We should embrace the digital economy

It has been almost two years since the Covid-19 pandemic struck our country. Numerous economic sectors, such as services, manufacturing, construction, have been tremendously affected.

Many people, especially unemployed workers, have to bear the brunt of the storm. They are experiencing enormous stress due to the fact they have no income to put food on the table for their families. The last resort of committing suicide is not the panacea for the problem.

They can choose a vast array of options to ensure that their lives would not be devastated by the pandemic. We must be obliged to the digital economy for cushioning the deleterious impacts of the pandemic on the economy and society. Those who embrace the digital economy will survive better. This suggests that our economic activities transpire by employing innovative digital technologies. We can buy goods and services using various applications on our mobile phones, such as Foodpanda, GrabFood, Lazada, etc.

The advent of the digital economy can pave the way for success in wading through the pandemic. Unemployed workers can run online businesses to rake in huge profits. There are many businessmen and businesswomen who have flown high in online business. Due to the inability to interact and contact their customers, online business has come to the fore. Some people who might not know how to use it prior to the pandemic now use it regularly.

The digital economy can provide great opportunities for them to sell goods not only in the domestic market but also in international markets. For our safety in the face of several adversities in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, they have to be wise to take other alternatives to ensure that the economy does not remain sluggish. Thus, running online businesses is deemed to be one of the best alternatives.

New start-up businesses face hard times reaching their customers due to the lack of awareness about their products in the market coupled with the movement restriction. Reaching as many customers as possible is one of the goals for businesses. It is imperative for them to identify their different target customer segments. This is because different types of customers prefer different types of products. The ability of businesses to diversify customer segments will increase their chance to boost their sales. Ascertaining customers' information, current purchase trends, preferences and tastes, and behaviour is vital to identify their potential products to be sold in a market.

Besides, the digital economy can permit them to promote their products online by using various platforms. This can enhance customers' awareness of their products, and thus it can boost their sales. Since interstate travel is not allowed, we cannot travel far to buy certain products. Usually, customers do some research on their interest products prior to their purchase. Their main concerns lie on price ranges, brands, product durability, quality, sale services, and accessible locations.

However, the digital economy can help them with their concerns. Online platforms allow potential customers to make easy decisions to buy products by going through some comments from previous customers on the Internet. The price of certain goods can be reduced when coins are collected as we purchase more goods online. Furthermore, potential customers do not need to travel from one place to another to buy goods. This is because there are courier services that can deliver the goods to them.

The digital economy can also protect the restaurant and food industry against the pandemic. There are some services, such as Foodpanda and GrabFood, that can deliver food directly from restaurants to customers' houses. This provides several advantages to vendors who do not have adequate space for customers to dine in due to social distancing. Therefore, their rents can be reduced due to the use of small space to operate their businesses. In addition, dreadful weather no longer acts as a hindrance for customers to order food.

However, there are several challenges to embracing the digital economy. People must be imbued with ample knowledge about changing technologies. Poor Internet access acts as a stumbling block to using various current applications. This is the reason why some unemployed workers, especially in rural areas, do not avail themselves of the digital economy.


Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Applied and Human Sciences

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)



Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Applied and Human Sciences

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP)

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