Editor’s note: Maxwell Wang is founder of Researchism Shanghai Business Consultancy Center, China. 

One moment you are making resolutions for the Lunar New Year and the next your day-to-day is hindered by a progressively extended break that seems to entrap you in the swamp of wasted time. Prolonged days off – for both entrepreneurs and employees – are not exactly something to celebrate.

The coronavirus epidemic will dissipate sooner or later. Once the storm passes, what are we to make of our current retail model? Doom and gloom aside, in this article I will share a market research perspective on the impact of the coronavirus, specifically observations and hypothesis on new consumption patterns that may arise immediately post-coronavirus. 

1. Will the coronavirus epidemic shift or create a new consumption context in China?

Consumers likely won’t be too keen on flocking to viral (pun intended) brick-and-mortar stores to get up close and personal with other shoppers. Therefore, the tried-and-true promotional tactic of location tagging at “wanghong” (internet sensation) shops will be a no-go this year.

During the 2003 SARS epidemic, though the virus was declared globally contained by WHO in June, the anguish and memory of it carried on until December. The end of the epidemic did not see a surge in consumption due to the residual fear of going out.

How will consumers’ shopping habits change after the coronavirus epidemic? This question prompts businesses to be bold in imaginative thinking and nurturing toward brand creativity, managerial efforts and speculations of consumer mind-set in the coronavirus aftermath.

2. Will the coronavirus epidemic give rise to a new business model?

Prior to the SARS epidemic, Liu Qiangdong, the CEO of JD.com in China, was determined to dethrone GOME as the leading electrical appliance retailer in China. However, after the epidemic, his GOME goa...