The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world unprepared to deal with the health and economic effects. Other than the fast spread of the virus, economies were seemingly plunged into uncertainties as businesses were forced to temporarily stop operations.
After the initial shock, however, people started to collect their calm and prepare for the ‘new normal’. Some small businesses also found themselves busier than ever providing necessities that even a pandemic can’t wipe out. They include those in the food and logistics services.
Keeping Small and Local Shops Alive
In the beginning, there were long lines at the groceries as people went on a panic-buying spree to overstock their pantry. But this would be true for those who can afford to hoard, many were unfortunate to have little cash on hand and then found themselves staring at empty supermarket aisles.
Small groceries and convenience stores were able to fill this need. Independent grocers are helping big supermarket chains meet the high demand for food and other home supplies during this time of need.
Also, since people are afraid to stray too far from their homes, they look for nearby shops instead. A local bakery selling fresh bread, for example, could supply the need for customers in their neighborhood. Or a local eatery delivering food to those who can’t go out and order takeout.
In fact, restaurants quickly turned around and provide takeout and delivery and have been keeping them alive since dine-in customers have been reduced to zero.
Online Services Benefiting the Most
As people can’t or prefer not to go out, the majority of shopping and business transactions are happening online. Other than food delivery and banking apps, small online sellers began promoting themselves on social media and adapting SEO marketing to sell their products and services.
Other than the necessities, there was an increase in demand for leisure goods online. They include toys, office supplies, food and beverages, electronics, pet supplies, beauty products, and sporting goods. That last one has been useful for people choosing to exercise at home rather than visit the gym or a nearby park.
Experts are predicting that digital entrepreneurship is one sector that will continue to thrive after the shift to the new normal. In the absence of a vaccine, health risks still loom large and people wouldn’t feel comfortable doing shopping the way they used to. Conducting their transactions online ensures social distancing and protects them from exposure.
Logistics and Transportation Services Are the Top Winners
As groceries and shops require quick restocking, and those online sellers need to send their products to customers, logistics and transportation services are more critical than ever. Moving goods and getting them to their destination on time is of paramount importance and so logistics companies, big and small, are thriving and booming. More than that, delivering much-needed supplies in the medical industries, local governments, and other services require efficiency as we continue to deal with different crises.
Then, of course, there is the need to move people. With social distancing, public transport utilities can’t operate at full capacity, therefore the need for alternative transportation solutions.
It’s still a long way before things go back to how they were, some skeptics are even saying we won’t. Businesses are industries are coping by tapping into their strengths and innovating to adapt to the new economic climate.