This era is definitely not the best time for business.

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has put most businesses across the world at a state of standstill for weeks since it all started, but certainly not for some virtual enterprises that are reportedly thriving amid a pandemic crisis.

In a matter of weeks, consumer behavior has rowed back as an impulsive reaction to serious issues on regional lockdowns, limited shopping movement, and the fear of contagion. This has driven many people to download apps and shop from online stores instead.

Could it be a farewell to the in-store experience? Well, I bet no one is prepared for this.

Even huge grocery delivery platforms such as Instacart and Walmart Grocery are surprised to witness a dramatic spike in e-commerce sales, considering the upsurge as the highest daily revenue for 2020 with consumer spending that rises to 87.4% year over year.

These platforms are also seeing an immense development in the daily downloads for their respective apps. Typically, these apps are expecting a bracket of tens of thousand to as many as twenty thousand downloads on a daily basis. But, at the height of the crisis, the typical daily downloads have gone up to nearly 50, 000 per day. Hence, compared to the average daily downloads in February to halfway April, big online companies have seen an upsurge by 218% for InstaCart and 160% for Walmart respectively.

This is just an evident result of more and more populations, much of which likely refers to first-time online grocery shoppers, who are incentivized to try doing it whilst playing the rules of social distancing.

Leave at My Door Delivery System

Let’s talk about this “Leave at My Door Delivery” feature that’s been circulating the internet since the coronavirus crisis started. This flexible feature is initially designed by various Home Delivery platforms to serve customers who may not be home at the time of delivery. Thanks to this flexible system, it is now becoming a convenient option for customers in major cities during this trying time.

But what happens next after experiencing significant growth in customer acquisition rates? Could virtual stores save the global economy from?

For some e-commerce analysts, there is no visibility whether virtual stores upsurge will carry us all through these uncertain financial times. Given not all delivery stores are experiencing this upsurge. Food delivery businesses, as one great example, are reportedly slowing down during the time when consumers react to both expenses of food delivery and the relative safety of being unaware of how the food is being prepared.

Meanwhile, some economists are showing optimism as they believe that once the crisis is over, consumers, especially those who belong to older generational consumers born in the brick-and-mortar shopping era, will return to physical stores, shopping malls, and other social-centered places.

Only that this global crisis must be a strong signal for many enterprises to become prepared should the world experience the same crisis in the future. This will drive retail stores to develop new strategies and roll out contingency plans, such as investing in virtual delivery services, in order to survive the business and avoid experiencing something similar to this fall down again.