It is critical that no matter what choices small and medium businesses make now, that they also consider sustainability in the long-term.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has dominated every news website, permeated every conversation, taken up more mental space than it ever should have and continues to cast a shadow over businesses. Yet, just because the crisis is essentially inescapable doesn’t mean every industry should simply retreat, close down and wait for this crisis to pass. So many small and medium-sized businesses, whether they’re restaurants, smaller grocers or retailers, don’t have the same infrastructure or cash pile as the behemoths, but there’s still plenty of room for them to adapt, ride out the storm and set themselves up for long-term success.
Adding fuel to the fire
Online grocery sales in the United States grew by 15% in 2019 and online food delivery for restaurants stood at $18 billion in revenue for 2019, with projections that it would, without the current crisis, grow to $24 billion by 2020. E-commerce had similarly rapid growth, with a 19% jump over the past year, growing ever closer (it’s already at around three-fourths of the way) to $1 trillion in domestic revenue.
What COVID-19 did was speed up this process, and while sales may be down overall in the current turmoil, it has sped up adoption of online purchases across the board, creating habits that won’t simply die out when the crisis ends.
That’s why it’s important that smaller and medium-sized businesses seize the moment and create the delivery operation that will not only save jobs now, but also sustain them into the future.