A decade or two ago, the want or need to purchase goods or services meant getting dressed, ensuring that one had physical cash, trotting to the nearest physical location of required goods or services to make the purchase and finally making their way back home. Seems a bit “archaic” today right? Currently, goods and services are just a click away, but, how did we get here? As time progressed so did our infatuation with education advancement and building careers, we began to invest time into pursuing our educational and career oriented dreams, time that at one point would’ve been used to go shopping. I’m sure many of us can recall those all day shopping excursions that adults would go on, returning at the end of the day winded and lugging bags upon bags of their purchases.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, we simply did not have the time to make a habit of this practice anymore, what was once looked forward to simply became a tedious time consuming task. People still needed goods and services, they just needed their retail therapy to become more user and time friendly, and so E-commerce was born. Consumers were given the ability to conduct commercial transactions electronically and the normal consumer/retailer relationship as we knew it would be revolutionized forever. Slowly goods and services were introduced to the online market and there was a shift in retail culture. For years brick and mortar businesses continued to thrive despite E-commerce’s steady growth in popularity. We still enjoyed sitting in restaurants, trying out outfits before we purchased them and the human contact that the brick and mortar businesses allowed us to experience.
Fast forward to 2020 and Covid-19 has made its entrance and quite frankly dominated and dictated our conversations and everyday way of life. We were introduced to the new normal of social distancing, lock-downs, and essentially for some of us life seemed to pause, unless of course you were deemed essential, in that case life got a serious adrenaline boost. Though life seemed to stand still as all of the world watched this virus “do its thing” our need to consume did not.
We still needed access to food, clothing and other essential and non-essential items, it was at that point that E-commerce during Covid-19 became an essential commodity and introduced us to what might be our new normal for a long time. Despite the new normal being beneficial to those of us who were “stuck” at home, another group silently suffered. With the social distancing orders, essential and non-essential business classifications and lockdown orders in place, brick and mortar businesses were forced into closing their doors for longer periods than was the norm, with some being forced to close their doors permanently due to hard financial hit brought about by Covid-19.
Have we stopped to ponder on what an E-commerce free society would look like during the Covid-19 pandemic? Sounds frightening, doesn’t it? Imagine being at home, with no access to our essential needs and no means to get them to us. Surely it’s safe to say that E-commerce during Covid-19 was a savior to many, from the non-essential people “stuck” at home to the essential employees and businesses who required items which were normally sourced from storefronts, we all highly relied on E-commerce during Covid-19 to get by.
Thanks to the presence of E-commerce during Covid-19 not only were those bunkered at home as a result of stay in place orders retail needs met, E-commerce also ensured that essential personnel and businesses were adequately and safely stocked with all necessities. Health Care providers such as hospitals, hospices and nursing homes could all function properly knowing that the gloves, hand sanitizer and surface disinfectants they needed to reduce the risk of transmission to their patients would be delivered without personnel visiting the usual retail and wholesale centers.
While life as we knew it seemed to halt, we couldn’t simply accept defeat, we had to embrace the new normal and change accordingly. Meetings which were usually held in boardrooms and conference rooms were now being held in bedrooms and at dining room tables as the nation saw scores of professionals being asked to work from home.
Businesses had to redirect sales and reinvent themselves, one such example being the restaurants who shied away from actual food preparation and moved to the sale of grocery and essential items such as gloves. Some restaurants were forced to serve only take-out customers as dining in slowly became a favorite past time memory. Even the delivery service that we greatly rely on now has upgraded to provide contactless delivery, completely diminishing the risk of human to human transmission of covid-19. And finally we moved closer to becoming a completely cashless society as businesses all moved towards online payment systems.
Seven months into the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say that most aspects of our new normal is here to stay. Most changes brought about by covid-19 have been embraced and cemented into our everyday routines. It’s official, the new normal has been accepted as the new normal. We’ve subscribed to staying in place, once cluttered streets are now traversed mostly by the neighborhood delivery officer, people aren’t rushing to malls or standing in lines for what seems like hours to make purchases, instead, time is being used to embrace those around us, getting to know ourselves and essentially enjoying each moment. Though the same cannot be said for those delivery officers who some of us see as extra essential, as they busily deliver our packages to our doorsteps thanks to boom of e-commerce during covid-19.
Things are still uncertain, while some nations and states are happy to see covid-19 cases decreases, others bunker down for the imminent “second wave”.
We can all agree that this pandemic has resulted in an unanticipated global paradigm shift as we’ve all had to adjust to today’s new normal. Online shopping has replaced the usual brick and mortar shopping experience and without a doubt they’re here to stay. To conclude, the use of e-commerce during covid-19 has been a huge driving force behind our abilities to live comfortably and has changed the way that we work and play for years to come.