E-Commerce and Retail
Most of us have seen some version of this chart that shows how the Covid pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption:
What is interesting to me is that it has also impacted in person retail experiences.
Most restaurants in NYC are not passing out menus anymore. They just have a QR code at the table that you aim your phone camera at and are taken to the menu.
At my regular coffee shop in NYC, they now encourage ordering in advance versus standing in line to order your coffee. I took this photo while waiting for my coffee to come out yesterday:
The initial download and setup of the Toast Takeout app takes a few minutes. It is not something I would have done in the past. But now that ordering online vs lining up to order is the way that this coffee shop mostly works, I was happy to make that investment of time. And now, that’s the way I get my coffee every morning. I don’t think I or any other regulars will go back to lining up when the pandemic is over.
My point is this. Retail will come back after the pandemic. There are many reasons why we like to go into places and shop and drink and eat with others. I think we will enjoy that experience more than ever once we can do it again. But we will do it differently and more efficiently than we used to do it because we all learned some new tricks during the pandemic. And that is a good thing.