For many businesses, the emergence of Coronavirus has been the toughest challenge they’ve ever had to face. With varying levels of lockdown still in place around the world, traditional consumer footfall has all but disappeared, and many companies are struggling.
Yet strangely, some businesses and market sectors are profiting through Coronavirus and experiencing rising profits. As society moves more and more online, the businesses best poised to benefit from Covid-19 are those that are already harnessing the power of the internet to expand and enhance their digital profile.
Here are just four market sectors that have witnessed exponential growth since the start of the global pandemic.
Online grocery and home delivery companies
As one might expect, with so many people in lockdown, there has been a massive spike in demand for online grocery services. Coronavirus has made us rethink so many aspects of our lives that even a simple shopping trip poses an unacceptable risk for many consumers.
Grocery companies have been encouraging us to shop online for some time, but even industry-leaders have strained to meet the sudden shift to online ordering. Most have suffered delays in distribution with customers frequently complaining of limited delivery schedules in some areas.
This growing movement to buying online has been seen across all market sectors. Internet shopping has never been more popular, and companies that had already invested in a well-developed website and finely-honed order fulfillment processes are those now profiting most.
Streaming services and games providers
It will come as little surprise that the demand for streaming services and online gaming has exploded through the pandemic. In particular, Netflix has doubled its growth numbers since the start of lockdown, adding a further 16 million subscribers to its service in the first quarter alone.
Online gaming has also seen exponential growth as consumers search for distractions, while traditional venues and events remain closed. Bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sporting events, pop concerts . . . all have fallen victim through the first half of 2020. It’s little wonder people are looking to consoles and online gaming for entertainment.
Video conferencing software providers
Lockdown has had some truly detrimental effects on society and relationships, forcing unpleasant distancing between family and friends. However, through imposed social distancing, one technology has come to the fore – video conferencing. For most of us, online video chat has been the only way we’ve been able to maintain contact with our nearest and dearest, resulting in the soaring popularity of some services.
At the start of the year, Zoom Video Communications was a relatively unknown teleconferencing company. With the rise in working from home and lack of social interaction, the company turned $27 million profit in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to just $198,000 in the same period last year. Truly astronomical figures – undoubtedly a direct result of Covid-19.
Electronic payment companies
The move to a cashless society has been on-going for years, but Coronavirus has undoubtedly accelerated the process. With so many transactions now taking place online – and so many retailers refusing to handle cash through fear of infection – our use of electronic payment services has mushroomed over the last six months. 2020 may well prove to be the turning point where cash becomes largely redundant and plays second fiddle to electronic payment cards and apps.