To say the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing lockdown have caused a considerable hole in the world’s economy would be an understatement. With retail business, travel industries, and the service sector taking the brunt of the pandemic’s economic stress, certain business sectors have adapted, experienced growth, and even thrived during the wide-felt lockdown. Companies were quick to cut workers to obey physical distancing requirements put forth by public health which resulted in catastrophic unemployment rates.
According to the US Federal Reserve, 39% of Americans living in households with incomes of less than $40,000 reported losing their jobs at one point during the pandemic. As of May 2020, the unemployment rate in the US dipped to 13.3%. A little further north, Statistics Canada reported that over three million Canadians lost their jobs and the country reported a similar 13% unemployment rate, up from March’s 7.8%. The former is Canada’s second-highest unemployment rate ever recorded.
But, even while things looked pretty bleak, certain business sectors took some of the most unprecedented times in human history to really thrive.
As the world relied more and more on the digital space throughout the lockdown, e-commerce emerged as a clear-cut winner with any form of delivery right behind it. With physical retail essentially crumbling overnight, e-commerce took flight. Experts predict that e-commerce accounted for roughly 15% of retail’s sales, a number that can easily trend towards 25% by the summer. As if we needed any more indication as to how powerful it is to have the internet at our fingertips, we’ve become even more well-practiced at shopping online and big companies have mastered delivering it to us quickly. Being stuck inside made it easy to justify clicking away and buying online. Food delivery apps took advantage of millions of at-home people favouring ordering meals online instead of waiting out grocery store lines.
To capitalize on the spike in online retail sales, outlets will be rolling out extensive digital marketing campaigns — both micro and macro — to customize offers that will appeal to individual consumers. Going forward, mobile content will be crucial to reach new customers and to maintain its healthy relationships with people who have already become reliant on substituting the internet over the physical world.
Having already been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy, the healthcare industry has experienced even more growth since the COVID-19 crisis. Nurses and orderlies, who are already in high demand and short supply, are continually sought in an industry that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will grow 12 percent from now and 2028, “much faster than the average for all occupations.” Along with fortifying their frontline medical staff, the healthcare industry is experiencing a growth in healthcare IT solutions.
Direct messaging, specifically opt-in email strategies, has helped the healthcare industry expand into the digital world by providing patients with important and personal health information, guidance on prevention and medication, and general health updates, all specifically tailored to their own wellness. IT solutions are playing a key factor in all sectors and the ripple effects of COVID-19 have helped to modernize healthcare providers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical chains, and other giant players in the healthcare sector.
While we all stayed cooped up at home, the logistics sector also experienced growth on the frontlines. As customers ordered everything from groceries, alcohol, clothes, and books, items were showing up at the foot of consumer’s doors at unprecedented levels. FedEx, the multinational delivery service giant, summed up distribution throughout the pandemic by saying “COVID-19 has changed the world and our way of life.” As the dust starts to (hopefully) settle in a post-pandemic world, logistics will become a necessity as an industry and will adapt to becoming more robust, quick, and efficient as the entire industry re-evaluates their supply chains. All different forms of logistic companies will follow Amazon’s current model of keeping their customers informed as to their soon-to-be product’s entire journey from purchase, transport, and delivery. Direct contact, either in-app or email, will become crucial in ensuring customers are not only receiving their orders but are happy with the time and method. It’s digital marketing at its best – connecting clients to a target audience and getting products delivered to its customers as efficiently as possible.
Obviously, when a highly-contagious and quickly-spreading virus overtakes the planet, hygienic measures become necessary and integral to keeping surfaces clean. With that said, the global potassium permanganate market is now expected to grow by USD $60.11 million during 2020 to 2024. The market has had a significant impact and has seen “new opportunities” created by the pandemic. Potassium permanganate is used in the textile industry as a bleaching agent. While it’s used in the process of making polyester fabrics, including cotton and jeans, potassium permanganate is preferred in the textile industry due to its powerful oxidation properties and its economic value when compared to its competitors.
With a constant worry of spreading the virus, cleaning companies are now needed more than ever. Instead of offering their usual remedial service, cleaning companies can now offer frequent and around-the-clock deep-cleans for both commercial and residential customers.
Home Workout Equipment
With most countries locked into their respective homes and away from gym and studios, fitness enthusiasts have had few other options than to rely on and purchase home workout equipment to stay in shape throughout the pandemic. While gyms spent close to three months at a standstill and people turning to food delivery apps to support local and struggling restaurants, it was easy for many North American’s to tack on some extra weight in lockdown. According to reports, home equipment sales had rocketed as gym-goers, with no place to go, stocked up on weights and fitness gear designed to be used at home.
Online Streaming Services
With the oft-mentioned physical distancing practices put into motion, people were avoiding going outside for entertainment. As a result, the quickest answer for entertainment, similar to home-gyms, came in the form of home theatres. Along with splurging on bigtime television sets, online streaming service top guns like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney Plus, YouTube Premium, and Spotify became instant must-haves to satisfy our entertainment needs.
Social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and the emergence of HouseParty, became consumer’s choices for entertainment and social (albeit digital) interaction.
With the sports world forced into hiatus, sportsbooks have experienced a colossal loss due to the cancellation of worldwide games, matches, and tournaments. As an alternative to betting, online casinos experienced a rise in virtual traffic. As per the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, revenue for online casino games, including slot machines and table games, jumped 30% in May, doubling from USD$24 million in March to USD$55.8.
As we start treading towards clearer waters, it’s clear that the ripple effects of COVID-19 will be felt across major economies for years. Some industries will be forced to change for good and others, especially those in the digital space, will be able to use the pandemic as a launchpad to set themselves up for years to come. For better or for worse, like so many sci-fi movies and novels predicted over the years, it seems like the dawn of the infinite virtual world is finally upon us.
About ResearchFDI, Inc.
Based in Montreal, ResearchFDI is a specialized market research firm that provides customized lead generation and business intelligence services for economic development organizations and regional promotion agencies, intended to identify and capture FDI and direct investment opportunities. We position Economic Developers in front of corporate decision-makers that are seeking to expand or relocate their businesses to new geographic locations. We are focused on helping our clients create important business relationships that will serve to grow awareness of their region, promote its economic strengths and attract direct investment.
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