Most people fall into one of 2 camps when it comes to the current Coronavirus pandemic. Toilet paper hoarding panic mode or the media is controlling us!! Okay, so those are 2 extreme opposite ends of the spectrum, but there’s no escaping the fact that regardless of what the truth actually is, it is impacting our way of life in dramatic ways. Schools are closing, events are being cancelled, pro sports leagues are suspending operations, and sadly, even many businesses are on the brink of having to shut down their doors permanently. And there’s no doubt that the coronavirus effects businesses.

So no matter what your opinion of the merit of this virus and its threat to society, there’s no denying that it is creating a multiplier effect on what was already a trend towards online buying behavior vs. offline. There was no doubt that our newer generations were already living predominantly digital lifestyles…opting for their devices vs. real world buying and decision making behavior. But this current outbreak is going to take it to a whole other level forcing people of all ages to rethink how they live their lives and how they buy. If you own a business or influence one, now is the time to really think hard about how your business is investing in its online strategies and whether you’re prepared to cater to this new world.

coronavirus effects

It doesn’t matter if your products or services are designed for in-store experiences, now is the time to re-think how your business can evolve to ensure it survives this changing dynamic. Whether it’s creating new product lines, better leveraging content marketing and social media strategies to keep customers connected to your brand, or even thinking bigger about new business ideas that capitalize exclusively in a digital world, you’ve got to think differently. Subscription-based delivery services and remote focused technology offerings are going to explode in growth as more and more people choose to shop and make their buying decisions from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

coronavirus effectscourtesy of:

Take a look at the above graphic and how Nielsen is projecting the impact of this latest pandemic. Take note of #4, #5 and #6. The trends were already pointing in this direction, but this latest episode is only going to increase the velocity of ecommerce and online buying behavior.

Per the Nielsen report:

“We’re already seeing additional markets enter the threshold of “restricted living.” As patterns begin to emerge in response to news events of this nature, it will be imperative for companies to learn from these scenarios so they can sustain growth even in times where COVID-19 has uprooted people’s lives. These patterns will help provide leading and trailing indicators to those trying to understand how people will respond as developments continue to play out at different times in different countries,” McKenzie said.

– Nielsen’s Global Intelligence leader Scott McKenzie

The key term from this quote is “restricted living”. Whether you believe in the seriousness of this particular virus shouldn’t matter. What should is the reaction and behaviors of the world from it, and the fact of the matter is, people are going to change their buying behaviors more than ever.