COVID-19 has shaken every corner of the earth and changed almost everything in its path. With physical contact being restricted and social distancing being encouraged, the marketplace has shifted from physical to online means. Online shopping is not new to this world, but it is the best option to carry out transactions at the moment.
In this article, readers will get to know how the shipping companies in Australia are coping with this pandemic. Have they changed their business models to cater to the needs of the people? Are there winners and losers even amongst the competitors in the online shopping industry? Continue reading to find out more about these issues.
How has online shopping emerged as the best option to carry out transactions?
One has to know some details about the coronavirus to understand why online shopping shows minimal chances of slowing down. This virus can live up to three days on surfaces like packages. So now, by the time the online shopping sites package a person’s order, and the buyer receives it at his or her doorstep, the virus is most likely to be impotent.
In contrast, if a person buys commodities or any item at a physical store, it is possible that the person may contract the virus. There is a higher chance for a person purchasing things in a physical store to get affected by the COVID-19 than it is for someone making orders of the same products online. These statements do not mean that it is impossible to contract the virus. It only means that the risk is relatively low.
After WHO released its official statement on this matter, online shopping has become the safest option to cater to the unlimited needs and wants of the people. It is the form of transaction that takes both social distancing and minimizing physical contact into consideration. These are the two most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The role of shipping companies in Australia and the impact of the COVID-19
Since now everyone is depending upon online shopping and getting packages delivered to their doorstep, the role of shipping companies has become more critical than ever. The demand for this specific type of service has shot up exponentially.
Now that major shipping companies in Australia know how important their role has become, they have changed their approach to meet these demands. After all, no one can stop the delivery of essentials and medical supplies, whether the COVID-19 stays or goes. These are necessary items without which people cannot survive.
Shipping companies in Australia have faced many delivery delays because transport has been restricted to a certain degree. There have been frequent flight cancellations as well, which has led to further delays. However, these shipping companies have adapted to the change. And they are continuing to deliver packages even during an unprecedented situation like this.
Coping with COVID-19
This pandemic has affected all types of businesses and services, including Australia’s shipping industry. In this section of the article, readers will become aware of the “coping mechanism” of shipping companies and how they are dealing with the issues brought about by the pandemic.
Here are some steps Australia Post and Toll Priority are taking to continue their business in the midst of COVID-19:
- Putting the health of the workers and customers as their number one priority
- Temporarily closing off or changing the opening hours of some offices
- Informing customers about the possibility of delays regarding deliveries and collection times due to a sharp increase in demand
- Keeping Parcel Lockers operational all over Australia
- No longer collecting signatures for accepting parcels
- Circulating awareness about the COVID-19 to prevent it from spreading amongst the workers and customers
- Continuously updating customers about the impact of coronavirus on their functions
- Asking customers not to visit the post office unless entirely necessary
- Requesting and encouraging workers to stay at home and take care of themselves if they feel unwell
- Cleaning and disinfecting the workplace regularly to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for the coronavirus
- Following the quarantine practices and travel advice by local authorities
- Activating business continuity plans to maintain operations even during partial lockdowns and restrictions
In addition, the shipping companies in Australia are trying their best to communicate with their customers through their websites. If a person has any questions regarding their parcels or orders, they are there to give the answers he or she asks. If anyone wants more information, they can check out the official websites and look for the answers in the FAQ section.
Is everyone in the online shopping industry winning?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Not all the businesses in the online shopping industry are thriving at the moment. Companies like Seafolly, an Australian bikini brand, has gone bust in recent days. Also, Companies like Groupon and its competitors like LivingSocial and Tippr are facing some problems trying to keep up with the changes taking place.
This problem is because Groupon depends on connecting their customers or subscribers with local merchants. As small businesses are shutting down, the company has found it challenging to carry out their activities. With its customers purchasing less and not accepting the discounts Groupon is offering, their growth has seen a sharp decline. Their stocks have also seen better days. The Groupon Stocks are going up for trade at high discounts.
Some other losers in the business world are airlines, hotels, and event-management groups. However, one cannot consider these businesses as online industries.
On the other hand, some online businesses and companies like facemask companies, online streamers, ecommerce sites like Phonebot selling new and demo phones and remote working platforms like Zoom are basking in their glory days. Since the demand for facemasks has increased by a significant amount, the companies which sell these products have received more orders than usual, thereby increasing their profits. Similarly, Phonebot has also reported that demand for older iPhones has shot up overnight as consumers are increasingly looking for bang for their buck. Apple iPhone 7 sales at Phonebot have sky rocketed more than any other iPhone in last 6 weeks.
With considerable importance given to social distancing, experts and the local authorities have encouraged people to work from home. As such, communication tool platforms like Zoom and Skype have been beneficial in keeping the home-workers connected.
As many people have nothing to do at home, many people look for entertainment through YouTube and social media. Online streamers and content creators are also amongst the winners during this pandemic.
There is no one or no business that COVID-19 has not affected. While some companies strive to continue with their operations, some have seen huge losses, and some have seen equally significant growth. Online shopping does not look like it is going to stop its services regardless of what else this unpredictable situation has in store for the world.