The internet is no more the new frontier, it is the frontier as more and more people are preferring to do all their shopping online, including their food shopping.

This does not just mean ordering their groceries online but also ordering their meals using their electronic devices. And picking them up on the go, whether on the way to work or home.

Modern technology has created a new normal in our lives and this has been extremely beneficial in these tough times.

Although the F&B industry has been the least disrupted by digital technology, this situation ended up being disrupted when a virus found its way into the lives and lungs of humans at the end of 2019.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the world. As of 19 March 2020, the number of cases of Malaysia shot up to over 900, making us the country with the third-highest number of cases. Just behind South Korea and China.

The Malaysian government has imposed a strict Movement Control Order. The directive includes the temporary closure of all shops. The only business premises allowed to be open are for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores, and stores selling basic necessities,

Eateries can still operate but only for takeaway and delivery. Patrons are not allowed to dine-in.

All these measures are in line with the concept of “social distancing” which minimizes the spread of the virus that transmits through droplets by keeping people as far apart as possible.

The government has decided to enact the movement control order from March 18 to April 14 throughout the country.

Having an online presence to sell your product is even more important if you want to tide through these tough times.

If you have the capacity, have an in-house delivery service available. A popular way of charging for this service is to provide free delivery above a certain threshold purchase amount. Of course, we understand that not every business has the financial capability to have a fleet of delivery boys (or girls) to send their goods. Instead, you could do the deliveries yourself seeing as how you can’t man your shop during these two weeks.

Or, you could make use of food delivery services like Grabfood and Food Panda. Well, consumer-based business is very much straight forward, but what about those B2B or Trade Events that cater Food & Beverage Industry? This plays an important role in maintaining a healthy supply chain.

Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions Industry or most of the users preferred calling it M.I.C.E, is one of the major industries that imposed a large impact on Malaysia’s economy. With 300+ Business Events in 2018, by cumulative it has contributed approximately RM1.05 billion in visitor expenditure and RM2.46 billion in economic impact –MyCEB Annual Report 2018

Nevertheless, some of Malaysia’s homegrown brands have taken one step further, venturing into Online Based Exhibition similar to online gallery/virtual exhibition in order to achieve the maximum effect of participation in their exhibitions, forums or conferences at all levels of participants.

Digitalising exhibition allows the organiser to save significant funds and cover a larger number of potential customers, without restriction on the place and time. It is also dynamic to allow participants to attend the show in the first-person experience using a mobile device, tablet or PC.

A report by Google and Temasek last year indicated that with more than 90% of South-East Asians connected to the Internet primarily through their smartphones, online food delivery in the region is projected to reach over US$8bil (RM24bil) in market size by 2025.

There is a charge to you for using their services but it might probably be worth it until the Movement Control Order is lifted.

You would not want your business to die or be in the red during these trying times.

Even after this virus ordeal is over, maintaining your online store will still keep customers coming. For the benefit of their convenience and also yours.