Devastating economies across the globe, the rapid and uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 has affected more than 160 countries worldwide. Countless countries are struggling to manage the pandemic’s outsize effect on socio-economic conditions and experiencing uncertainties at an unprecedented rate.
With these conditions dragging on for months now, people are adapting themselves to social distancing, staying indoors, and avoiding human contact, hardly the best recipe for business success. Consequently, global financial markets have been severely disrupted and many small and medium businesses are hovering on the brink of collapse.
Yet technology has provided some good news in the midst of this gloomy scenario, pointing the way to a resumption of vigorous commerce even when customers are experiencing stringent social lockdowns.
Survival of the fittest?
Darwin’s theory of adaptation and survival holds true not just for paleolithic creatures but also for modern-day entrepreneurs and businesses. While the pandemic has forced many businesses to close their doors for good, those businesses that have managed to adapt quickly to the context of the coronavirus are booming, largely as a result of shifting offline businesses to online systems.
4 Compelling Reasons to Shift Your Business Online
- Social Distancing: Online operations are the best way to support social distancing guidelines by providing contactless deliveries. Dominos has established itself as a leader with this new and successful strategy of zero contact delivery.
- Growth of mobile apps: During the pandemic, mobile app usage has increased significantly and is expected to double by 2024. Moreover, downloads will reach 183.7 billion, 9% greater than was forecasted prior to the emergence of COVID-19.
- Increase in Online Shopping: With the pandemic disrupting supply chains, retail stores are struggling to keep products in stock. Consumers are turning in droves to online stores. With the high demand for online shopping, even Amazon says it is out of stock of household items, and deliveries are delayed due to coronavirus demand. Online shopping in categories like electronics and health have recently experienced a 91% and 109% increase.
Have an offline business that is struggling due to restrictions associated with the pandemic? Now may be the right time to reshape your business and move it online. Here are some businesses that are particularly promising for now and the near future.
- Online Educational Platforms: Educational institutions all over the world are shutting their doors and pausing face-to-face instruction due to the pandemic, instead moving courses online, a challenging endeavor when resources are tight and staff are unfamiliar with online education methods. This difficult situation could create an appealing opportunity for entrepreneurial educators able to facilitate this transition to online learning. The time is ripe: statistics show that educational app downloads spiked in March 2020, increasing nearly 300%.
- Grocery Delivery: Fear of infection, along with government restrictions, has forced people indoors, resulting in a spike in the practice of ordering groceries online for delivery. Downloads of Instacart, Walmart’s grocery app, and Shipt have increased 218%, 160%, and 124%, respectively. Reliance start-up Jio Mart is challenging Amazon and Flipkart in the online grocery delivery market, demonstrating that, even with heavy competition in this sector, proper planning, pricing and strategy can lead to success.
- E-commerce: During the pandemic, even mom and pop stores can reach their customers and attain sustainability thanks to online marketing, which now allows everyone and anyone to sell their products online and increase their sales through online platforms. Per the Quantum Metric report, online sales have surged 52% from last year, and the number of online shoppers has increased 8.8% since the outbreak. E-commerce business is the right choice if you want to achieve zero contact deliverables with your customers while boosting sales.
- On-demand healthcare: With many clinics limiting practice due to the pandemic, online healthcare consultants have suddenly become the rule rather than a novelty. For example, the Manchester-based online doctor platform Push Doctor recently saw a 70% surge in consultations. With the pandemic predicted to continue for at least another year, online medical consultations is likely to be a strong business model for the future.
- Pickup and delivery: Ensuring that your product reaches customers undamaged is a crucial element of any supply chain. With many businesses ramping up their online sales, high-quality delivery solutions are in demand, and this sector is experiencing a surge.
- Fitness and wellness:Gyms and fitness centers are some of the businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic. According to Business Insider, with fitness centers and gyms shutting down due to government restrictions, customers are now moving to online workout platforms and fitness channels and maintaining their exercise routine from home. Online platforms or apps that provide fitness routines, yoga, guided meditation, and workout classes could very well be successful ventures in the current climate, as people find themselves more aware of health concerns, working from home, and looking for new ways to stay fit, healthy, and active.
- Food Delivery: Few business sectors have been as decimated by the pandemic as restaurants. As a result, according to The Guardian, reliable, reasonably priced food delivery services are desperately needed and an appealing opportunity for the enterprising entrepreneur.
The future is yours to create
The pandemic has resulted in a difficult period for the entire business world. Yet hard times are often the catalyst for re-invention, creativity, and, ultimately, success. With proper planning, strategy, and resources, as in the examples above, agile businesses can thrive even during a time of global disruption.
Whether you are already in business or going to start a new venture, get in touch with us. TaskTrain can boost your success by helping you scale your business and automate your workflow for the virtual future.