Most people are well aware of the havoc that COVID-19 has caused on the economy. CNBC noted in late 2020 how limited shutdowns could batter an already heavily strained economic situation.
The exception to the rule seems to be online businesses. Since the virus has stopped people from visiting storefronts, most consumers are instead getting their goods solely through online purchasing. This choice of an online storefront has led to massive growth for online retailers. Instagram businesses are among those that may have avoided the crunch, but that isn't true in all cases.
COVID-19 and Online Business
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) found that the pandemic has forever changed how consumers see online shopping. Over fears of the virus's spread, many consumers have opted to start shopping from home and limit the amount of time they spend in common areas to lower infection chances. Online businesses have grown significantly, and most companies that didn't have an online presence before the pandemic now find themselves seeking out a presence on the web just to compete. Businesses have even sprung up on social media, using these platforms as feeders for customers. With the powerful targeting tools that social media offers, these businesses stand to build a massive following. Yet, even so, their goods must come from somewhere. The weakness in many of these online businesses doesn't come from their distribution, but their supply chains.
Retail Woes Despite Having an Online Storefront
Anil Dobani is an Instagram business owner dedicated to providing high-quality pieces that match his clients' styles. Having established a massive following of over 28,000 people on the platform, he's set himself up to be one of the most popular jewelers in the greater Atlanta area. Even so, he's had a hard time during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our business depends heavily on suppliers and manufacturers,” Anil confided. “The pandemic hit them pretty hard.” The shutdowns impacted his ability to secure goods and build pieces himself. With such a volatile supply chain, he had to shop around for new suppliers to meet his massive demand, learning a few lessons about setting up a business's supply chain and streamlining his production in the process. “Eventually, we found some great new providers for stock and inventory,” he says in relief, “but it wasn’t an easy journey.”
Approaching the Post-COVID-19 World
With the vaccines already under production, COVID-19's days are numbered, and we may soon return to a semblance of normalcy. Even so, Anil Dobani aims to expand his business somewhat to ensure that he's not caught out if a similar situation happens in the future. Through redundant, reliable suppliers and increasing his workforce to speed up production to cope with demand, he intends to keep growing after the economy opens back up. Anil Dobani is one of many retailers that have seen the darker side of the COVID-19 pandemic as entrepreneurs. However, with the potential that social media offers him, he has a bright future ahead of him.
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