The coronavirus and its outbreak have surely created a massive impact across the globe. With businesses having had no warning at all, most industries and sectors have had to shut down. Several are also trying to keep themselves relevant during the lockdown period. For e.g: Gyms and fitness trainers have shifted their workout sessions to online training sessions, the food and beverage sector has gone ahead with takeaways and online deliveries while several industries have shifted to app-based systems. While it might be challenging to keep up now, it might also be an opportunity in itself if explored. The huge change has made even digital platforms and companies to realign their services for customers. This makes us ask a question. Industries during a lockdown? – Which will thrive and which won’t?
Is the global economy coping?
The global economy is gradually going into recession and the sectors that majorly depend on consumer’s behavior are likely to be affected the most. Industries such as digital companies, pharma, medical and health equipment have seen a rise in business owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. As people are now confined to their homes, students are listening to live streams and learning through online platforms. There has been a spike in data and mobile usage. People have begun to download and use all sorts of apps. Consumers are now resorting to smartphones for day to day needs like online grocery and meat shopping. At first glance, it may seem like online platforms shall stand out during this phase however it should also be noted that consumers are trying to spend less.
Where lies the opportunity?
Online education and EdTech companies have been partnering with schools to live stream free classes and provide tutoring sessions. Other educational companies are providing e-learning courses with the help of tools available online. The entertainment industry is witnessing a similar trend. Platforms such as Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix have increased viewership right now. Subscription-based services like Netflix have provided a boost for home entertainment. Here it is the homebody economy. This includes Zoom, the video conferencing service. More time at home means more time spent with families. Board games, video games, puzzles are helping in family time and entertainment. Many video game makers are looking at creative ways to help children while they tend to get restless or bored at home.
As businesses are helping people with social distancing, people are stalking up cleaning materials like sanitizers and hand wash. Cleaning companies that sanitize homes and restaurants are also being sought after like never before. People are now counting on cleaning services to do a more frequent deep cleaning.
The closing down of restaurant dining rooms have led to stocking up of goods and a change in food habits. Grocery stores restocking has increased tremendously. Independent grocers are also helping larger chains in this regard. Amazon has reported having added 100,000 new jobs to manage the extra demand. Several food delivery apps and grocery apps have even suspended fresh orders temporarily to clear the backlog of deliveries.
Grocery delivery and recipe apps are downloaded. Secure drop- off and pick up measures are being looked into.
Pharmaceutical companies have a larger role to play right now. Vaccines, testing kits, emergency medicines, immunity boosters are some of the healthcare supplies that are impacting the lives of people. Even global investors are rushing for pharmaceutical stocks recently.
Sectors – May benefit or may not and few in between?
While there are sectors that may win or lose at this period of time, there are a few sectors that may probably struggle in case they don’t adapt strategically. The banking sector, for example, might lose money owing to the deliveries faced by individuals. Payback loans and the likelihood of a global recession might lead to this crisis. Banks can, however, reverse the scenario by providing assistance. They can build and create relationships with new customers by offering emergency loans and temporary solutions.
Although universities and private education providers have shut shop, they needn’t altogether close down. There is always an opportunity to operate online through online teaching and courses.
In the midst of this pandemic and its impacts, there are several opportunities that may arise that have to lead to the growth of firms and companies. Industries during lockdown may or may not thrive. Be is temporary or long term, the whole point is to tap into what works now. Learning to adapt sustainably is probably the key to the lock!