Undoubtedly, we are living through the world’s greatest crisis since World War II. Europe was devastated due to this armed conflict, but the US economy skyrocketed to the point it became the world power that we know today. Bearing that in mind, I would like to pinpoint how, amidst profound crisis scenarios, a winner always emerges. Currently, in the middle of lockdown, the undisputed champion is e-commerce. We are experiencing first hand how people are in need of turning to e-commerce (regardless of their previous experience with online transactions) in order to cover, for example, grocery shopping or family entertainment.
On a worldwide basis, there are plenty of examples. For instance, Amazon (USA) had to hire around 100k employees* to cope with customer demand while, at the same time, America has filed over six million unemployment insurance applications. In Mexico, local businesses have been able to mitigate adversity by embracing alternative services: restaurants deliver food through delivery on demand platforms, and libraries, although closed, sell physical books through e-commerce. In this sense, the e-book was at one point regarded as an adversary to the printed book, but, in reality, this format has become an ally that has shown high growth rates in popularity.
As publishers and booksellers, we have to face reality: content is what matters the most. This premise leads us to find the way of being everywhere: printed books, e-books, audiobooks, and whatever may come next.
Today, it is crucial that the publishing industry reconsiders its business model and takes it to an online/offline hybrid market, as this will allow it to fulfill the consumer’s needs that the market demands.
Even after we overcome this crisis, the newly acquired online-shopping habits will prevail leading to a new trade order in Mexico.