Corona Impact: Rise of the Traditional Retail
The world as we know it has pretty much ended and both the individuals and the businesses are trying to come to terms with it and figure the way forward. All the books and expert opinions on consumer behavior stand null and void as there is absolutely no previous experience to deal with this. Everyone is on a trial and error mode and despite all this, there seems to be one sector that has seen a healthy boost- Traditional retail.
The advent of e-commerce sites and overall digitization seemed to mark the beginning of an end for the traditional retail sector. The E-commerce sites catered to the convenience and occasional laziness of the consumer where everything was just an app away. Reduced delivery timelines and a wider availability were clearly working in their favor. The advantages on the traditional store’s end were immediate purchase and force of habit, both of which were increasingly changing. It quite literally took a pandemic to change the narrative at least temporarily.
Just to recap on things, the moment lockdown and social distancing were announced, everyone in the world was pretty much on an action mode to get to any possible store to stock up or, in some cases, hoard the essentials. All the consideration and solidarity for fellow human beings went out of the window as panic shut down all reason. Things like handwash, sanitizers and toilet papers that were once taken for granted, now became worth their weight in gold. Once fully stocked shelves now lay barren as people continued to scavenger for anything that could be useful during the lockdown. The stores had to quite literally put time and purchase volume caps on people to restrict hoarding. All the online delivery sites, including Amazon, stopped delivering after a point of time. This was an added advantage for traditional retail.
The last couple of months have more than made up for the slowing retail. The FMCG industry also has seen an increase in demand. Now is the perfect time for the local business to tweak their systems and meet the demand. A lot of digital solutions are available to make the process and transition smoother and it’s only imperative that they get adopted sooner than later. The course of action for the sector will continue to develop via trial and error and if leveraged upon correctly, corona might actually slow the retail apocalypse.