Desolate roads, locked factories, widespread travel restrictions and stalled economic activity have all become common sights in cities and towns throughout the country. The outbreak of coronavirus has not just threatened to push the world into recession but has also resulted in unprecedented losses with most sectors feeling the impact.
The global pandemic has increased the apprehensions of an economy that was already nearing slowdown. Needless to say, brand owners and marketers are feeling the crunch.
Despite many sectors getting a big hit, there are some segments that are witnessing higher demand ever since the outbreak.
Business in times of Corona: Segments that Remain Unscathed
Boom in Online Stores
With brick-and-mortar stores closed, more consumers will be forced to shop online. As people are under lockdown in their homes, there will be a surge in the number of shoppers in new categories such as groceries and household essentials. Online grocery delivery has already become a key sector in the wake of the pandemic. Grofers, BigBasket, Amazon and Flipkart are witnessing unusual number of orders in the past few days.
With the government announcing revised guidelines on delivery of non-essential goods, there will be a sharp rise in the number of orders as a lot of consumers are looking to buy mobile phones, laptops, dongles which will help them facilitate better work-from-home opportunities. This trend will continue even post the lockdown as the likelihood of malls and shopping complexes opening looks bleak in the near future.
Online Content Surge
Amid the lockdown, India has turned to social media and online content platforms to pass their time. Prior to the lockdown, social media usage was at an average of 150 minutes a day. However, during the lockdown, the figures jumped to 280 minutes a day. There is an 87% increase as more people are spending time on their smartphones. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar are also witnessing a rise in subscriptions.
Marketing managers and social media are managers are looking for novel ways to keep their followers engaged during such times. From dance parties to live painting and cooking sessions, social media is redefining how people can seek entertainment within the comforts of their home.
During challenging times like these, we see more people relying on technology. As the country works from home, the use of apps such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and Google Hangouts has risen dramatically. Brands too are trying very hard to replicate in-person business opportunities by using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) at their disposal. Recently, the new OnePlus 8 was unboxed virtually using AR.
Digital Payments on the Rise
To limit the spread of the virus through cash, contactless payments are on the rise. A report suggests that 42% Indians have increased use of digital payments during lockdown. Whether it’s buying essentials, mobile recharges or paying bills, UPI platforms have become the go-to choice for consumers today.
Undoubtedly, these are testing times for brands. However, once the crisis is over, the way brands conduct their business is going to change. It’s important for brands to already start preparing for a post-corona world.