The Economic Impact of Covid
Are they here to stay …
The coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Some changes are sudden and involuntary developments such as social distancing, wearing masks, not using public transport, limiting travel, etc. On the other hand, it has only accelerated the adoption of behaviors that were already gaining popularity, such as the digitization of shopping, banking, etc.
According to a survey conducted in South Korea, most respondents chose to avoid crowded places or shop online as the biggest daily life change caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). As concerns about the coronavirus rose, most people tended to minimize contact with others by not using public transport and also limiting their outdoor activities.
I believe a lot of research went into many other industries but I would want to narrow my focus to the Service industry which I believe was especially hit badly by this pandemic.
What were some of the significant changes we observed? And are they here to stay?
Consumer behavior change
-High levels of digitization: Even before COVID-19 a lot of services had already been digitized like banking and shopping but the current pandemic has further increased the percentage of people that resorted to this method.
-We also observed a significant change in public transport usage where a most people avoided taking public transport and resorted more to personal mobility devices as a way to avoid crowded areas.
-We also saw a lot of people resort to value purchasing which is buying things that were valuable to them and was also very important for them.
-Before COVID-19 a majority of people were concerned about their health but with the emergence of the pandemic the consciousness of personal hygiene has increased. We could see a significant increase in the purchase of masks and sanitizers.
-Relationships were also very much affected where a lot of people spent a lot of time with their families due to the lockdown and people who were living alone adopted many pets.
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Some changes are sudden and involuntary developments”
The service industry before and after covid
Before: Before COVID services were mostly offered through walk-ins or online reservations and usually there were a lot of people gathered in one place to receive these services.
But due to social distancing and lockdowns this has become close to impossible.
So how best should the service industry deal with this?
- Using online reservations which a lot of service companies did not utilize fully before the pandemic this would help control the number of people that come into the facility at a specific period of time.
- Another thing would be to sanitize places and tools used for rendering services thoroughly.
- Lastly the company can outsource free lancers or AI tools to offer remote services to people who might have not be able to visit the facility in person.