The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way in which the world works. The impact can be seen both on our lives and the global economy. However, it also showed that in situations like global pandemics, online business and marketing tend to be much more resilient. This is because they offer a contact-less solution to many problems, which, in these scenarios, may even end up being life-saving.
Moreover, where the majority of industries plummet (international trade, manufacturing, etc.), online businesses seem to thrive, which is why it’s not hard to imagine them as the backbone of our economy in the foreseeable future. Here are some ways in which online businesses and marketing are affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Streaming services are booming
People are spending more time indoor than they ever did before and they are bored senseless. So, streaming platforms like Disney+ and Netflix have undergone a massive boost in the number of subscribers. Now, due to the situation with the virus, a lot of studios are unable to record, which makes the situation quite difficult. Also, with some of the movies that were supposed to premier in 2020, pushed to 2021 (like Villeneuve’s Dune), it seems that people are getting pushed more and more towards streaming services. Whether or not theatres will ever be able to bounce back remains to be seen.
Because shopping in a traditional way is still seen as a health risk, there’s been a sizable e-commerce growth in 2020. This trend is bound to carry on well into 2021. For starters, you need to keep in mind that e-commerce is not only the safest but also the most convenient method of shopping. While popular amongst millennials and Gen Z members, some customers from older demographics have tried this concept out for the very first time this year. A lot of them will never revert back to the old way of things, even after the pandemic is over.
3. Conferencing and communication tools
Another field that is thriving in various conferencing and communication tools. You see, the importance of having a reliable live streaming service is higher than ever. With people working from home, they need to be able to perform their in-person appearances, regardless if we’re talking about seminars or business meetings without any interruptions. Moreover, this is necessary for the survival of the event industry. Sure, you’re unable to host an event for 200 people but there’s nothing stopping you from live-streaming your annual conference or sponsored event.
4. Increase in certain categories
With people having to fend for themselves, there’s been a huge spike in interest in board games, chess sets and workout equipment. Another massive increase in interest can be seen in DIY kits and materials. People are spending more time at home, which means that they finally have the time for all those DIY improvements and upgrades that they’ve always wanted to engage in. A chance to do this DIY helps them both pass the time and reduce the cost of the project.
5. Panic buying
One thing that always has to be addressed in moments like this is the idea of panic buying and the way in which it’s caused by global events/media reporting on global events. Last year, we had a chance to see a prime example of panic buying, however, people also got a chance to witness what a failure in this regard looks like. People who tried stockpile buying were dragged on social media and the majority of their purchases turned up to be unnecessary. With the supply back in order, they were unable to sell back these stockpiled items. In other words, the chances of this instance repeating are not as high as they were last year.
6. Remote work is bigger than ever
At the present, more and more companies are forced to switch to telecommuting as their default business model. It is more than clear that this transition is quite rough but there are some businesses who practice this for years now. Due to the lack of downtime (or decrease in productivity) caused by this transition period, it seems as if these companies have a significant competitive edge. This is at least true when compared to their competitors who are late at the party. Most importantly, it’s hard to make an estimate of how many businesses will keep this model even after it’s safe to go back to work.
7. Digital marketing and online business
While we’ve already described how a lot of businesses thrived and prospered even under these circumstances, it’s worth mentioning that about three-quarters of advertisers held back on their campaign launches. Why? Well, mostly because of the uncertain future and a drop in global purchasing power parity. Then again, people have been spending more time on social media and more time online, in general. From the marketer’s point of view, this is a huge untapped potential.
At the end of the day, in 2020, the pandemic changed everything. It is therefore little surprise that the same would be true for the business world, in so many aspects. Additionally, it’s important to notice one thing – while the majority of industries are plummeting, online businesses are growing. This is just another indicator of our ingenuity and resilience as a species. It is also a fine example of how every industry’s diversification inevitably leads to greater resilience to all types of disasters.