COVID-19 has disrupted daily life on a scale that most of us have never seen before.
And while the world continues to grapple with the economic ripple effects caused by the virus, businesses large and small are forced to switch gears and reevaluate their strategies.
But, amid the grim news stories, there’s room for optimism.
As aviation, tourism, and hospitality take major hits, there are other industries that are thriving.
In this article, we’ll run through some of the top job sectors that are seeing an uptick in demand.
Online Learning Courses
It seems like overnight, the conversation surrounding online learning has shifted from whether or not these methods work to how fast we should implement them.
From K-12 to major universities, schools around the country are closing their doors, leaving millions seeking eLearning alternatives.
Fortunately, there are various online learning resources at their disposal, including Outschool, Prodigy, and Khan Academy.
And with numerous organizations requiring their teams to work from home, many of these employees are taking the opportunity to sharpen their skills or further their education using platforms like Coursera.
Guns and Ammunition
It turns out people aren’t just panic buying hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and toilet paper—they’re stocking up on firearms too. In fact, ammunitions site Ammo.com reported that between February 23rd and March 15th, they saw a staggering 309 percent increase in revenue and 77 percent increase in site traffic.
Gun sales are climbing not only in areas with a high number of coronavirus cases like California, New York, and Washington. There’s also been a spike in less-affected areas, in which first-time buyers fear a collapse of social order and long-time gun owners are fearful of government-sanctioned gun restrictions.
As lockdowns continue to go into effect around the world, people’s entertainment options are dwindling. To pass the time that would otherwise be spent hanging out with friends or hitting up happy hour, millions are turning to video games while on lockdown.
Popular PC gaming platform, Steam, shattered records recently by having roughly 20 million people logged in simultaneously.
Having a massive influx of users is also what lead to Nintendo’s nine-hour network outage on March 17th.
Video Streaming Services
At-home entertainment platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and HBO have seen huge surges in subscribership over the past few weeks.
As government and public health officials continue to urge people to stay indoors, there’s more time than ever to “Netflix and Chill.”
- Streaming services like Netflix are seeing massive boosts in subscriptions
HBO reported that binge-viewing series has grown by 65 percent, while movie watching is up 70 percent on HBO Now.
Although there was a general expectation that music apps like Spotify and Pandora would be utilized more heavily during these uncertain times, it looks like radio beat them to it.
Apparently, more people turn to radio stations when situations like the coronavirus pandemic arise because it offers music with a complimentary side of news, analysis, entertainment, and companionship.
The streaming decline can also be attributed to less people commuting to work, running errands, or visiting shops or gyms, which would also normally be streaming music at their locations.
From stalled supply chains to plummeting sales, it goes without saying that business leaders are struggling to make operations run smoothly right now. There’s also the added pressure of managing a remote workforce, which can be particularly challenging if they’ve never worked from home before.
- Trello productivity software offers great benefits, while most people are working from home
But, with tools like Trello, Basecamp, and Todoist, you can keep your employees on track and easily assign tasks, collaborate with colleagues, and monitor progress.
Video Conferencing Tools
Global downloads of popular video conferencing and collaboration tools like WeChat Work, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack have increased by nearly five times since January.
Since in-person meetings are out of the question, video meetings offer a great alternative in which attendees can convey their ideas in real-time without the repercussions of potentially spreading the virus to others.
Another winning feature of most video conferencing software tools is that they often have screen-sharing capabilities, as well as recording and live chat functionality.
Online Payment Companies
The coronavirus pandemic is causing many people to think twice about using cash. To avoid the potential hygiene risks associated with banknotes, there’s a growing shift towards digital and contactless payments instead.
That’s why we’re seeing online payment companies like Visa, Mastercard, Square, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Venmo flourishing right now.
Drive-in Movie Theaters
What better way to keep your distance than by staying in your own car?
With standard movie theaters viewed as less safe because they’re built to house dozens of people in rather tight spaces, drive-in theaters offer people the chance to have a full-on cinematic experience all from the comfort of their own vehicle. With malls, concert halls, and several other venues closed, drive-ins provide a way for families to get out of the house and spend quality time together while still abiding by social distancing guidelines.
Cleaning Product Companies
It’s no surprise that a pandemic would be good for disinfectant sales. Companies like Clorox, Lysol, Proctor & Gamble, and Scrub Daddy are seeing unprecedented demand spikes due to COVID-19.
From hand sanitizer to facial masks, to household cleaning products, people are stocking up on supplies as a preventive measure to combat the virus’ spread.
- It’s no surprise that cleaning and janitorial companies are seeing huge spikes in revenue
During the week of March 14th, aerosol disinfectants, sales were up 519 percent, while multi-purpose cleaners saw a 243 percent increase in demand.
Medical Device Companies
Companies currently working on diagnostic equipment, medical ventilators, and testing and treatment for COVID-19 have quickly become the hottest stocks in the market. While a lot of these companies are early-stage biotech stocks, there are also plenty of well-known healthcare giants like Quiagen, Roche, and Thermo-Fisher in the mix.
Roche even received the go-ahead from the FDA for emergency use of the world’s first commercially developed high-volume coronavirus diagnostic test. The was approved by the agency within the first 24 hours of receiving the application.
With people told to shelter in place and keep at least six feet away from others, this pandemic has only magnified the reliance we have on services like Amazon.
While much of the economy has been in decline mode in recent weeks, Amazon revealed that they needed an additional 100,000 warehouse workers to meet surging demand.
Amazon has been a long-time rival of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, but with shoppers now reluctant to physically go to a store and purchase their items, they’re looking to the e-commerce titan for a wider assortment of goods.
Food Delivery Services
An unfortunate part of social isolation involves not going to your favorite restaurants. There are a fair amount of eateries that did away with their dine-in and offer pick-up options instead. But, for those not looking to take any chances, companies that offer food delivery services are booming right now.
Take DoorDash for example. The profitable food delivery company chose to wave all delivery fees during the coronavirus pandemic and partner up with 100,000 independent restaurants to sign up for free.
Blue Apron, a popular meal kit company, even saw its stock surge more than 70 percent on March 17th.
We’ve all seen the news stories where frenzied crowds rush into supermarkets and start filling up their carts with enough food and supplies to last a year. Since many restaurants closed their doors to deter the spread of coronavirus, people took it upon themselves to stock up on goods and prepare to eat at home for the foreseeable future.
Of the larger grocery store chains, Kroger and Costco received quite the sales boost in recent weeks.
Following the increase, Costco released a memo that stated, “We are currently experiencing a monumental surge in our sales and foot traffic in the warehouse. In response, we are opening up the seasonal hiring period to help us increase the size of our staff and ease the pressure through this busy period.”
Liquor and Wine Shops
With bars across the nation closing until further notice, people are flocking to their local liquor and wine stores. For many consumers unsure of how they’re going to cope with the looming threat of economic uncertainty, they’d prefer to have their liquor cabinets well-stocked when they find out.
Additionally, there’s also a subset of this group who are buying up all the liquor to make their own sanitizing solution and/or household cleaning products when grocery and drug stores run out.
What Should We Expect Next?
At this point, it’s hard to predict what the future holds for these industries.
Will they be able to weather the storm? Or will they collapse under pressure?
Only time will tell.
From a cursory glance, areas like online learning, online shopping, and public health infrastructure may have some staying power. But, regardless of sector, COVID-19 is likely to transform the way companies configure their supply chains moving forward.
As the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to unravel, we’re not ruling out the fact that we may need to remove or add some more industries to this list. We’re hoping for the latter!