Every type of industry was affected by the pandemic in 2020, and this is continuing now as we move further into 2021. Individual traders, small businesses, and famous names such as JC Penney have closed outlets and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Industries that involve human interaction have been harder than most, with tourism, air travel, retail, and hospitality, all suffering from a huge drop in revenue and job losses.
However, some companies saw a surge in business during 2020 and are set to reap the financial benefits in the future. Just as in the recession of 2008, while many businesses fail, others were perfectly capable of adapting to the climate back then and not only survived but thrived.
What industries look likely to come out of the pandemic in better shape than 2019?
Shopping malls and the high street may never look the same again
The online retail industry grew by 44% during 2020 compared to 2019’s figures. In monetary terms, the total revenue for eCommerce retail stood around $4.3 trillion in 2020 and is expected to grow by more than a trillion dollars by 2022.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Amazon is the biggest eCommerce retailer on the planet with Chinese and Japanese competitors taking up the next spaces to complete the big top five. But, it isn’t only Amazon that will come out of 2020 in good shape.
The retailers that will survive the pandemic will be the ones that have embraced digital sales and those that had already introduced vertical integration into their business.
Any retailers standing still in 2021 could find themselves in for increasingly tougher times.
People will order food differently, or will they?
While there are many people just itching to get back to normality, there are others whose fear of the pandemic may lead them to change their habits permanently. It has been predicted by many that high streets and urban retail areas may never again see the type of footfall that they enjoyed in the past.
This could have a knock-on effect on restaurants, takeaways, and other food outlets. The pandemic led to more people than ever using food delivery services and this DoorDash’s IPO ended up 86% above its opening price once trading had finished. Does this mean food delivery services are going to emerge from the pandemic as healthy businesses?
The jury is out on this one. While Amazon purchased 16% of Deliveroo, showing a huge amount of trust in the future of the business, not everyone thought the same way. The Deliveroo IPO was a disaster and when you look at other delivery services they all follow a similar pattern, they lose money. Deliveroo doubled its orders during the pandemic yet still made a loss.
Uber has lost billions of dollars, DoorDash lost $660 million in 2019, and Deliveroo has yet to prove it has a plan for making a profit. Combine tiny margins for making profits with a growing concern for how their drivers are treated and there is a huge risk for investors.
Online gambling is very healthy
One area that is certain to come out of the pandemic in good shape is online gambling. Where the traditional bookmakers and casinos have suffered, their online cousins are thriving.
There are many technology trends that will define gaming in the future and online casinos are already set up to take advantage of this. Approximately a quarter of the world enjoys gambling in some form and the pandemic pushed these people, and new players online. Slots, poker, blackjack, and other casino games are already available, but it is the use of tech that will help this industry to keep growing.
Virtual Reality headsets and casinos will become more popular, as will live dealers, virtual sports, and there is an interest in eSports combined with gambling too.
Bingo, online slots, poker tournaments, and other games have become highly popular, but how traditional sportsbooks and casinos fare after Covid remains to be seen.
The Movie and TV industry has already started adapting
Cinemas across the world closed during 2020 as they were deemed to be non-essential and also difficult to operate with social distancing rules. Although cinemas are re-opening and fans enjoy watching new movies on the big screen, many have found the convenience of streaming at home.
There are so many streaming services available now that it would take too much space to list them but they cater to mainstream, international, and niche audiences. It is this variety and the complete ease of access that means many of these subscription-based platforms will thrive. Whether there are enough viewers to maintain all of them is debatable, but big companies such as Disney, HBO, Netflix, and Amazon, are likely to continue gathering new viewers and growing for the foreseeable future.
Social Media was a boon to many during Covid
When you look at the most popular Google searches during 2020 then you will see it was dominated by the US elections, coronavirus – naturally, and also Zoom.
Social media played an important part in keeping people communicating during lockdowns as friends and loved ones were separated. Usage and engagement of social media increased during the pandemic. The increased use of social media has been a growing trend over recent years and shows no sign of slowing down.
There are things you must understand if you want an eCommerce business and one of them is a digital marketing and the use of social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter should all continue to grow after the pandemic and the lockdowns have only increased their user base and activity.
It is easy to assume that any online business is in a great place to trade during the pandemic and after, however, a strong business model still needs to be in place.
Netflix picked up millions of more subscribers during 2020 and although that number has slowed they still drew in more viewers at the start of 2021. Online kaszinók has attracted people with free spins on their slot games and a huge variety of gambling entertainment.
Not all businesses will emerge from Covid with viable businesses and operating online is no guarantee. Food delivery services have shown that being online isn’t enough if you don’t know how to make a profit.