Businesses of all sizes have been hit by the sudden economic and social changes caused by the pandemic. Those who could change and adapt survived. Those who were unprepared folded and left the market. And those who acted quickly seized business-changing opportunities.
During this time, several industries developed at an incredible rate, adapting their business models to keep serving their customers and attracting new ones. Technology was at the center of this development.
All of a sudden it felt like companies that most people had never heard of were quickly becoming household brands. The truth is that many of these companies have existed for years, many for decades, and are simply poised for years of overnight success.
The new technology-based “normal” has quickly expanded the market for innovative business models. In fact, studies show that in just a few weeks we increased consumer and business digital adoption by five years. Today, three out of four first-time users of digital channels say that they will continue to use them in the future.
Here you can see how five industries have changed over the past year. Use the trend to evaluate starting opportunities.
As the most expansive industry during the pandemic, digitalization in healthcare became inevitable. Telemedicine penetration increased exponentially, with 48% of US doctors reporting virtually treating patients and 60% of patients expressing willingness to try telemedicine during the pandemic.
Teladoc, the largest telemedicine provider, saw 50% growth from the previous week once the nationwide lockdown began. In addition, wearables, health monitoring devices, and remote diagnostic technology have grown in importance. Technology giants like Apple and Google have joined biotech pioneers like Spry Health and Life Signals to develop sustainable solutions.
Subscription-based online therapy apps like AbleTo, Talkspace, and Wysa also saw accelerated customer adoption during the pandemic as millions dealt with a stressful new normal.
More than 50 million students in the US were affected when over 91,000 schools closed in March 2020 to help contain the spread of the virus. Although the education sector was already in a digital transformation and EdTech is expected to reach a market valuation of $ 350 billion by 2025, the pandemic accelerated that growth.
The adoption of digital learning infrastructures and distance learning services has seen an unprecedented acceleration as students have no choice but to continue their education online. In addition to education management, online learning also found rapid acceptance. Platforms like Udemy reported a 425% increase in enrollments.
Mandatory bans and social distancing norms negatively impacted brick and mortar retail in 2020. The same economic situation accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and online retail as consumers sought safe shopping.
The online grocery store benefited the most from this, accounting for only 6% of total grocery retailing as of 2019. Big companies like Amazon and Walmart have automated their order fulfillment to keep up with increasing demand. Small retailers, on the other hand, turned to third-party automation solution providers like Takeoff Technologies and personal shopper services like Instacart.
In the future, augmented reality and virtual reality will find mass applications in online retail. 3D rendering of stock levels and virtual recreation of the physical shopping experience is the future of retail.
The financial sector has already undergone constant change with FinTech solutions such as contactless payment, mobile banking and online access to insurance and securities services. The pandemic put everything in fifth gear.
27% of small businesses that stayed open during the pandemic reported an increase in contactless payments. Digital banking was also gaining acceptance with consumers: apps like Chime, Simple and Revolut performed better than ever before.
While the pandemic proved little disruptive to the financial industry, the entertainment industry saw remarkable growth in 2020. On-demand and entertainment services like Netflix, Disney +, AppleTV and Amazon Prime brought millions of new users into the black.
Consumers were looking for a virtual simulation of entertainment events such as live concerts, festivals, games and sporting events, resulting in mega-events such as the AMAs organized and streamed online.
While video streaming traffic increased 12%, online video game traffic increased 75%. Social gaming live streams grew in popularity as users searched for exciting interactions while maintaining social distance.
Overall, today’s larger and rapidly growing technology-friendly marketplace will continue to drive enterprise initiation and innovation. The unprecedented rapid change in consumer behavior has made it clear what people need. Now is the best time to build a startup that meets these needs.