It’s a time of turmoil for practically every individual in the world at this current time. The COVID-19 outbreak has shocked the world. In particular, both small and large ecommerce businesses are feeling the impact as consumers begin to avoid crowds and make themselves housebound.

It’s not just ecommerce either. Brick and mortar, B2B and B2C businesses are all feeling the impact. For this article in particular, we’ll be focusing specifically on the ecommerce business and how the virus is impacting a large scale of this sector. 

Putting strain on social events

Travel restrictions continue to be applied for many countries as governments look to stop the spread of coronavirus. Many events that involve some form of live performance or large crowds are beginning to be postponed, cancelled or rescheduled. This is happening as science experts advise that essential travel should only be permitted.

And it’s being taken extremely seriously. Many global events such as Coachella, Euro 2020 and the Adobe Summit have all cancelled or postponed events as they look to minimise the risk of coronavirus spread. These are extreme marketing events that rely on their audiences to generate revenue. eMarketer have reported that a minimum loss of $500 million could occur from the cancellation of marketing events.

Concerns over delivery

Due to social isolation, many consumers will be relying heavily on online shopping for their goods and products. These will be parties that are working from home, taking sick leave or even self isolating in their home. With a rise in demand, this is causing online businesses to struggle with demand as they look to replenish demand. 

Some consumers are being notified that delays are occurring with their delivery or that the demand has meant orders have had to be cancelled. Many online suppliers also rely on chinese imports for much of their materials and products. However, due to the outbreak many of the companies have had to close their factories which has had a knock on effect for suppliers. This has meant they have had to find alternative solutions to meet the demands of their consumers.

Encouraging innovation

Whilst there have been negative impacts on the ecommerce business, there have also been some positives that have come from it. A real estate developer, Evergrande Real Estate Group, have changed their sales strategy as they retrain staff to engage more staff. They’re doing this by getting them more clued up on social media and virtual reality platforms to outreach their customers. This ensures the business can still continue their operations and allows customers to continue with their purchases that will benefit their future. Even in these times of uncertainty.

Without this outbreak, it’s unlikely that such innovation would have occurred from these businesses. 

Increase on online shopping

Another aspect where businesses are seeing improvement is through online shopping orders. As mentioned previously, due to circumstances for consumers, they’re having to make orders away from traditional methods of shopping. This means many online retailers, whether specialising in a luxury dining table or footwear, have benefitted from the outbreak more than ever. 

In particular, health products, as expected, have seen an increase in demand. is China’s leading largest online retailer and has seen it’s largest demand for common household items. This has meant these products have matched the sales that they would have recorded over a year in the time the outbreak occurred. 

COVID-19 is a global outbreak disease and is impacting all kinds of sectors and industries. It’s clear that businesses in particular are having both negative and positive impacts from what's occurring. Governments are likely to introduce measures that can help to benefit businesses both small and large in these tough times. As the outbreak continues, depending on the circumstances, it’s clear that businesses need to adapt if they’re looking outweigh the virus.

Paul Matthews is a Manchester-based business and tech writer who writes in order to better inform business owners on how to run a successful business. You can usually find him at the local library or browsing Forbes' latest pieces.