9 Business Industries Leveraging on The Coronavirus Pandemic

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It’s not a surprise to everyone that the economic status of the world is suffering a major loss after the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened. Many businesses are closed, and most countries are implementing total lock-down to avoid the spread of coronavirus. It is to make sure that the health of the public is protected even if it leads to loss of every business’s revenue. Like any major economic disruption, some industries will fail, and others will thrive. Some companies are working around the clock to find a survival pattern that will help adapt to the situation. Below are some businesses which are either benefiting or losing to the coronavirus pandemic.

SOME BUSINESSES LOSING TO THE CAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC

Airlines

According to SEMrush data, Google search volumes for the major global airlines also fell. Branded searches within the overall industry average declined 7% from February to March, following a 17% decrease from January to February. In March, the worst hit was Austrian (-83%), Qatar Airways (-49%), and AirAsia (-45%). 

So far, African airlines have lost nearly $5 billion in revenue following the spread of coronavirus on the continent due to low passenger demand, according to a report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). International bookings in Africa went down by 20% in March and April, while domestic bookings fell by about 15% in March and 25% in April, according to data from IATA.

In the first two months since the global lockdown went into effect, the Nigerian travel industry lost more than N180 billion and thousands of jobs, according to Bankole Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of Finchglow Travels Limited/FCm Nigeria and former President, National Associations of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA).

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Traffic and search data for airlines doesn’t correlate with financial data because millions of people spent hours on airline websites and hotlines changing their travel plans. 

Events Industry

Another industry that took a major blow due to the current pandemic was the Events industry. Conferences, music festivals, marathons, and the world’s biggest sporting events were shut down or postponed to a later date. Several sporting events have been postponed while some where cancelled. For some music concerts, the organizers are looking to refund on the tickets.

Hotels

Hotel, resort, and cruise line stocks fell an average of 22.2% from February 19 to February 27. 

Carnival’s stock was at a high of $43 on February 20 but has since declined to $12 on March 18 — a fall of 72% from its peak. With everyone expected to be at home for a better management to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic, hotel services declined drastically.

Restaurants 

The restaurant industry has been one of the most affected during COVID-19. In this crisis, with social distancing rules set into place, there is simply no way to eat at local restaurants. If restaurants can’t provide delivery services, you are most likely going to miss out on eating your favorite meals. 

However, the restaurant industry is clearly adapting, with most of the main pages now stating “we have delivery”, highlighting how restaurant owners are transforming their businesses in order to survive. 

Sport Betting Companies

With sporting events brought to a hold, online betting companies are experiencing a total meltdown in revenue. Asides from the very popular sporting events, Horse racing is another sporting event that the COVID-19 has affected. The U.S. Triple Crown Series, which is the largest horse racing event in America, could not escape this pandemic. Most companies are capitalizing on virtual games as a primary source of revenue for now.

BUSINESSES THRIVING DESPITE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Remote Working Platforms

During this pandemic and period of self-isolation, an obvious game-changer that is reaping the benefits is remote working tools and platforms. 

Zoom Communications, a space designed for video conferences and webinars, skyrocketed from $108 on March 16 to $162 on March 23. An increase of 50% is staggering in itself and is even more astounding considering stock markets are slumping more than 30% — a true success story amidst a global crisis. Traffic to Zoom’s website has increased by 67 million site visits during the month of March. 

As job uncertainty continues to rise, so do online searches for alternative employment. For the month of March, SEMrush also analyzed search results for indeed.com and were able to identify the most visited pages on their website. 

Amongst the top 15 pages, the fifth most visited was “remote jobs” – with a total of 22.9 thousand visits for the entire month of March. Close behind on page eight was a popular term, “work from home jobs”, suggesting a new demand for work during isolation. 

Home Fitness

One-third of the world’s population has come under lockdown and is partially or completely stuck in isolation at their homes. SEMrush market data reveals a rising interest in online searches for home exercise, which has drastically spiked in March. Here is the trend of searches for all analyzed keywords related to home fitness.

Brick and mortar gyms (such as the YMCA and Planet Fitness) are now offering online classes and workouts.

Nike is waiving fees for its monthly online subscription service, which includes workouts, training tips, nutritional guidance and more during COVID-19, ensure fans can stay physically active while under quarantine.

Small-but-growing tech startups that offer internet-connected fitness equipment are thriving, such as Ergatta, FightCamp, Mirror and Tonal. These services allow users to receive live or recorded instruction from experts that are then paired with proprietary equipment designed to fit into your home gym or spare room.

Streaming Platforms

SEMrush has found that some of the biggest streaming services gained an unprecedented rise in searches during March by 87.6% on average. Compared to February, searches for Disney+ grew by 232%. Disney+ was launched last year and has taken an early lead in the battle of second-wave streaming services. 

HBO branded search has gone up by 84%, which may be connected to the company’s several high-profile premieres in March. In comparison, at 83%, Netflix saw a little less increase than its rival. The most surprising boost, which saw branded searches up 122%, was shown by Kanopy. 

Delivery Companies

Consumers continue avoiding public places, they’re likely to look for digital services that fulfill everyday needs beyond retail, including delivery of food and on-demand goods, per. Depending on how long the pandemic and social distancing measures last, grocery and other delivery providers might need to provide discounts, offer loans, or provide installment tools that can help consumers afford services. And in order to maintain consumer trust, couriers also have to be prepared to demonstrate good health and offer “contactless” delivery options to minimize risk.

In most countries, there are groups of people on lockdown that want to improve their home cooking skills and also stick to social distancing rules, so they are avoiding leaving to shop for groceries. These people have been turning to food box delivery orders and supporting local restaurants by ordering take away via popular mobile applications. Searches for food delivery services increased by 56% on average – depending on the company.

Online Courses 

With more and more people finding themselves in lockdown, it isn’t too surprising that interest in online courses has skyrocketed during the month of March. 

From the results, it is clear that user behavior has changed drastically, which has caused a great impact on Google search results. Typically, the “Jobs and Education” Search Engine Result’s Page (SERPs) remains flat.  However, last week saw a huge increase in volatility.

Idleness isn’t an ideal option for many – while some are looking to expand in their knowledge base in areas like digital marketing, sales, graphic designs and so on, some are interested in trying new classes for a first time.

The most visited online educational website was Khan Academy, which saw a 48% increase in traffic during March 2020. As schools kick off online classes for students, the Deli government has initiated talks with ‘Khan Academy’ to explore a collaborative remote learning program. 

Social Networks

Beyond encouraging more virtual conversation between family and friends, the fast-changing nature of the coronavirus could translate to more users tracking real-time news updates via social media. Despite the concerns they may have about tech companies’ ability to act as a reliable information source, engagement on social networks have skyrocketed. Social platforms favored among young people like TikTok and YouTube has climaxed a relative high traffic.

E-commerce

Over a quarter (28%) of US internet users are already avoiding public areas or travel, and 58% plan to if the situation worsens—and it already has since this survey was conducted—per Coresight Research data. This avoidance is trickling down into shopping: Three-quarters (74.6%) of US internet users said they’d be likely to avoid shopping centers and malls if the coronavirus outbreak in the country worsens, and over half would avoid shops in general. A decline in brick-and-mortar retail, which comprises over 85% of US retail sales, could shift day-to-day shopping to digital channels, like Amazon or other e-tailers, and boost sales—effects already seen by providers like RedMart in Singapore, per CNBC. Further, it could bolster use of omnichannel commerce, like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS), for customers who want to shop in-store but avoid crowds.

Such a surge in demand for e-tail could overwhelm logistics providers and workers, which might require ecommerce companies to revisit their strategies for order fulfillment and delivery, including potentially slowing down fast-shipping strategies, in order to keep up with surging demand and keep workers safe. It’s worth noting that changes in online shopping habits may be particularly prevalent among older customers—the group most susceptible to the coronavirus and most likely to avoid stores because of it, but least likely to shop online. A shift toward online shopping among this population could provide a short-term boost for sellers, but in the longer term, it may also increase sales if these customers continue shopping online after the outbreak subsides.

Mask Makers

While mask-making wasn’t exactly in high demand at the beginning of 2020, just a few months later it has become a popular choice for new entrepreneurs. People all over the world want to obtain high-quality (and in some cases creative) masks to protect themselves and those around them which led to a shortage in supply.

For example, Seattle-based reusable gift-wrap company Tokki has pivoted its company and redirected all of its cloth inventory to masks. Tokki has seen incredibly high demand since moving to mask-making. Additionally, 20,000 shops on the e-commerce marketplace Etsy are now selling masks, showing how fast this market is heating up. In Nigeria, the price of mask increased by over 200% and most clothing companies have been contracted to manufacture mask while also encouraging self-employed tailors to do same in accordance to the standard required.

Telehealth Services

In the era of COVID-19, many people don’t want to leave their homes unless it is absolutely necessary, and they especially don’t want to go to medical offices where they could be exposed to the novel coronavirus. With the incessant increase in the spread of the virus the safest means to health consultation via telehealth.

Thus, telehealth companies that allow patients to see doctors or therapists via their computers or phones have become more popular.

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