Top Emerging Business Opportunities Post-COVID-19
Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Siva Balakrishnan, CEO of Vserve Ebusiness Solutions.
COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact not only on health and humanity but also on the global economy. The drastic shift in consumer behavior has created an everlasting ripple effect on businesses from all industries. The short-term behaviors of consumers coping with this crisis tend to last long-term impacting business models, partnerships, and the competitive landscape.
Businesses that evolve and innovate to meet the growing customer demand, while adding value to address the current crisis will stand to win.
Telemedicine – The Need of the Hour
Telemedicine experts are extending the reach of healthcare professionals as patients are being advised to seek care from the comfort of their homes. A large majority of the audience who never tried telehealth services are comfortable with using it now. A recent report suggests there is a 40% increase in telemedicine support in the US since December 2019.
Being the need of the hour, the industry is demanding support for – ongoing medical assistance, customer service, and health report maintenance. AI-chatbot services are providing adaptable solutions to telemedicine and non-profit organizations for customer service to cope with the crisis.
Beyond finding opportunities, it is also the responsibility of B2B service providers to provide true value to healthcare through quality service and cost-efficiency.
Pharmaceutical Industry – Cloud-Computing for Secure Vaccine Development
Though vaccine developments can take over a year, the global pharmaceutical industry is currently working under intense pressure to accelerate the performance for a COVID-19 vaccine and drug development. In fact, OpitmizeRx, a digital health firm, is providing CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) alerts about the virus through a cloud-based system to healthcare workers.
US-based Biotech company, Moderna uses Amazon cloud-computing service to collaborate with US health agencies to accelerate vaccine development. Digital health firms around the world are joining hands with the pharmaceutical industry to provide innovative and secure solutions for vaccine development.
Education Industry – AI-Empowered Online Education
Educational Institutions are adapting innovative tools for learning to thrive in this post-pandemic world. It’s no longer about thinking digital, instead, it’s about being digital.
This shift in the learning system with online classes replacing the traditional methods; and the demand for new learning management software (LMS) have created opportunities to collaborate education with technology on a better scale. AI-empowered tools to assist in attendance and validate candidates are predicted to be the new norm of the future educational system.
Manufacturing Industries – Flexible Solutions to Meet the Supply Chain Demand
The manufacturing industry has a varied response to the COVID-19 situation – while some manufacturers are reducing production, others are increasing and adapting new technology to meet the growing demand. Shifting to a flexible solution, breweries and wineries are producing sanitizers, and automotive industries are developing ventilators and masks. This has opened opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations.
The challenge to meet the supply chain has made manufacturers seek the support of digital technologies. They’ve also approached artificial intelligence in order to monitor, assess, and foresee the future of the post-pandemic world to improve productivity and to train and support their employees.
eCommerce – Consumer Shift Towards Online Shopping Rises
Waking up to a new economic reality has changed the consumer’s retail behavior in profound ways. In fact, a recent study found that global online grocery sales reached 110% in April. While there is a high demand for online shopping, eCommerce stores are facing the challenge of meeting their consumer’s needs; inventory flux, time management and customer support. Needless to say, the responsibility to provide a no-touch, hygienic experience in every sale.
This created a need for retail stores to stabilize their product management system; manage their inventory flow; and provide on-time communication support to their customers – opening endless opportunities for eCommerce outsourcing services to support the retail industry.
Online Payment Platforms – Efforts to Improve Accessible Payment Solutions
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends customers to pay contactless rather than with cash. When the pandemic made every brick-and-mortar store adopt a curb-side pickup and eCommerce module, online payment gateways turned to be the ultimate support for every retailer – big or small.
Online payment platforms are now creating more digital options and solutions for customers. Devising an inclusive setup for the audience irrespective of their educational and financial background. Building omnichannel payment solutions to accommodate varying ways of shopping – accelerating business opportunities to collaborate with tech support in the future.
Delivery Industry – New Partnerships to Meet Customer Demand
COVID-19 is transforming the delivery industry – Food delivery services are expanding their warehouses to integrate with neighborhood stores for hyper-local deliveries. New collaborations have started when the on-delivery app provided a plethora of options. To meet the need of a hygienic delivery solution, drone companies – Wings, UPS Freight forward and Zipline are all experimenting drone delivery trials of medical and industrial goods.
Due to the challenges, regulations, and operating models, drones are not used for the delivery of common goods. However, with technical support and innovative solutions, the industry will overcome technical, social, and legislative hurdles to make drone delivery a common phenomenon.
Insurance Industry – Cloud and Digital Core System to Improve Customer Experience
Forbes recently reported a 30-50% increase in insurance sales for companies with insurance apps with data/algorithms to improve customer experience. The InsurTech industry has long embraced digital experience platforms, advanced data analytics and cloud API enabled core platforms to innovative products that scale their business.
Development of partner ecosystem technology, data channels is not only building out insurers to work with partners but also within new ecosystems like mobility, health, wealth, financial service, and more.
Marketing Industry – Setting the Fire Ablaze Through New Customer Experience
Though marketing will be an out-of-pocket expense for many businesses post-COVID, a data-driven marketing approach is the only solution to meet the shift in consumer behavior. A recent report suggests that 72% project overall 2020 B2B marketing budgets will increase, stay the same, or only be cut moderately.
With a considerable decrease in impulse buying, the retail industry should seek the support of B2B marketers to innovate solutions for customer experience. With the communication moving online, the chatbot assistance has become an undeniable part of customer service.
Gaming Industry – Widening Monetization through Subscription Models:
The online gaming industry is being resilient to the pandemic. With a shift in consumer spending preference for fewer games than the previous decade, the gaming business model moved from the single unit sale to resourcing revenue from the base of active users.
Delivery of games via mobile and cloud-based platforms enables the consumers to play streamed games in multiple devices without the need for expensive hardware. Widening monetization avenues through subscription free-to-play models let small quality games break into the mainstream. Activision Blizzard earned 50% above analyst expectation based on the mobile edition “Call of Duty” title.
With low-cost and high value offerings, the gaming industry is expected to increase in partnerships with other entertainment sectors.
Fitness Industry – Digital Fitness is the Next Big Thing!
The impact of the pandemic on the fitness industry has been nothing short of catastrophic. Though the ambiance of the instructor-led classrooms cannot be replicated on online sessions, the industry has no choice but to adapt digital instruction modules to combat the impact.
The solution to combine the sale of fitness equipment with live classes and pre-recorded content as a subscription model is finding revenue. However, the challenge according to Peloton, an American exercise equipment and media company, is meeting the soaring customer demand. With the situation changing after the lockdown scenario, the fitness industry definitely needs business support to meet the demand of the bifurcating audience, choosing between traditional classroom workout and the luxury of at-home workout routines.
The global pandemic has created an ever-lasting impact on the industrial landscape. Businesses are now navigating through the disruption seeking more and more solutions to help them thrive in a post-pandemic era. Now is the time to rethink partnerships, strategies and retool technology to meet this dramatic shift in a cost-efficient yet secure way.
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