This post is also available in: Japanese
COVID-19 is forcing us all to rethink our business models. For many larger companies I suspect it will be a good cover for undertaking some of the more drastic measures that they may have been considering before the pandemic took hold. I am even less optimistic about the future of car manufacturing in the UK than I was when there was just the impact of Brexit to consider, for example.
Many of the small retailers in my city have shut down and moved online. They are taking orders through their Facebook pages and posting lists of the products that they have available.
The supermarkets are mostly delivering only to elderly and vulnerable people, so the rest of us are having to drive or carry home staples from the supermarket – trying to buy in bulk to keep the number of shopping trips to the minimum.
I already anticipated that we would have to focus on buying staples, and that treats would be welcome so I signed up for subscriptions to monthly cheese deliveries and weekly healthy snack deliveries. You do not have much choice over what you get, but you can tell the company your preferences and dislikes. I am also getting creative with food which has been in my store cupboard for a while but I have never tried to cook with before.
It reminds me of the time when I used to have organic vegetable boxes delivered once a week – there was anticipation and enjoyment in seeing what had been delivered and finding a recipe to fit the ingredients. But in wintertime this became more depressing, when faced with nothing but root vegetables.
Human beings around the world need to be in control of their food supply to feel secure, but after a certain point, want to be able to choose so they can enjoy what they cook and eat. So I predict the food market stalls will all be back once the pandemic is over, but with a new customer base of people who have the staple foods delivered to them.
I’ve also been subscribing to more on Amazon – pet food, coffee, tea, laundry liquid. Amazon has just announced that it is prioritizing these kinds of basic supplies over its original business of books and music.
So content providers (of which I am one) are also having to rethink how to get their products to their customers digitally. I have been a big fan of political satire – on TV and on radio. Most of these shows were filmed in front of a live audience. Initially, when they tried to record the shows without an audience, in the usual format, the result was very boring. But now they are becoming more creative with the format and are funny again.
I am using my time at home to revise our eLearning, put sample modules up on YouTube and make new videos. This is our challenge whatever business we are in – to work with the constraints to innovate.
This article was originally published in Japanese in the Teikoku Databank News on 24th June 2020
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