The stock market has taken one of the worst hits in decades, and many industries are collapsing; yet, some sectors are experiencing a boom courtesy of COVID-19. As people are confined to their homes and becoming more digitally reliant, many sectors are benefiting from these new consumer habits.
With companies forced to work from home, face-to-face meetings are not an option. Luckily, tech companies specialising in video-conferencing are bridging the distance between colleagues and are one of the sectors facilitating the lockdown. Start-up Zoom is one of the few companies demonstrating positive Q4 figures, far exceeding estimated values. Their revenue for the fourth quarter showed a 78% increase (YOY) to $188 million and a share price of $0.15. Other videoconferencing technology companies, including Webex and Skype, have also reported increased sales and share prices. Zoom has also been used as many schools and universities have made the shift to e-learning and online lectures.
Who says you can’t spend money from the comfort of your home? With an exponential shift towards online shopping, the e-commerce marketplaces are experiencing a boom like never before. This has left some marketplaces floundering; Ocado, the online grocer, has suspended new orders struggling to keep up with the delivery backlog. However, e-commerce giants, Amazon, have reportedly added 100,000 new jobs in order to accommodate the increased demand. Chinese e-commerce marketplace JD.com is relying on technology to support the demand, utilising driver-free vehicles to deliver food and medical supplies in Wuhan.
After the gym became one of the highest risks for COVID outbreak, online fitness programmes have jumped on this opportunity. There is an impossibly vast sea of fitness apps at the moment, all promising to keep you in shape during this period of lockdown. Although many are free, others make their money offering personalised fitness programmes, subscription fees or virtual classes. As many people are making home workouts a part of their daily routine, this is one of the sectors that could continue to experience a boom even after the lockdown.
Between working on developing a vaccine, symptom treatments and supplying testing kits, pharmaceutical companies are working at full capacity to get people through the coronavirus crisis. This is especially lucrative for countries in which medicine is not subsidised.
Unsurprisingly, with this wide-scale shift to online shopping, efforts have been made worldwide to maximise delivery force with e-commerce and online grocers investing in their logistics departments. This covers a range of industries as people are ordering everything online, from medicines, to fast food, to home gym equipment. With new safety features such as “zero-contact delivery”, delivery apps and logistics companies are implementing measures to ensure that this trend continues.
Streaming platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime have experienced a huge surge in viewers, so much so that they have had to be careful not to overwhelm service providers. It is no surprise that many people are taking lockdown as an opportunity to binge-watch series and reimplement their subscription services. Entertainment sectors in general, including online gaming, have experienced a much higher demand.