Filling The Gap
The year 2020 feels long – currently, we are in the sixth month of what seems like a decade with the unpredictability we have been experiencing. In the past few months, the economy has experienced many downs and businesses are continuing to rebuild from the damage the pandemic has caused. However, not all is bleak because, despite the economic hardships, many industries are taking it as a learning experience and putting forward new methods to meet consumer demands. What may have been considered impossible to incorporate last year is being proven otherwise.
Let us begin with some great news – numerous pet shelters were adopting out all of their animals! With more time to spend at home, pet owners had the ability to bond with and train their new furry friends. With the increase in owners, pet marketplaces and product sales increased with it. While the grooming companies had to pause their services during the mandated quarantine period, they will no doubt see a growth of clients as they are re-opening!
Delivery services in the past few months have become more in demand as consumers and companies take precautions to keep up with social distancing. Retail companies that already offered shipping would end up offering free or no minimum shipping to encourage shopping, after their physical location had to close their doors. Many people turn to comfort buying in times of stress — and with all the businesses that had to temporarily close, one of the only outlets people could turn to was online shopping or grocery store runs.
Restaurants that did not already have delivery options turned to partners such as UberEATS, GrubHub, and Postmates. However, often would end up paying a large percentage of their orders to these delivery companies. Moving forward, restaurants should consider implementing their own delivery systems as it would cost less than to rely on a company like GrubHub, that would end up eating 25% of the profit from each order.
Gyms were one of the first “non-essential” businesses forced to temporarily shut their doors as the COVID-19 closures were implemented — leaving the customers to work out from home. Although the gym industry took a dive, home equipment product purchases and workout program use rose in demand! An example is, Peloton (home equipment and virtual workout sessions) is at the highest stock increase in June, compared to the start of pandemic related closures weeks prior. Since their inception in 2012, they are at their highest value and benefiting from the pandemic while many gyms struggle to re-open safely and effectively.
Both exercise and educational classes have been moved online – many schools quickly shifted their curriculum online for the remainder of the semester. For college classes, that already offer online or hybrid lessons, may not have had a complicated time adjusting as they had the programs on-hand. However, high-school, and younger had a large learning curve to navigate, including the adults who had to spend even more time with the children doing their schoolwork. Even children’s extracurricular activities were moved to zoom in order to keep them active and engaged. Some instructors began their classes earlier or ended later to give the kids time to socialize with their peers. Managing health is more than just being active physically – communication plays a part in mental health as we quarantined for weeks at a time!
The past few months have been traumatic, we can expect an increase in mental health programs and facilities usage, especially since many are being offered online now. Doctors have been moving some of their services online, psychiatrists and counselors have been doing the same. There are currently a variety of online counseling programs available, such as Talkspace and BetterHelp. Online companies like this make it much more convenient & accessible to those who cannot afford the time or health to travel for regular appointments.
A 10-minute Doctor’s consultation can easily be 4 hours out of our day when you factor in travel, form-filling, and wait time. For busy and working individuals, a quick appointment can easily move around an entire week’s schedule. However, for facilities to avoid unnecessary exposure, they have turned to online sessions instead. Naturally not every medical session can be done online, but what we have learned in the past few months is that going digital when you can save a lot of time for both the patients and practitioners!
Masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant products are nothing new in 2020, but they have been in massive consumer demand in the past few months that for a period, they were considered to be in shortage! So, what did companies do to meet the sudden influx of demand? Other industries stepped up to fill the gap. Alcohol distilleries began producing hand sanitizers as a response to the shortage, and companies that did not sell them before began offering it to make them more accessible to the people. Reusable and decorative masks have been popping up and even becoming a trend — and that is great! It encouraged new businesses to form while contributing to the health of the public and the environment.
During the last recession in 2008 – The Gig Economy was born. Airbnb, driving for Uber, and other freelance based companies were developed during a period where permanent jobs were not as easily accessible. It also helped those struggling in-between jobs or just needed an extra income. What kind of economy do you think will come out of this recession? The Digital Age! Companies are switching to an online workforce and communication is becoming easier – with smartphones, Zoom calls, and document sharing. A team of ten can come together on one call from across the globe to work together!