COVID-19 has accelerated several trends in emerging markets, including digital payments and last-mile delivery services. Consumers in emerging markets were previously slow to adapt digital payments due to the prevalent use of cash as a primary source of payment.
Most small vendors and independent stores don't take digital payments, citing high usage fees and a lack of trust. However, the pandemic is changing this mindset, and creating new opportunities for digital players. If digital services can remain safe, have a low cost, are contactless and user-friendly, consumers in emerging markets will be more likely to adopt them.
Last-mile delivery services have been struggling to adapt to the fast urbanisation and challenging infrastructure of emerging cities, but as consumers demand delivery at home, companies are quick to innovate. Many delivery services are moving supply chains inside of urban areas, and utilizing dark stores as fulfillment centers.