How Many Industries Did COVID-19 Disrupt?

How Many Industries Did COVID-19 Disrupt?

We’re now in the fifth month of 2021, and thankfully most countries have managed to painstakingly mitigate the most critical consequences of this loathsome bat-plague. The world has been going through constant change and last year’s COVID-19 global outbreak expedited a lot of this change, particularly fast-tracking digital transformation worldwide.

Since the beginning of the millennium, businesses, governments, students, and basically any individual has grown to rely on a lot more. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, young adult Internet usage has seen a steady increase, rising from 70 to 96% between 2000 and 2018. In a separate study from the same institution, smartphone ownership has seen an even more rapid progression between 2011 and 2018, growing from 35 to 81%.

The world of business and commerce has been surfing this wave of innovation too, challenging CEOs and pitting organizations against each other on, curiously, a non-geographical playing field. What the global pandemic had inadvertently done was start a digitization race among anyone interested in turning resources into profit.

Aside from businesses and various types of organizations adapting to the effects of lockdowns and travel restrictions being imposed worldwide, the consumer market has also been greatly affected by the pandemic. Face masks, social distancing, and work or self-imposed home quarantines have become the norm for most of 2020, save for those in the food and beverage service industry, which has been able to open back up mid-year.

Individuals across the world have changed and now utilize various online tools like apps and websites to get various tasks done from the safety and comforts of their homes. Things like doing groceries, buying meals, paying bills, and even holding meetings with coworkers or attending school classes are now customarily done without ever leaving the front door.

This development has affected several industries, and as can be deduced from the previous statement, the food and beverage service industry has seen no shortage of business. An article from EHL Insights outlines the changes and innovations that the F&B industry has or will need to adapt moving forward.

Arguably all the technology powering the switch to an online or remote world requiring minimal physical interaction already exists and has existed for quite some time.

What first was most commonly encountered when traveling through airports in the form of boarding pass barcodes that can be pulled up on your phone’s screen and scanned at the boarding gate is now found in many other entry and exit points, not just in airports. Online universities worldwide had been awarding accredited degrees to students for years and don’t even require the graduate to live in the same country the institution is registered in.

In the world of marketing and advertisement, however, the digitization of the industry and shift to non-print ad material had been evident for years. Digital Marketing has become a household term, and the “Digital Nomad” lifestyle has become increasingly more popular and attainable thanks to the surge in demand for brand managers, social media strategists, and content creators worldwide.

As reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub, predictions for online ad expenditure have dropped in 2020 and 2021 compared to forecasts made pre-pandemic. Still, the new estimates for online ad spending in 2022 to 2024 are at US$99.22B, exceeding those made before the world went into quarantine at US$91.32B.

In the retail industry, independent businesses on Amazon have seen a boom in sales as much as 60% during the benchmark Black Friday weekend year for year, and this is expected to progress as 62% of shoppers in the United States and 49% worldwide say that they are more likely to purchase goods online than before the pandemic.

It’s widely accepted nowadays that most if not all industries are not only seeing intermediary changes but are entering into what experts have dubbed the “New Normal.” Changes in various fields such as working remotely, spending more on digital marketing, and using apps and tools to accomplish many of our daily tasks are just some of the developments that are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

In conclusion, it goes beyond the assumption that both consumer and provider trends, behaviors, and processes have been greatly affected by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV). In reaction to this, the commercial world has seen several changes in both the market and businesses, particularly with regards to technological and digital implementations across all departments and fields of business.

COVID-19 now serves as an urgent call to action for business owners to keep up with the trend and no longer rely primarily on brick and mortar storefronts, print and radio marketing, and face-to-face interactions for sales and customer service. This shift, however, need not be unassisted, as there are several tools and online courses that allow business owners, service providers, and basically any organization with something to offer the market to have a better perspective on the digital playing field, allowing them a more straightforward path on which to plan and implement these changes.

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