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Effects of COVID-19 on ICT Retail Industry

Imagine this, with the current efforts to curb COVID-19, and you are locked in an isolation room, away from everyone, and with no permission to leave the room whatsoever. In there, you have no access to any electronic device. No access to a phone that has, in recent years, become a fundamental component! Imagine spending a week in such an environment? Would it be bearable? Are you picturing the world without ICT? Well, I am convinced that Information Communication technology has been one of the most, if not the most crucial, development in the past few decades. It has helped in connecting the world to a virtually small village. It is through technology that one can receive updates about what is happening around. How would the world be handling the pandemic had there not been ICT? It would be hectic, right? Well, definitely. Then who would have imagined that such an epidemic would affect the retail of ICT components? Since the virus outbreak in China in December 2019, there have been various interventions that economies are taking to shield people from fatalities. It is through these measures that the operations of the ICT retail centers have been affected.

The ICT sector is one very unique industry. The uniqueness is derived from the ability to adapt to the dynamics that prevail in the economies. During the pandemic, ICT retail has been profoundly affected. With the adoption of lockdowns to contain the virus spread, there is a need to keep people updated on the pandemic. As a CSR strategy, ICT retail centers have adopted the responsibility to keep people fully informed of the developments globally (Worldometers, 2020). These efforts have aided in sharing ideas on how to combat the infection, helping nations to be ready with countermeasures if the virus spreads to their regions. They have also helped in giving a detailed analysis of the situation, thus increasing the demand for ICT hardware and software. There has been an increase in the sales as exhibited by the Microsoft statistics that even while other sectors are experiencing dropped sales, the industry has, in the second quarter of 2020, realized a sale increase to 36.91 billion U.S dollars (Microsoft Corporations, 2020). The figures are a boost from the first quarter sales revenue recorded at 33.60 billion U.S dollars. The implementation of the CSR efforts focused on keeping the people informed has increased the demand for ICT appliances.

Another CSR aspect that the ICT retail sector has taken essential steps is in the protection of its shoppers and employees. The retail centers have been equipped with preventive measures such as sanitizers and thermometers that check to ensure the customers are not infected (WHO, 2020). The implementation of other means, such as enhancing social distancing even within the shops, shows high responsiveness to the imminent risk of spreading the virus. Further, some firms have either closed down or allowing employees to work from their homes. These measures in countries who have not declared total lockdowns have played a key role in reducing congestion in their stores, thus protecting the employees from possible infections.

ICT is a vital tool in the efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. The ICT retail stores play a crucial role through their CSR efforts to enhance information sharing and protection of their stakeholders. These efforts are facilitated by the unique structure of the technological components that help in improving the efficiency of their measures. Stay at home, sanitize and remain updated through ICT elements. We shall overcome!

References

Microsoft Corporations. (2020). Microsoft corporation revenue by quarter 2008-2020. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/272746/microsoft-corporations-revenue-by-fiscal-quarters/

WHO. (2020). https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331215/WHO-2019-nCov-IPCPPE_use-2020.1-eng.pdf

Worldometers. (2020). Coronavirus update (Live): 2,083,048 cases and 134,603 deaths from COVID-19 virus pandemic. Worldometer – real time world statistics. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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