Experience with virus outbreaks such as SARS 2003 that infected 8000 people and killed nearly 80 shows China has a way of getting back on the feet when hit by storms. However, here we are with another outbreak: coronavirus. This is set to hit the economy with a deadlier blow considering the country’s large share in the global economy. Moreover, with the growth of global trade and the netted relationship between countries, economic meltdown, and a global recession is just on the horizon. Abdul fares, an economist and the brain behind a leading eCommerce business brings to you the impact of this deadly disease on business. It is important to gauge the risk of coronavirus and see ways in which your e-commerce business will not be affected by it.
Impact of Coronavirus so far
- Major cities that could boast of huge amounts of factories, production and retail have stopped operation and closed down. This means there will be a significant decrease in production
- With 11, 800 people quarantine, major cities borders closed and people are obliged to stay in their houses, online sales have gone up at a rapid pace. This means people are turning to Ecommerce to buy their necessities instead of the traditional brick-mortar business.
- Big players such as Ali Baba and Amazon are experiencing a skyrocketing increase in the sales of medical products. This includes a surgical face mask, thermometer, and hand sanitizers. This means pharmaceutical industries and businesses are benefitting from the outbreak. While this might not affect the big players, small businesses are more at risk.
- Many tourist trips have been canceled and the transportation industry has been greatly impacted by this coronavirus outbreak. Hotels and airlines are already offering a refund to consumers. The tourist industry and entertainment companies have been devastated by this outbreak and many are suspending operations. Major parks, cruise lines, resorts including Disney are temporarily on halt.
- Starbucks has already shuttered down in some areas and close delivery service. KFC, McDonald, pizza hut have also followed suit.
- The financial market is also not left out. Following the close of Wuhan, a city where the disease is said to be originated. Shocks and panic have crowded the investors’ sentiment and the stock market is experiencing a major decline.
If you are selling medical and healthcare products, now is the time to make good sales. If however, you feel your business will be negatively affected, here the ways you can gauge the risk.
Proactive Approach to Coronavirus Prevention
By now, everyone should have a good understanding of the symptoms, how to protect themselves and discourage the spread of the diseases. Moreover, everyone should have the house stocked with food, water, and hygiene instruments before it runs out recommended by Abdul Fares.
Communicate with your employees, customers, and investors and let them know you have got things under control. Mandate social distancing for your staff if possible and introduce a work from home approach. Let them you have got them covered.
Although some companies that rely on China for components and raw materials are being hit hard, yours might be an exception. Forecast your next order, assess stocks and consider reordering. Going for higher quantity might be your best bet as there might be a risk of shortage in the long run. If this isn’t forthcoming, consider sourcing from alternative suppliers or other low-risk countries.
Manage the Risk
“You might not be able to control the current outbreak but you might be able to control and manage your business in response to the outbreak,” says Abdul fares. Discover what is yet to come and be prepared accordingly. Panicking is not the way out but management of the crises is very important. Plus, be in touch with your customers, and investors and take charge of their expectations.
Many businesses have plans laid down to protect their business and workers. Some are imposing traveling restrictions and canceling holiday partying. Some have closed down and others have introduced a work-from-home method. The bottom line is, be prepared, take the necessary actions and ensure your business and everyone stay safe from coronavirus.