coronavirus chances – business perspective

There are industries that were heavily hit by novel coronavirus outbreak. I gave some examples in my previous post on coronavirus threats (you can follow this link). However, every downfall for markets opens chances for others. This crisis is no different. There are industries and companies that are thriving or will grow in near future.

To mention first eCommerce, especially marketplaces. As we are forced to stay at home to protect ourselves and others, we shift our shopping experience to internet. Online shopping experience developed for most of the companies in recent years become their main channel of sale with all its limitations. For most of the companies this is not a prime sale channel and currently not able to cover the gap created by lockdown. Nevertheless, companies that offer marketplace solutions allowing to access wider group of consumers will benefit from current situation. Supported by intelligent client targeting they will be able to offer sellers working channel while making their margin over the sale. Online sale now is equally needed for fashion with AI enabled “fitting experience”, car manufacturers with extended virtual reality car setup tools. The question that stands out is if we will move at larger scale or need for shopping experience will be stronger and will wait this all out. Nevertheless, we can expect number of sale & clearances especially in fashion to see companies hoping to turnaround accumulated stock to regain partially cash flow. Amazon expects to hire 100,000 workers to fulfilment centers.

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Movement in eCommerce needs to be supported by logistics and delivery thriving in current market situation. Having in mind that everything now needs to be moved globally between factories and target markets supply chain and logistics become crucial in securing business flow. This is in the situation where both supply and demand were hit by novel coronavirus. Factories mainly located in Asia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia were shut down threatening demand. On top of that demand was hit by change of shopping experience but mainly but refocusing of clients from luxury goods, fashion, entertainment to food and hygiene products. There is a need to grow local delivery teams supporting local food suppliers in direct sale, couriers who will deliver online shopping or even local shopping for those in lockdown.

Companies who are in entertainment business mainly in streaming are expecting increase in viewership. Their main worry is to have enough interesting content and closing on new productions where possible to keep the people interested and online. Nevertheless, longer lockdown may significantly impact production calendars which may be seen in viewers numbers in coming months. Another part of industry that is growing is online gaming. Even F1 racers to keep focused are moving to online tournaments. This business is expected to grow and companies who are enabling players around the world with equipment and access like Sony via PlayStation, Microsoft via Xbox or Google with Stadia premiere are expected to gain from current situation.

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A lot of use noticed the increased demand for online, remote working experience. Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Google Hangouts and Zoom are seeing increase in usage counted in millions of new users. Solutions that enable companies to make project flows, communication ongoing and teams focused with usage of new tools from Microsoft 365 like Planner or tools from companies like Scoro, Slack, Asana, DocuSign, Salesforce and many others are already experiencing interest in tools available. New clients are expected to stay for longer as new world of remote working is expected to stay with us for longer. Not to forget that this is key place to showcase value of the cloud across companies that were reluctant till now. Microsoft, AWS, Google and Cisco will utilize their strong cloud base to grow their businesses further.

Last but not least in times of health crisis is always pharma. Companies are working to get drugs and vaccines as quickly as possible available globally. Already millions of dollars are coming in funding to secure fast track for coronavirus related research and trials. Number of labs are chasing the time but not as usual we are seeing collaboration across researchers sharing results and discussing potential scenarios and finally sharing work. Some are working to develop new solutions, other are testing to speed up the global effort. Close to pharma would be all the health startups that are offering new telehealth solutions. Connecting patients with doctors regardless of the place. The more it’s related to new equipment the better for the startups. Teladoc gets additional funding from the market. Solutions like HIGO can see bright future ahead with connecting doctors’ availability with personal checkup tools allowing doctors to give well informed diagnosis or recommendations.

As the usage of online is increasing it gives big chance to grow for telecoms, broadband connectivity providers will see increase demand on the services and a lot of pressure to maintain availability and quality of the service. Investment in 5G will allow to secure new demand.

There are industries that are on crossroads. They can see current situation as a chance or as curse.

  • Personal banking – reluctant to invest in digital solutions allowing customers to full online service without unnecessary visits in branch will see quick decrease in customer numbers. Banks that offer fully digitalized solution connecting more even outside from standard banking and offering quicker and safer payment in eCommerce, giving better client experience will be winners.
  • Manufacturing – lockdown is closing factories; this will impact production but also force companies to invest in automation solutions to make them people dependent as little as possible. Question now is what will future proof manufacturing
  • Education – online solutions are posing new chances for education availability but key elements to be successful is quality of the content as well as output tool flexibility and finally ease of connectivity. This may also change in the future the way we see education and how we will validate its quality across future teams.

Time of crisis always possess great threats to jobs. Nevertheless, it always positions chances to win to companies that have wider portfolio and were using more channels to connect to customers. The key questions for all of us is how long the whole situation will last. The shorter the better. Time of crisis is also a chance for innovation.

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Articles that inspired text above:

  1. https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/not-all-is-lost-some-businesses-are-thriving-during-covid-19
  2. https://amp.thenational.ae/business/technology/coronavirus-sectors-thriving-despite-the-economic-gloom-1.997795
  3. https://nocamels.com/2020/03/coronavirus-economy-5-industries-thriving/

Author: Michal Tarabula

Experienced business services professional with over 13 years of experience, working in this diversified world of ours. Trying to work out how we could understand each other better.

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