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COVID-19 Dotcom: The Coronavirus and Its Effect on E-commerce

COVID-19 has so far reminded the world just how easily a pandemic can take hold - and international measures have been implemented by most world governments to stop the spread of Coronavirus and allow those already diagnosed to recover.

Access to services, communication and the way in which people and companies conduct their business have all been impacted by the Coronavirus period in some way, and several countries have been placed on total temporary self-isolation lockdown where the spread of the virus is especially severe.

Like the wings of the Butterfly Effect, the Coronavirus has impacted almost every aspect of how we live, work and interact.

Here's how the Coronavirus crisis has impacted the world of cybersecurity and e-commerce so far - and why these industry changes might be here to stay even after the crisis has passed.

1. E-Commerce is Being Embraced - and Could Stay Popular

The public has been cautioned to avoid queues, mass-gatherings and bricks-and-mortar stores for the duration of the Coronavirus isolation period - and naturally, this means that traffic to physical stores have decreased, but the need for goods (and delivery) have increased exponentially.

E-commerce has been embraced by both business and customers during this time, and many have discovered the convenience of e-commerce and delivery services (especially for essential goods, groceries and food) for the first time ever.

There's no doubt that e-commerce will emerge from this far more popular than physically going to stores again for many people even after the worst of the crisis has passed.

2. Cashless is King

Cash used to be King, but cashless transactions have started to take over during a time where people would rather avoid standing in line at the ATM or handling public touch screens and money with their hands.

Suddenly, cashless transactions have become the preferred way to pay for anything - and even people who have never opted for cashless transactions and online banking before are doing it during the time of the Coronavirus.

It's likely that cashless transactions and online transfers could remain the preferred way of paying.

3. Let's Get Together (Online)

There are many essential industries for which business hasn't come to a halt - and this has meant that an increasing number of meetings (even for companies who would never have thought of doing so before) have gone online.

Meeting in cyberspace keeps business the same but reduces the risk of exposure - and cuts out the need for travelling in order to do business.

It's another change that might stick with us even after Coronavirus has left the daily news headlines.

4. Support for Working Online

Self-isolation (as well as imposed quarantine periods and lockdowns in some areas of the world) has meant that businesses have seen the merits of their best employees working from home - and subsequently, they have increased overall support systems for being able to do the same work from the comfort of home.

It might have had such a large impact on the overall work industry that it's not a change that could be expected to just "go back to normal" once Coronavirus regulations are lifted.

It's expected that more companies and employees will still prefer working from home from here on.

5. Entertainment, Gaming and Gambling Goes Home

Careers aren't the only aspect of life that has become easier to achieve from home during the time of the Coronavirus. Entertainment and how we access it has also changed: Streaming services are on the up, with people preferring to get TV shows and movies beamed to their devices rather than to see the same shows in close quarters.

Even online gaming and gambling are industries that have seen an increase in business since the start of the Coronavirus lockdowns.

Will the passing of the Coronavirus lockdowns mean that people suddenly close their Netflix and Showmax accounts? Doubtful: Home entertainment appears to be back in business.

6. Increased Data Tracking 

The need to keep an eye on COVID-19 news and the recommendation to self-isolate has pushed more people in the direction of using their smart devices to better their lives.

What this means for brands, companies and websites is that there is a lot more data going around: More to process, more to analyse - and more to know about your customers if this data can be tracked.

Customers will notice changes in advertising means and methods from now on: More might reach them now than a week ago, and so forth.

With time (and thanks to data tracking), these ads will also eventually become more specific to each customer and focus on what they have been doing and searching while online.

Is the internet advertising exactly what you need?  If it is than thank your data!

7. Increased Access to Free, Essential Information

Access to free information has become easier than before: Especially with information about COVID-19 being in high demand, governments, service providers and many other companies have brought in "free to access" websites where facts about the Coronavirus can be read.

Could this eventually lead to easier access to basics like an internet connection? Hopefully, support for resources like Free Facebook and data-use free information websites leads to more support for better, cheaper internet access: The crisis has reminded us just how important this access is.

8. A Boost for Bitcoin (and Other Cryptocurrencies)

The move towards electronic forms of payment has led to an inevitable boost in cryptocurrencies as once again preferred by many businesses and customers who might have had easier access to these electronic funds over having to stand in line for anything at a bank.

Cryptocurrencies just became easier to deal with during emergency measures and imposed lockdowns: Why carry cash or stand in line when you don't have to? The answer: You don't.

Will the cryptocurrency boom stick around even after we've dealt with most Coronavirus lockdowns and emergency measures? As with anything, only time will tell - but the time of the Coronavirus might have changed the face of how we shop, live and do business forever.

This is a contributor’s article from Alex J. Coyne