The coronavirus crisis and the associated social shutdown have changed the world forever. That much is for sure, even as the death toll from the pandemic continues to grow all over the world.
Despite global governments offering bailouts and economic support to companies that have been hit hard by the impact of the virus, it seems likely that a lot of businesses will go bust.
The crisis has been good for some industries, though. Firms in these sectors have been able to profit thanks to little more than simply being in the right place at the right time.
Let’s take a look at four industries that have been changed forever as a result of the pandemic.
Lockdown conditions have resulted in a huge boost in e-commerce usage around the world. With people advised to stay at home other than for essential journeys, online stores are booming. According to new data from the Emarsys/GoodData tracker, in the US and Canada, there was a 56 per cent year-on-year growth in online orders for the fortnight ending on April 4.
Some online operators have struggled to cope with the unprecedented demand for goods. Panic-buying has been blamed for stock shortages, but it is worth noting that people are also consuming more food and using extra household items due to spending more time at home too.
While revenues for many eCommerce companies may rise due to the coronavirus crisis, they have had to cope with increased costs too. Many of them have taken on a lot of extra staff to manage demand more effectively.
Amazon was already an eCommerce titan but its position at the top of the industry has been further secured as a result of the pandemic. Amazon has become even more indispensable than ever across the planet and its future, therefore, looks to be extremely positive indeed.
The rise in meal delivery usage has been quite similar to that seen by eCommerce companies through the crisis to date. With countless restaurants having been forced to close their doors, many of them started to offer meal delivery in a bid to stay afloat until the end of the pandemic.
The quality of home meal delivery is now exceptional
Online meal delivery services such as Uber Eats and Just Eat have also seen a mixed impact, however. With fewer restaurants open and many people treating the lockdown as a chance to enjoy home-cooked food, demand has been uneven for the past couple of months. Grubhub has reported a rise in demand in certain areas of the United States of late, but the firm’s CEO Matt Maloney recently said that New York City is “not doing well” due to restaurant closures.
Some people have questioned whether it is ethical to get meal deliveries during the coronavirus crisis, potentially putting drivers at risk, though many are still enjoying eating takeaway food too. The virus has raised questions about the working rights and pay given to meal delivery drivers, which is a debate that is likely to remain open after the number of cases has long receded.
With land-based casinos across America closed because of the lockdown, online casinos have seen a spike in demand of late. People who want to play casino classics such as blackjack and roulette have been left with little choice but to head online to place their bets instead.
Some land casinos seem likely to shut for good, with the future of Las Vegas seemingly having been thrust into doubt. Nevada city, the world’s gambling capital, has been left as a ghost town with hundreds of thousands of workers in the state at risk of losing their jobs in the sector.
CasinosCA’s Zoe Walker comments: “Online casinos have a number of key benefits over land-based casinos, such as the flexibility they offer, which people are learning about now. Bonuses and promotions also tend to be a lot more attractive at online casinos.”
As people get more used to gambling online, can these land-based casinos survive – especially as it is unclear when lockdown conditions will be lifted?
One industry that will be irrevocably changed because of coronavirus is the airline sector. Planes around the world have been grounded and many airlines are losing money at a frightening rate, requiring massive bailouts from governments in order to keep operating.
British billionaire Richard Branson has been criticised for asking for a loan for his struggling Virgin Atlantic airline, despite offering his private Caribbean island Necker as leverage.
United Airlines this week said the company expects to record a $2.1 billion loss for the first quarter of 2020. Its revenues are down 17 per cent for the three-month period compared to 2019. Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are due to publish similarly negative results soon.
Many airlines already had a questionable future as members of the public have grown more concerned about climate change and the negative impact of flying on the environment. Air travel is widely credited as one of the reasons the coronavirus spread from its origin in China so quickly and this could put some people off from flying in the future as a result too.