As the successive waves of lockdown brought the shutters down on all business, small and medium businesses have had to address acute loss of business. The disruptive changes occasioned by Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in the use of digital technologies to mitigate the challenges (Richter, 2020). This paper examines how small retail businesses have integrated digital tools to manage the crisis, and whether this will add long term value for their business. Digitization offers SMEs opportunities to improve efficiency of operations and effectiveness of their customer relationships. Covid-19 has been a shock to the sector, and had a rapid digital learning curve as the normal methods of operations had to be ceased or reduced. This study was conducted among SMEs in India to understand their use of digital technology, and how Covid 19 has impacted the digitization. Response was collected through an online survey. Digitization was accelerated by the pandemic, specifically to access customers and to maintain business operations. On the front end, digital payment options were enhanced for the convenience of customers, just as businesses started leveraging social and messaging platform for accepting orders, and showcasing promotional offers. Digitization was even more pronounced for back-end operations and vendor management.
Vasudevan, S. (2021). Saving grace: Digitization to stay or address crisis? In C. Cobanoglu, & V. Della Corte (Eds.), Advances in global services and retail management (pp. 1–11). USF M3 Publishing. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/9781955833035
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