The winners of lockdown: which industries are thriving?
Over the past few months, the UK economy has suffered a great degree of turbulence, with many businesses being forced to rethink their strategy and adapt to the changing circumstances. The catastrophic alternation within consumer demands saw shortages in basic consumer goods, and the closures of many sectors. After many months of economic uncertainty, Boris Johnson announced that the coronavirus peak has now passed and has outlined plans for economic recovery. However, despite many sectors beginning to open back up, and employees coming off furlough pay to return to work, the economy still remains fragile.
200 million users for Zoom
While consumer demands, both during lockdown and post-pandemic, have changed and adapted to the global situation, not all industries have suffered a net loss. Those sectors that provided a necessary service saw a dramatic increase in their profits. Platforms such as Zoom, practically unheard of before March, saw a significant increase in their user data and analytics, with its daily users rocketing from 10 million to over 200 million across three months. With many employees still working from home, and many universities opting for a blended approach, virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft teams and Skype, have become entrenched in our society in a way never seen before.
The Tik Tok craze
Similarly, social media and home entertainment platforms have seen a considerable spike in users. The social media site Tik Tok became, and continues to be, a source of entertainment for the general public during lockdown. The Tik Tok craze amplified the opportunity for brands to establish their presence, and market their products, especially when attempting to target generation-Z audience; a generation considered by marketers hard to reach. Platforms such as Netflix saw an increase in over 16-million subscriptions during lockdown, with Disney+ almost doubling its streaming figures after expanding in the UK and Europe.
10,000 new jobs
The changing consumer trends formed over lockdown, are becoming more and more engrained into the post-pandemic society as a new normal begins to arise. The E-commerce industry saw a spike in sales during lockdown, as many retail stores closed their doors and moved their services online. However, while stores slowly begin to re-open, under social distancing measures, many consumers are continuing to make their purchases online and E-commerce platforms continue to grow. Retail giants such as Amazon, took on over 100,000 new jobs to account for the increase in customer demand.
With many individuals finding the time to address their fitness goals, the health and fitness sector has prospered. With the physical closing of gymnasium facilities, many individuals have turned to home equipment, resulting in a boom in the sales of bikes. Whether individuals are cycling to avoid public transport or looking to get their exercise, bike sales have increased by over 60%. Weeks after lockdown, health and fitness brands saw a steep increase in their sales, due to the focus on the importance of exercise for both physical and mental wellbeing, with Boris Johnson initially allowing the public out for exercise once a day. This seismic shift in public consciousness, has seen a year-on-year increase for health and fitness brands – staying fit is as much about getting those endorphins as it is about looking trim.
Virtual learning platforms
Virtual learning platforms, such as LinkedIn learning, Google Garage and Coursea have seen a substantial increase in user data, as individuals look to learning platforms to occupy their extra time. In January, LinkedIn Learning shared 560 thousand hours of videos with users, whereas in April the platform was sharing over 1.7 million hours of content with users. Lockdown has changed consumer behaviour, and consequently professionals have become much more aware of the platforms available that provide the opportunity to upskill and gain specialised knowledge. Online learning platforms have thrived during the pandemic and have not only increased in consumer usage but also in customer recommendations.
The principles of demand and supply are fundamental to economic balance, consumer demands have adapted to the global situation, those businesses that can recognise the opportunity to supply to the specific wants and needs of the consumer will find themselves thriving – despite the overall economic uncertainty. It is these businesses that offer the greatest opportunity for the Graduate of 2020.