Boom or bust? The companies and sectors benefiting from COVID-19
Plenty of firms and sectors have been completely incapacitated by COVID-19. But there are also some companies that have tread water for many years, before a surprising boom in popularity during the pandemic. We take a look at some of the businesses succeeding through the pandemic.
No, not them all. But some app platforms, specifically those catering to contactless ordering, payment, and delivery, have seen usage soar through the pandemic.
Restaurant ordering apps, for example, have suddenly seen mass take-up. Where personable staff streamlining your ordering process was once de rigueur for restaurants and cafes, the market during COVID has seen a desire to minimise that face-to-face contact. Indeed, COVID has been reshaping the customer experience pretty vitally.
There has been a sudden and expanded focus on contactless apps like enhanced ordering and payment (minimising face-to-face contact and also the need for paper menus), mobile tableside delivery and kerbside delivery, too. Some restaurants have chosen not to become COVID regulated inside, but instead, ask customers to pre-order and pay online to pick up at the door. Contactless tech has therefore seen a boom, aiding with decontamination issues, social distancing, and lowering staff levels – all in one hit.
Although the adoption of Cloud technologies has been slowly growing over the past decade, the COVID lockdown was a mammoth catalyst for sudden cloud adoption, for many businesses. Where the ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality had kept some businesses and sectors from trialling Cloud options previously, COVID restrictions necessitated a sudden pivot. Businesses needed to enable a workforce to work from home, pronto. More workloads had to be migrated to the Cloud in order for the businesses to continue to function.
IT asset management firm Snow Software polled 250 IT leaders internationally, and its results are telling. 82% of those surveyed said they had increased their Cloud usage in response to the pandemic – whilst 60% said their use of off-premise tech has continued to grow since, and 66% said they would be continuing to increase their Cloud usage for the foreseeable future.
Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have been the obvious winners here.
Having saved money on everyday purchasing they missed out on during lockdown, many consumers were drawn to eCommerce apps in order to spend online instead. USA Industry newsletter 2PM posted a tweet that illustrated the sheer surge in e-commerce, entitled “10 years versus 8 weeks”, and showing a leap from 16% to 27% of market share for e-commerce penetration through the eight week quarantine period – the same growth in eight weeks than in the previous decade.
Amazon of course has been a big winner through COVID, soaring 60% during the period May – July alone, compared with last year. Its success has nevertheless been controversial, due to reports of ‘dictatorial’ rules for sellers prioritising profit at all costs.
Streaming, gaming, and video content platforms
Parents suddenly confronted with children stuck at home can attest to the power of online entertainment during COVID. As well as needing to get their own work done, much of children’s learning moved online; many teachers delivered lessons or at least check-ins via Zoom or other video software.
Where we might once have indulged in a visit to the pub, cinema or shops, we have stayed at home and streamed. Platforms have seen a huge rise in uptake, with streaming up 12%. Platforms like Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime all report increased viewership, with online gaming platforms also experiencing record volumes, as we all try to combat the boredom complex.
In conclusion, although COVID-19 and its aftermath will hit many sectors and business hard, there are nevertheless sectors who have seen an uptick unlike anything they could have predicted, had the pandemic not taken the toll it has internationally.