Coronavirus is interesting because people seem to be either in panic mode or complete denial. It’s either, “The world is ending, let’s stock up on dunny paper!” or “What’s the big deal, it’s all media hype?”
I have to admit, initially I was the later, thinking it was all media hype over a basic flu, but now my opinion has somewhat shifted. Whilst I’m not going to run out and stock up on 6 months supply of loo paper, my opinions have changed slightly about the whole corona virus pandemic (it was announced today by the World Health Organisation that it is now a pandemic).
It is a huge concern for hospitals World-wide on how this virus is going to play out and if our medical system will be able to cope with the influx of people coming in with symptoms. The good news I suppose is the vast majority of cases (80+%) of people have only mild symptoms, similar to a regular cold or flu. In fact, the symptoms for many are so mild, that it’s now suspected that large numbers of people who have the virus aren’t aware of it.
So whilst the virus outbreak might have a temporary negative impact on the small percentage that get really sick from the virus (less than 0.5% if you are healthy and under the age of 60) and the economy, there are certainly some positives to consider if you have (or you are considering starting) an online retail business.
1. Quarantine = more people at home
With some Countries going into lock down, and a lot of businesses World-wide telling their staff to work from home, this will have a negative impact on bricks and mortar or physical stores. Bricks and mortar stores have been impacted negatively in recent times by the increase in online shopping, and with the arrival of the COVID-19, this is going to get worse for anyone that has a physical store (not online).
So, if you are stuck at home, not really sick and you are bored, what are you going to do? Surf the internet and shop online!
Online shopping is growing year on year and by 2023 we are expecting over 90% of the population to be doing most of their shopping online.
2. Interest rates at an all time low
The banks have cut interest rates World-wide, with some countries reporting interest rates as low as what we saw during the 2008 recession. So now is a good time to take the leap as credit right now is the cheapest we have seen in a long time, and a lot of banks are encouraged to lend more to stimulate our economy.
Check out this article discussing how low interest rates will help the British economy.
3. Share market is unstable
The stock market has taken a massive hit from the COVID-19 virus. The share market is always volatile based on any world events, so now is a great time to diversify your risks and invest in a business.
Having a business is classed as an asset and there are plenty of tax benefits with investing in a business versus the stock market, not to mention the possibility of growing the business and selling the asset for a pretty penny.
I know plenty of people that have afforded to pay out their mortgages with the money they achieved from the sale of their business.
4. Global working (from home) habits could change
What we’re seeing now is an increase in quarantining—people staying home, working from home, flights cancelled, Countries put on lockdown.
It certainly seems that as the weeks pass more people will end up working from home as an impact of the virus, and in turn this is likely to have a major impact on global working habits which means now has never been a better time to start a business online.
So whilst the media is all doom and gloom and implying a lot of countries might head into recession (we have all heard this before ?), overall it is a good opportunity for online retailers.
The current stand with suppliers is we aren’t seeing much impact at all Nationally, obviously China has been impacted greatly by the virus with its production of consumer goods such as phones, clothing, and automobiles for the past several weeks. But this hasn’t been felt at a local level.
The good news for China manufacturing is that in the last few days China has started reopening its factories in an effort to restart its economy, so I doubt we will see much of an impact of goods being supplied for online retailers locally.
So if you are thinking about starting a business, check out our current websites for sale here or get in touch!