The new normal - GulfToday

The new normal


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented crisis in the history of mankind. There are no readymade solutions in a manual or from a business school textbook. The trauma of COVID-19, has led to significant changes in human behaviour. Human beings will no longer consider themselves infallible. Nobody will ever take anything for granted, ever again. An invisible virus brought the entire planet to a complete halt. The virus was a great equaliser, it attacked with complete immunity. It attacked presidents; it attacked paupers. Human beings learnt to live in their homes, without stirring out for months.

People economised and survived on bare minimum savings.  We worked from homes. The laptop, WIFI and Zoom, saved the world, it would appear, for they have kept the wheels of business moving. Companies and people were able to work remotely and at lower costs. So, businesses will now deploy this strategy in the future too.

Most people learnt to buy what they need, not what they fancied or what was great to own. We are learning, how little we really need, to live. Luxuries and expensive brands are exiting our lives.

The markets and businesses have also changed irrevocably due to COVID-19 lockdowns. COVID-19 has changed shopping habits, across the world. During the lockdowns, consumers have got habituated to shopping online for everything they need, including essentials like flour, rice, pickles, pastas, etc.

Consumers have shopped online, due to sheer necessity. However, they have enjoyed the experience of having products delivered at their homes, with a few clicks on their laptops. Online sales of all products have increased.  As brick-and-mortar retail outlets downed their shutters, online sales moved North.  Retailers have gone back to their drawing boards, to chart new strategies for a chastened market and consumer. So, retailers will spruce their online portals. Most corporations across the world are evaluating B2C (Business to Consumer) distribution channels. This channel will grow exponentially in the future.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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