Pandemic will be single biggest catalyst in the transition to digital commerce
The coronavirus pandemic will serve as the single biggest catalyst in the transition to a digital economy. The infrastructure exists and works exceptionally well, there's a need unlike ever before, and digital commerce is more insulated from the economic dangers facing many small physical businesses.
This isn't a new idea. I wrote about the idea that ecommerce is well-positioned to make giant leaps in the first post of this iteration of the blog. For the last 15+ years, ecommerce has grown slowly and steadily. This will serve as a step-change. Thus far, it is playing out that way based on reports that show ecommerce has grown by nearly 50% between March and April.
In many areas, buinesses are beginning to reopen to varying degrees. This will not slow the shift - and could actually increase the rate of adoption. Nearly every business will consider investing in more digital commerce means. Curbside pickup will rise for many stores, online appointment setting will become a necessity for service businesses, and contactless payment will be emphasized, among other changes.
Businesses and consumers and both unlikely to snap back to the old way of doing things because there's a clear risk to doing so. The businesses that trive will be those that adapt by shedding unneccessary overhead, decreasing physical locations limitations, and adding digital commerce opportunities. There's no going back.