The novel coronavirus has led to countless restrictions in the flow of regular business. Many factories have been shut down, meetings have been called off and companies have implemented remote working policies. Although these events have had adverse effects on most of the firms, others have taken advantage of the situation at hand.
Different sectors are feeling varied effects of the outbreak. Quarantine has made leaving the house close to impossible, so industries that provide for this lifestyle are reaping the benefits. Here are the major industries that gained significant growth amidst the pandemic:
- Teleconferencing Apps: As we desperately try to cling on to whatever is left of human contact, we are shifting to video chatting tools. Several of Zoom’s applications have experienced a 20% rise in user base (Zoom). Educators are using these apps to teach their students; families are reaching out to enquire about each other’s health, and colleagues are connecting to discuss work.
- Health and Fitness: Unable to leave the house for walks in the park or commuting to work, maintaining health and fitness have been a concern. Many are choosing to stay fit by selecting home workout courses. Even those that would consider their daily activities to be exercise enough are resorting to health gurus and fitness instructors to stay fit in this lazy lifestyle. Indoor fitness equipment has also seen sudden inflation as sales of dumbbells and yoga mats rose by 150% (jd).
- Fitness Apps: Some people often need motivation and guidance throughout their workout sessions. Since a physical instructor is not available, they opt for applications that help them. These apps often have video tutorials that can help you train from home. ‘Keep’, the highest-grossing Chinese fitness app saw an 18% hike in their user base only 5 days into the lockdown (walkthechat).
- Grocery Deliveries: Customer Analytics exhibit rapid changes in consumer behaviours owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. People are afraid of leave their houses, yet, they still need nutrition. The solution? Getting groceries delivered at your doorstep. People throughout the world have been availing this option in the hopes of avoiding the virus. Now, ‘contactless’ delivery systems are being implemented to reduce the contagion further. This policy involves the buyer to pay for the item using e-transactions and the delivery boy leaving the package at the doorstep. Between January 26th and February 8th, upwards of 80% of the delivery services provided in China was contactless delivery (Meituan).
- E-Learning: Due to the shutdown of schools and colleges across the globe, countless colleges are transforming to a digital platform. Virtual learning has become the new norm of learning. People are signing up for short online courses and improving their skills. The surge in the e-learning industry has been so great, that it has opened 3000+ jobs (economictimes).
- Work-from-Home Technologies: Companies have locked down their offices to contain the spread of the virus between colleagues. This method is effective in decreasing contact and boosts the organization’s remote working capabilities. Employees can keep in touch with their teams, managers and their daily tasks regularly from the comfort of their homes. Tools and applications have been provided to connect to their work devices, with virtual meeting apps such as ‘Lark’ seeing the most growth- 6,000%! (Techcrunch)
- Digital Media: Entertainment has been a huge help during the quarantine. With very little to do at home, the entertainment sector has seen skyrocketing growth in their viewership. This is evident by the online streaming platform, Twitch’s reported 1.2 billion hours of content consumed (Twitchtracker). Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also seen a hike in user base. Gaming influencers are witnessing a rise in audiences to the point that the word ‘gaming’ has seen a 60% increase in use (Baidu Index).
- Pharmaceutical Industry: Finding a cure for the virus is priority number one, to get us back to our regular lives. Healthcare members are working tirelessly around the clock to develop a countermeasure. They are also treating those affected by the virus. The healthcare industry along with the pharmaceutical sector is being heavily funded for this cause. Global funding for this sector has risen to $8.3 billion (Zacks).
- Mobile Services: Mobile apps and streaming services have had an increase in demand, more recently due to the virus. As people are isolating themselves within the confinements of their homes, they are spending more time on their phones and TVs. Netflix’s user base is projected to grow a whopping 17% within the next few months (Netflix). Applications that humor the situation we are in like the Plague Inc. game are becoming increasingly popular.
- Gold Industry: Because of the severe impact on the economy of Asian countries, the economy of the rest of the world will also be affected. Though the prices of gold are steady, it is estimated the rates would surge, with growing demands, and shortage of supply. A surge in gold prices to above $1600 was observed this year, already (Economictimes).
- Hygienic Products: Research has shown that hygiene is the number one issue of the coronavirus spread. This has triggered a germophobic response, with everyone rushing to buy sanitary products. People have also been buying excess products as a safety net, in the event of an extended lockdown. A 1400% increase in customer demand for hand sanitizers was observed from December to January (Adobe).
The Final Word
The effect of Coronavirus on the world economy has been shocking. While some industries have undergone loss due to indefinite ceasing of production, many have benefited from it. Nevertheless, in the post lockdown world, all businesses will need to rapidly transform themselves to stay competitive. In that context, research and analytics can play a significant role in helping business leaders and marketers understand how their brands can cope up with the needs of the future and grow in the ‘new normal’.
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