People are stocking up on goods but staying at home more, and the coronavirus is hitting businesses.
The novel coronavirus outbreak is a big, scary, and volatile thing. Although it’s just an epidemic, and like all other epidemics before it, this shall pass. But before it will, there will be a huge market transformation which will bring some companies down, whereas others will come out on the end of it in a stronger competitive position than ever before, while also collecting tremendous profits on the way.
Customers don’t want to get infected by a coronavirus, so they tend to stay at home. Going out less or following government advice of “social distancing” to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak, hurts companies across many sectors — from mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and film distributors to major airlines. But, customers still need to work, get healthcare check-ups, watch TV, shop, so on and so forth.
Unfortunately, far from all companies were well-positioned or could adapt well to overcome difficulties caused by quarantine, however, there are numerous companies of different industries that not only remained in business but digitally transformed their businesses to correspond to current circumstances and stay relevant, while also helping to increase their revenues.
A full 75 percent of people using digital channels for the first time indicate that they will continue to use them when things return to “normal.”
Generally, we have seen that virtually any industry can make the pivot to online, but as we have seen, not all end up doing so and are met with success because of the prevalent absence of readiness and quick adaptation. For example, sports facilities started to create online platforms and apps, delivery services were working on delivery safety, quality, and speed, etc.
Business owners were tasked with swiftly responding to changes in customers’ demands when all of them were locked in the confines of their homes.
As a result, companies that work in sectors such as telework, healthcare, entertainment, delivery, and shopping platforms are benefiting from the coronavirus pandemic. We are going to take a more detailed view of these sectors and the companies that have been and are benefiting from the trend:
- More and more people at stay home, they’re likely turning to Amazon to order whatever they need because the e-commerce giant can get it to their front door in a day.
- More specifically in terms of groceries, grocery delivery services from providers such as Amazon Fresh, Walmart, and Costco have seen a considerable uptick in demand from grocery shoppers that are paranoid about spending time at physical grocery stores and the danger it brings of being exposed to COVID-19.
- Food delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash appear to be overwhelmed with orders from customers who have increasingly turned to have their restaurant meals delivered to their doors. For instance, DoorDash IPO filing showed big revenue gains, their disclosure revealed that their sales revenue amounted to $1.9 billion for the first nine months of 2020, up 226 percent from year-ago levels, along with shrinking bottom-line losses.
- Entertainment services. Customers will interact with at-home entertainment options, of which Netflix and Disney+ seemed to be the most popular. Netflix got about 16 million new users and it continues to grow, meaning this entertainment streaming giant company doubled in size and revenue within the past few years, which amounted to a staggering $25 billion in yearly revenue for the year of 2020. With the total number of paying subscribers topping 200 million. Disney+, on the other hand, is closing in on 100 million subscribers, but, unlike Netflix which has been around as an established company, most of the Disney+ growth occurred after the pandemic started.
- Quarantines and work-from-home company policies have also greatly driven up the demand for the usage of audio, video, and messaging chat communication software that allows people to try and maintain some semblance of business as usual. A firm that helps companies track how their employees use the software, saw Zoom usage increase more than 30 percent since the beginning of February. Microsoft Teams‘ popularity has also soared.
- Neolix, a maker of urban robo-delivery trucks, made an interesting claim recently. The Beijing-based company said orders for its self-driving delivery vehicles were soaring because the coronavirus epidemic had both cleared the roads from cars and opened the eyes of customers to the advantages of autonomous driving technology. The idea is that when the epidemic is over, the new habits may well persist.
- Medical companies provide patients with affordable, convenient access to medical care 24/7. For example, Teladoc connects you with a board-certified doctor 24/7, 365 days a year. You can submit photos, descriptions and within minutes, a doctor will contact you ready to listen and resolve your issue. Whether the conversation is through the convenience of an audio telephone call or video consults through the app. After which they automatically send medication prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice for convenient pickup.
- During COVID-19, people couldn’t visit the gym or go to the park for a jog but wanted to keep in good shape, they do sports with equipment and apps for home training, the pioneers of this trend became companies like Peloton.
What industries digitized during a crisis?
The financial industry started making progress in adopting digitalization before the advent of the coronavirus crisis. Many banks developed and released online applications through which their customers could make the same operations or actions online as they could by going to a bank branch or calling a bank customer service line in a move to cut costs and increase convenience.
This increased app functionality proved to be a good move, especially when the pandemic hit since for a time, bank branches had to close and the call center workforce was being transitioned to a work from home setting, which is when the opportunities offered by online banking apps were widened further where possible to lessen the strain on bank branches and call center workers. Banks are focusing more and more on internet banking and phone-banking applications, while the healthcare industry is making continuous inroads into more online and app-based consults.
This was especially helpful during a busy season for banks like a pandemic and consequent economic downturn. The resulting low-interest-rate environment and elevated interest in borrowing and loans, as well as colossal unemployment rates and financial hardship experienced by so many and everything that comes with that, including the struggle for many to pay down their liabilities such as credit card debt or mortgages. Banks are now continuing to prospectively focus more and more on internet banking and phone-banking applications.
Learn more about current finance digital transformation from the video we added below.
Future of fintech
According to Deloitte’s report, there are several scenarios of how the financial industry is going to expand, develop and evolve during the next 5 years. Among the digital tools that are expected to be continued to be improved and implemented are:
- contactless transactions such as Apple, Google pay or their Chinese or Korean competitors;
- the rollout of Crypto-payments with digital currency wallets, the pioneers of which are companies such as Facebook, Paypal, Square, as well as governments of countries such as, once again, China, and Sweden;
- only real-time operations with no periodic reports;
- adapting robots and algorithms as new service-delivery models;
- new requirements for employees of financial establishments.
While the healthcare industry is also continuing to make inroads into more digitalization online: automating tasks and processes, including increasing the phase-in of AI and BigData technologies to assist practitioners and providers in general in the great work that they do. As well as further expanding and broadening app-based consultation and diagnostics offerings.
The healthcare industry was forced to accelerate digital tools and quickly implement them into healthcare organizations. Clinics worldwide faced an enormous number of infected people and it revealed the unreadiness of healthcare to treat all these people appropriately. It caused an urgent need in developing own or integrating readymade tools for automating some processes and providing remote treatment advice when possible to minimize the strain on the hospitals and clinics.
Among the healthcare software solutions that healthcare organizations started actively pursuing and implementing are:
- interoperability of all internal software solutions to provide real-time information about each patient and share it with other vendors if needed in cases of emergency;
- remote patient monitoring using wearable devices and transmit this data to EHR for the purpose of eliminating in-person visits, tracking invaluable information about a patient’s state of health from a distance, and provide assistance in time;
- many people, especially those who were infected with Covid-19, experience an increased feeling of anxiety, depression and suffer from mental illness, thus, medical entities started using telepsychiatry that replaces in-person visits and provides treatment of the same quality as in in-person visits do.
All educational establishments worldwide have faced challenges with converting educational processes and curriculums to online. Most schools and universities developed and implemented web-based platforms where students and tutors could communicate, get through lecture material, tests, track progress, receive exam results, record student information, etc. These platforms are accessible from any location via email or other types of user authentication. Corporate education courses also turned online so particular organizations that provide staff education had to develop and implement custom internal systems to provide highly qualified education, especially in healthcare.
Online lectures, meetings are usually held via the Zoom application that has become a staple during the coronavirus pandemic as it is one of the most popular video calling apps used for different purposes all over the world, which has become more important than ever to keep people, professionals, students in touch. Zoom was able to rake in a total of $47.9 billion in revenue for 2020.
The travel industry felt the crisis and suffered losses like no other industry. It goes without saying that international travel took a beating because people lost interest in traveling and even those who didn’t were restricted by international border closures, often making international travel impossible. But not only that, various restrictions and measures were also put in place within countries, constraining the ability to travel within borders as well.
It might sound odd, but the travel industry also tried to partially turn online. Well-known museums created online 3D tours so people could visit particular famous exhibitions all over the world without leaving their hometowns. Meanwhile, the gig economy “apps” that connect people such as Airbnb and Uber didn’t suffer as much pain as some of the other travel companies such as airlines for instance, whom governments stepped in to bail out. Meanwhile, the Airbnb business saw resilient demand as people sought to book cottage getaways to escape from virus-infested cities.
Meanwhile, Uber saw fluctuating demand for ride-sharing offerings, which was supported by the fact that individuals sought to shun public transportation at all costs, particularly in the early days of the pandemic. Additionally, Uber moved to consolidate its diversification into food delivery services with a $2.65 billion acquisition of PostMates to add to its Uber Eats portfolio, thereby reinforcing its already strong positioning in times of a pandemic.
Online retail (e-commerce) companies and those who adapted to new quarantine limitations have only widened their service reach and therefore grown their revenue. Amazon racked up a total of $386.06 billion in revenues for the year of 2020, although their profit margins and profitability could do better, they did have the excuse that their costs were pushed up by coronavirus-related expenses such as enhanced cleaning, safety, and faster and higher volume delivery resulting in higher wages and more hours to pay for. Amazon claimed that they had spent some $11.5 billion in 2020 on those expenses: maintaining its logistics infrastructure and in-time delivery during pandemic times.
We also recommend you watch a video report on how the business industries are going to transform by 2030.
Digital trends that are to stay in 2021
Digitalization has penetrated practically all spheres of our lives and, by extension, affected all business industries. The things that have changed will never be the same or return to the initial state, the phenomenon has now widely come to be referred to as the “new normal”. The pandemic has greatly boosted the development of many areas. Among the areas that are going to be forever changed:
- availability of remote work in any industry;
- digitalization of customer service experience via AI tech (chatbots);
- using online or on-demand application instead of visiting actual physical locations of establishments;
- outsourcing the development of software.
This list can go on and on.
If you are looking for a modern way of staying in business and relevant, then we have a solution for you. The solution is digitalization and there is no limit to perfection or end in sight to this process since technologies will always keep coming out and updates will always be necessary. In other words, innovation has never stopped in the past and likely never will stop in the future. Once you develop and implement your business software, it always requires improvements, modernization, and upgrades.
Initially, we recommend that you think of ways to go digital within your industry or to modernize existing software solutions that are already integrated into your workflows. Here at GBKSOFT, we realize that the keys to successful software implementation are: research on the latest digital trends, and defining concrete requirements for your company to fuel future growth.
We, as a software development company with 10 years of experience in developing custom software for all business industries, know which digital tools are considered to be trendy and will help you find ways to implement them into your workflows to make use of the latest technologies to the benefit of your business.
To wrap it up
It is obvious that digitalization is the future as you can see in the example that we provided in this article clearly showcasing that everything that technology touches seem to turn into a gold – pandemic or not. If you are still running your business offline you may lose everything. Digitalization is a trend that has gained significant dynamic traction in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak and global pandemic.
The idea of it is simple. The first step is to modernize your work processes to enable more efficient workflows and better outcomes. The second is to take a physical customer experience process and digitize it so that customers can do it from the comfort of their homes. Before the pandemicf, the digitalization trend already had a ton of momentum. After the coronavirus outbreak, however, the trend has become unstoppable.