problems faced by company management and the employees. Many managements are facing challenges regarding communication and proper handling of employees. Meanwhile, a lot of employees are experiencing work and life balance issues.
- More Business innovation
Not all of the effects of Covid-19 on brick and mortar stores were negative. The difficult situation has encouraged business owners to make innovations that will help them adapt to the current situation.
An example of this is a rise in restaurants offering food deliveries instead of dine-ins. This innovation is also adopted by many grocery stores that offer deliveries that are more convenient and safer for customers.
Businesses such as real estate and car dealerships are also becoming innovative by offering virtual services to clients. This is a proven way to maintain customer connection and continue business operations while maintaining social distancing measures.
Impact of Covid-19 on Online Business
Unlike the brick and mortar business, e-Commerce is thriving despite the pandemic. Here are the significant effects of Covid-19 on online business:
● An Increase in Online Spending
Covid-19 has forced many people to stay indoors, and as a result, more people are turning to online shopping for their needs and luxuries. According to a survey conducted by UNCTAD, there is a 6% to 10 % online purchase increase on most product categories.
The primary online businesses that benefited most from these are those that are engaged in selling electronics, education, household products, cosmetics, personal care, and do-it-yourself products.
● Change In Consumer Behavior and Trends
Consumers from developed and emerging countries are now postponing large purchases to focus more on essential items such as cleaning and hygiene products and food. Many consumers are also focusing on investing in products that will improve their overall health and wellness.
“Buy local” is also an emerging trend among consumers worldwide as many feel empathy towards the difficulties faced by businesses in their communities.
These changes in consumer behaviour and trends are expected to remain even after Covid-19 ends. This is because consumers are now prioritizing personal safety, medical security, and financial stability.
● A Shift in E-commerce Revenue
In the past, the major industry that dominates the E-commerce market is fashion. However, since many people are stuck at home, there is a shift in E-commerce sales from fashion-related items to household goods and subscription services.
Grocery e-commerce is rising because it caters to consumers’ current demand that requires access to basic goods in a convenient and safe manner. The threat of lockdowns in different countries is also resulting in households stockpiling grocery items and essentials. Aside from an increase in grocery items’ online sales, medical, baby products, health & wellness, and cleaning product sales are also on the rise.
However, online sales of tourism and travel-related products are experiencing a major decline that is up 75% of the total sales from 2019. This is despite the efforts of hotels and airlines offering consumers affordable prices for luxury travel and accommodations.
Sales of subscription services are also skyrocketing since the beginning of Covid-19. This is primarily because more people are stuck at home, and they are looking for different ways to entertain themselves.
The negative effects of Covid-19 outweigh the good. Many businesses, both online and offline, are still struggling to turn the tides. It’s a good thing that countries such as Ireland have a government that is providing extended support to the business sector.
Ireland has several Covid-19 support schemes that have helped the business in the country to stay afloat. Some examples of these are social protection payments, wage subsidy schemes, tax measures, and many more.
The effects of Covid-19 on online and offline business will continue to be felt even in the following months. However, the recent massive rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine is a glimmer of hope symbolizing the return of normalcy in business operations and consumer practices so that they can bounce back again.