Digital commerce

Our observations during COVID-19

  • Huge amounts of red tape that have stifled progress and innovation have been cut through overnight to enable a huge range of new transactions and accelerate digital delivery.
  • Face-to-face industries are being catalysed into remote delivery – telehealth, remote schooling, fitness and higher education.
  • Hybrid industries (mix of physical and digital) are reaching unprecedented scale – online retail, restaurant delivery and streaming entertainment.

Our predictions for a post-COVID-19 world

Large-scale acceleration of digital transformation across industries will happen simultaneously

Our new digital and increasingly mobile-first behaviour will be sustained. This accelerated growth in digital interactions will play out at scale across all industries – impacting both large and small enterprises. Cash-constrained organisations risk being stuck in the second tier and will struggle to recover and compete.

Home delivery demand will drive significant infrastructure investments

Sustained demand for delivery will remain as consumers embrace the convenience of it. Significant investment in logistics and delivery infrastructure will be required to be able to respond to this sustained surge. On-demand delivery options will expand for consumers willing to pay extra for near or narrow delivery windows. Many companies will struggle to optimise growing delivery costs, which will be further impacted by the cost and logistics challenges of growing returns.

New models of education delivery may remain out of necessity

Primary, secondary and tertiary education have all been thrust to a digital delivery mode. If cross-border travel remains difficult in the post-coronavirus world, it’s important to consider how our export-dependent university sector can respond. The ability to deliver rich remote learning experiences will prove pivotal for universities.

If globally tertiary education shifts to remote learning models – even if just partially – competition will increase significantly, as location is less of a deciding factor for international students. Campus experience won’t drive brand value in the same way, requiring new approaches to differentiate against global competition.

Digitisation is now a front office imperative

Initially a base-level digital product or service will suffice, but consumers will increasingly scrutinise value propositions as digital expands their choices, enables comparison and fuels new competition. Consumers will expect a personalisation of the experience (e.g. product recommendations and communications) that leverages data to generate true insights. This will require businesses to partner across their broader ecosystem to create truly innovative, customer-first value propositions. Many of the new market leaders will be those who offered superior experiences during coronavirus.

The dawn of our cashless society

Australians’ relationship with cash was already starting to feel antiquated. During coronavirus, cash was seen as unhygienic and inconvenient so digital and contactless payment methods became standard.

What we need to consider

How can physical spaces change to be relevant in a digital world?

There will always be a need for physical interactions in commerce. But with transactional elements being increasingly digital, remaining physical interactions must add value.

  • How will companies modify their physical footprint to provide more meaningful experiences, surprise and delight customers and support physical connections?
  • How will physical spaces adapt to survive enduring concerns around safety and population density?

More predictions for a post-COVID-19 world

These themes were selected by comparing emerging trends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within each theme, we engaged KPMG professionals to develop hypotheses on what a post-COVID-19 world might look like.

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