Post Corona World

How COVID catapulted e-commerce from 2020 to 2030 in just 9 months

Target set a sales record as its same-day fulfillment services grew 273% in the quarter. Both retailers have also invested in online grocery, with Walmart today offering grocery pickup and delivery services, the latter through partners. In Walmart’s case, the pandemic helped drive e-commerce sales up 97% in its last quarter. Target has also just now rolled out grocery pickup and runs delivery through Shipt.

Amazon, naturally, has also benefited from the shift to digital with its recent record quarterly profit and 40% sales growth.

The growth in e-commerce due to the pandemic has set a high bar for what’s now considered baseline growth. In the first quarter of 2020, department store sales and those from other “non-essential” retailers declined by 25%. The shift away from physical stores was already underway, but we’ve now jumped ahead in time as to where we would be if a health crisis had not occurred.

This is a similar trend to what other industries have seen as well, including things like streaming/cord cutting, gaming and social video apps, and more. As the COVID-19 pandemic reshapes our world, more consumers have begun shopping online in greater numbers and frequency. Clothing, for example, declined in importance as more consumers began working and schooling from home, as well as social distancing under government lockdowns. According to new data from IBM’s U.S. However, other categories, including groceries, alcohol and home improvement materials, accelerated, by 12%, 16% and 14%, respectively.
The report suggests that department store retailers will need to more quickly pivot to omnichannel fulfillment capabilities in order to remain competitive in the new environment. E-commerce also accounted for 16.1% of total retail sales in Q2, up from 11.8% in the first quarter of 2020.

The questions that IBM’s report aims to answer is how much of this pandemic-fueled online spending is a temporary shift and to what extent is it impacting longer-term forecasts? The answer, at least in this estimate, is that this pandemic pushed the industry ahead by around five years. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. Meanwhile, e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020.

The pandemic has also helped refine which categories of goods consumers feel are essential, the study found. Specifically, they will need to drive traffic to their stores through services like buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS), and will need to offer an expanded set of ship-from-store services.

Large retailers like Walmart and Target have embraced omnichannel fulfillment to their advantage. According to the Q2 2020 report from the U.S. Both reported stellar earnings this month thanks to their earlier investments in e-commerce. This grew to a 75% decline in the second quarter.

The report indicates that department stores are expected to decline by over 60% for the full year. Department stores, as a result, are seeing significant declines. Census Bureau, U.S. retail e-commerce reached $211.5 billion, up 31.8% from the first quarter, and 44.5% year-over-year.

Post COVID world – live stream advertising

Post COVID world item#26:

Live stream advertising. No, not celebrities drinking cancer curing water, but regular people who had to shut down their stores and now are showcasing their stuff live on TikTok and other platforms. You don’t believe me? – Just don’t forget that Century 21 just announced bankruptcy and shut down of all their stores. Online is our present.

Post-Corona Work Habits Changes

Stability, digital and agility will be priorities. Going forward investment decisions will be made based on digital-first and stability.

Platforms that enable local sourcing: because of global limitations, at this time of crisis it is local suppliers and distributors that have come through with the goods. The only thing missing is a digital tool to help meet the demand.

So big chains are losers and local suppliers winners in a national crisis.

Work from Home gains credibility

I can imagine a situation where some organisations will want to keep some face-to-face time an option. Imagine cost the company could cut with less space to rent, less equipment and tech and probably no workers comp claims. This reason alone is enough to believe we probably won’t go back to mass scale working spaces with everyone in one place.

Work from home job search platforms are plentiful. Just check out this list of job search platforms here.

Your value will be determined even more so by what you produce

In WFH scenario, your outcomes, the value you add and what you produce will be brought to the fore simply because people can’t ‘see’ you.

Soft skills will win big

Tech savvy and those with emotional intelligence strong enough to navigate the absence of body language communication as well as shy people online communication gives you the ability to pause for thought, edit, and carve out a voice for yourself.

Virtual events will be a permanent feature

Its funny to think that virtual events were looked down on by many people just a month or two ago .

Actually, because the cost is drastically reduced online, you can bring more regular events, with great content, directly to people that need it, when they need it.

Business travel will become less essential

Of course business travel will still be a thing. Some things just are better in person. But in general all those in person people will feel the need to master online networking too. In other words – business travel is up in the air.

Precedents are being set that we haven’t yet anticipated

Even though much has been left to chance rather than rules in this pandemic, we need to be careful that this does not continue and we dont fully provide away our rights to virtual privacy.

Post-Corona Changes in Business Practices

Accelerated digital transformation. People are being forced to work from home, but their whole life is being forced to adapt digitally. These behaviors will not disappear once the quarantine is over, it’s very likely that people who have been forced to adopt digital practices will continue these. The companies which are best placed to benefit from the situations are those which offer comfort, convenience or necessity for consumers. For brands there’s space to think about the digitization of your product, not just the delivery.

There is no ‘return to ‘normal’ after this’. Even if things were to rebound 100%, you can’t live through something like this and not remember it. Consumers have every reason to be cautious now and for the foreseeable future.
For instance, we were already seeing consumers pulling back on buying new clothes in favor of thrifting. I think you will continue to see an embrace of thrift, but across more and more sectors. So not just a turn away from fast fashion but a stronger embrace of craft, of do it yourself, of self-sufficiency. ‘How can brands empower consumers to be more self-sufficient?’

At times of crisis innovation flourishes. Contactless solutions may increasingly replace what used to be high-touch activities, such as concerts or fitness, as well as in-demand human tasks like shipping and delivery. Buying a house online? – Totally possible and done in New Zealand.

Some Opportunities and Start Preparing for Downsides
Eight-hour workdays no longer exist. Being online all the time will also change the typical workday. This requires employees to set clear boundaries, apportioning their family time, personal time, leisure time, and sleeping hours. Otherwise, they risk an unbearable day and decreased quality of life.

Increased use of temporary and part-time workers. Companies scarred by the response to the pandemic will be reluctant to add full-time roles when they could add flexible roles instead. There is no need for those long powerpoint presentations, as agendas are more focused, enabling meeting times to be cut dramatically.

Fewer middle managers and consultants. With their digital transformation, companies will need far fewer middle managers, project managers, and executive assistants. Managers’ jobs should be changed into team leadership roles where the managers produce and coach. Instead of consultants that do management’s work, companies should give the challenges to their own employees who know the business far better than any consultant.

Cutting back business trips. The pandemic has shown us we don’t need to fly to Shanghai or Zurich for business reviews. Using videoconferencing programs, like Zoom or Skype, meetings can be just as effective online.

Renewed focus on outcomes instead of controlling employees’ time. The role of leaders will shift to further attention on empowering their employees, energizing them around a common mission, and measuring the outcomes of their work. Instead of measuring employees’ inputs, companies will shift to results and forward-looking metrics like market share and customer feedback.

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