COVID-19 Pandemic: Consumer & Business Shifts and Climate Change
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
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We are facing an unprecedented challenge brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not only affecting business and society but also reshaping the global economy as a whole. Businesses who are quick to pivot themselves in times of crisis will become more productive and be in a better position to deliver. Customers too will experience enforced behavioural change in their daily activities from remote working to learning tools and e-commerce. It is also imperative for us to continuously create a healthy environment, and promote universal health coverage, which can reduce the long-term health impacts.
COVID-19 pandemic has led a series of government responses, which resulted in consumers and businesses having to respond accordingly. (refer to the figure below)
Under the effect of COVID-19, we posit that there will be an imminent shift involving the governments, consumers and businesses. (refer to the figure below)
The global economy is heading towards a recession as the hit to economic activity from COVID-19 pandemic has gotten more severe. Thus, governments across the globe will continue to stimulate the economy by providing financial aid packages to both businesses especially vulnerable sectors (e.g. healthcare, tourism and SMEs) and consumers.
The pandemic had reduced physical shopping and led to an increased usage of technology to fulfill their buying behaviour. These crisis-buying patterns will speed up adoption of new and permanent behaviour change. Ultimately, the customer decision journey will change. This will benefit businesses that have presence and ready business models in direct-to-consumer, e-commerce and telemedicine.
As COVID-19 pandemic has led to a national lockdown, businesses especially retail and F&B industries are expected to respond in three unique manners – digital transformation, resilience development and economic expectation.
COVID-19 pandemic effect is causing a global reduction in human activities resulted an outcome of better air quality. Air pollution exceeds malaria, violence, HIV/AIDS, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse as a global cause of premature death. The short term impact change of human habits usage of energy at global scale and improve overall health. The long-term impact can be achieved only if proper measures are taken. The pandemic may hinder progress on the transition to renewable energy as countries might focus on boosting economic growth instead.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic development continues to be the main agenda of world economies amid weakening trade and investment. The focus now has shifted to ensuring public health and safety through lockdowns and social distancing at global scale to flatten the infection curve. At the same time, governments are pushing through with fiscal and monetary measures to address the decline in economic activities. As a result, the global initiatives to implement the climate plan, is likely to be sidelined, unfortunately.
Climate change global impact brings both Direct and Indirect ‘catastrophic outcomes’ to human life in the long run. Currently, economic development programme such as recovery plan for COVID-19 can incorporate essential climate change considerations such as making buildings and homes more energy efficient, modernising transmission infrastructure, investing in zero-emission public transportation and, increasing reforestation and tree restoration efforts.
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