As you would expect, the urban technological industry that depended on close contact co-working, ride-sharing, and online rentals have taken severe damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. Services like Uber and Airbnb have had to cut thousands of jobs. Additionally, Juul, Yelp, WeWork, and many other start-ups cut jobs to ensure their survival.
On the other hand, companies are totally focused on urban deliveries, and urban informatics are growing substantially. Amazon, Instacart, and Zoom are the finest examples of such companies that have experienced growth and serious development during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Instacart has recently experienced an order increase to 500% and secured $13.7 billion in the past year, which is almost $5 billion more than their last round in 2018.
Urban informatics has efficiently provided several information, including keeping track of the virus, identifying infection, and locating hot spots. As cities continue to reopen, digital technologies are being used to test and trace the virus effectively without any physical contact.
Several companies have been forced to change their business strategies and model, with companies like Uber pivoting from moving people to delivering and transporting essentials. Restaurants have changed from dine-in to complete online food delivery and dine-out. Students and families are adjusting to online learning, and people are being used to online ordering of groceries and household essentials instead of going to the store.
Several companies like HelloFresh and Blue Apron have ridiculed for sourcing food themselves. In the coronavirus crisis, these companies have shined exponentially. By delivering meal kits that customers can make in their kitchen, these companies have complete control over the supply without relying on any restaurants, providing adequate safety from covid-19.
Several food delivery companies have capitalized on the idea of leaving the order at your doorstep. Nearly 4 out of 10 people opt for the “Leave at My Door Delivery” as their drop-off option on InstaCart since March 2020. The feature was initially meant for customers not at home during the delivery, but with the rise in Covid-10, there was an increased demand for this feature.
Changing Shopping Forever
With the pandemic, an increased number of consumers use delivery, curbside, and pick-up-at-store options for their grocery shopping necessities. Big grocers like Walmart have been experimenting with fulfilling online deliveries in recent years, but Covid-19 sped up the process, and the efforts took shape almost overnight.
Companies have created automated mini-warehouses and are opening up “dark stores” to meet customer delivery and pick-up order demands. Compared to the average app download rate, February and mid-march have experienced a 160% increase in application download for Walmart and a 124% increase for Shipt. They are not alone in this race; Target application hit its record download of 531000 daily downloads on the first day of March, which was double the number of downloads in February.
Food like Pizza was a staple during the lockdown. Papa John capitalized on the digital ordering capabilities by launching Facebook Instant Order and a custom ordering application for Apple TV that surpassed 60% of all business sales on a digital platform.
As customers need change that potentially becomes the new normal, businesses must consider how the virus is impacting the businesses, their products, and their service patterns. Businesses that prioritize long-term relations and innovation are the only ones successfully moving forward in the pandemic.