Business models: Pivoting to a New Normal with Tech

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the global business landscape with unprecedented challenges. Businesses are forced to adapt and innovate their products and services for a new normal to avoid great losses.

As a result of lockdowns, more companies are quickly embracing digital technology and venturing into online marketplaces to stay in the game…or just to stay afloat.

For example, Scentre Group the owner of Westfield shopping centres in Australia and NZ saw a significant drop in numbers of shoppers amid the pandemic, turned to digital platform to meet customer demands.

They developed a platform to allow shoppers to purchase and pick up items from multiple shops in ONE transaction – all while adhering to social distancing. The click and collect service is called Westfield Direct, which is an initiative to provide the customers with a safe solution from the comfort of their home.

Having more than 350 retailers to choose from – ranging from fresh food to everyday essentials, this service allows customers to order items from multiple outlets and collect the order via contactless drive-thru at a designated area without stepping foot inside the shopping centre.

This way, shoppers can leave home to purchase multiple products in one place without leaving their car.

In Malaysia, small businesses have been severely affected by this outbreak and Grab, a ride-hailing company is shifting its focus to empower these businesses to embrace digital economy on their platform.

In partnership with the merchants to boost their income, Grab launched “Pasar” on GrabMart to enable fresh produce, poultry, meat and seafood sellers to serve their customers in a cashless and contactless way all from the comfort of their home.

This not only helps merchants to generate more income but also help customers save time and avoid crowded areas.

Grab has also initiated Grab Small-Biz Relief programme, to provide financial relief to each small biz merchants in these difficult times. This comes in the form of a rebate for every order made. These efforts have seen positive outcomes for both merchants and customers.

Koloni, a sharing company launched a Smart Locker to eliminate human contact during deliveries during this pandemic. The Smart Locker is a dockless locker that enables people to share products, deliver goods and store items.

With the recent impact from Covid-19, Koloni is working with several companies including restaurants and courier services to help provide contactless delivery solutions. Drivers can access multiple orders from a single locker via their smartphones.

This software-driven approach enables customers to collect their food delivery or parcels with zero human interaction.

While not all can afford to pivot their business model in a blink of an eye, businesses have to develop a resilience plan for the future as the final outcome of this pandemic, is still uncertain.