Lockdown in India began around mid-March and has been extended to the 3rd of May,2020. While many parts of the country are successful in controlling the spread of coronavirus by quarantining themselves, some are still struggling to prevent its spread. As of 21st April 2020, India has confirmed 18,829 cases of COVID-19 out of which 14,924 are active, 3,246 have recovered and 601 have lost their lives.
The pandemic has immensely affected all industries including the medical/ healthcare industry. Nationally and Internationally, we are facing certain economic issues that will take a long time to recover, especially in terms of traditional businesses that have suffered huge losses in this period.
Another important aspect that we cannot ignore is the consumer hysteria that’s created due to the pandemic. People are worried to go out and are purchasing only what’s necessary, which is a boon considering the preventive measures suggested by health professionals. However, panic buying, stocking up of goods, spreading false information, and being emotionally and mentally affected by the news remain a few of the many causes of economic problems that are rising every day.
This has caused the supply chain to get hampered just as much as the demand market. While the demand for essential goods has elevated, the supply is scarce as many industries are facing difficulty in operating their businesses due to lack of labor. On the other hand, non-essential goods have less to no demand and thus the supply is at a hiatus all over the market.
Impact of COVID-19 on traditional business in India
Let us take a closer look at the impact of coronavirus on traditional business in India and how e-commerce is showing a way forward.
- The entertainment industry including media, news, and television is broadcasting their content online. Since the lockdown, the Government has given strict orders related to the supply of essential goods. This has caused the printing industry to halt the production of their materials and keep their websites, apps and other digital platforms updated. This is a huge shift in the industry as newspapers in both, the traditional as well as in modern times, have been prominent in the printed form only.
- We all know that a lot of companies have allowed their employees to work from home to ensure that the guidelines put up by the Government are followed. This has led to the realization that traditional methods can be avoided. E.g. Meetings and interviews can be conducted online through video conferencing and other available options. Thousands of people are now using video streaming options as certain television series are failing to broadcast new material.
- It is certain that the traditional box office business will not completely vanish. However, during the time of the pandemic, many movie studios are allowing new releases available on video streaming platforms and theatres at the same time. This plays a huge role in the industry as the profitability mainly depends on the box office collection which will be disrupted until the lockdown. People are advised to not gather at places and maybe even after the lockdown is lifted, people would avoid crowded spots like movie theatres. So today Hire Magento developer to create his store website.
- Retailers that never sold goods online have upgraded too. Many stores are providing essential goods through various online platforms while taking care of the hygiene and other preventive measures throughout the buying and selling process, right from ordering to delivering. Shops have been forced to shut down but online mediums are still hoping for both the business organizations and their consumers to thrive in such conditions.
- There are brands that mainly focus on traditional business methods and thus even if they operated online, only a limited amount of goods would be available. The forced shut down of the shops has resulted in an extension in the online services of these stores. Consumers can now find all the products online that were previously available in-store.
- Many have experienced a loss in their employment and in their wages, which is true in the case of traditional businesses. However, the digital stores are growing gradually and more people are looking for goods online which means a lot of job profiles are still safe and when things get back to normal, this economic problem of businesses with traditional methods will be solved. The stores that did not have any online presence are currently out of business.
- Another major economic impact of the coronavirus is observed in the food and beverage industry, including the hotel industry. With the implementation of lockdown everywhere, the restaurants that had only dine-in options are forced to either shut down or enable online ordering and delivery. It is difficult to include modern business methods in huge industries like these and hence in most cases, the restaurants are temporarily closed. With appropriate preventive measures, certain outlets still have permission to operate and deliver food. However, consumers are still hesitant resulting in the downfall of this industry.
- Days before the lockdown was announced, the gyms were already sealed. Many trainers and other teachers have therefore made their sessions online. Not only does this help reach a large number of people but it also makes things easier for everyone as a lot of time can be saved. Many people still prefer to work out in groups and thus this method may not work for them. Also, people who are used to heavy workouts with the help of gym equipment will have difficulty in adjusting to at-home workout and fitness plans. However, business owners and customers who get comfortable with this modern method might continue with it even after the lockdown is lifted.
The industries that were previously hesitant to take up modern business methods are now forced to do it— only to realize that these methods actually have advantages over the traditional ways. Many such businesses may also find it hard to go back to the traditional operations once things get back to normal.
From the consumer point of view, it is difficult to pinpoint whether the population will continue using modern ways or go back to the traditional methods once the lockdown ends. Whatever the case is, coronavirus has largely affected the traditional practice of business operation while helping them integrate modern ways even if it is temporary.