In: Tech Stories

A lot of businesses are having a hard time having their door closed due to the movement restriction imposed. However, there are some industries that are proving that it is resistant to outbreaks.

Below is a list of businesses that are profiting during the outbreak which you can start right now. 

On-demand delivery/services

Not e-haling. But on-demand food delivery, grocery delivery, and parcel delivery are really useful for people right now.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday during a call with investors and analysts that in hard-hit markets like Seattle, bookings are down 60-70 percent from this time last year.

One category of the gig economy is bucking the trend: delivery services. Workers who deliver groceries, meals, and other goods are seeing a spike in demand, according to Consumer Reports.

Online shopping began surging at the outset of the crisis, as consumers stocked up on household goods to prepare to shelter in place. The phenomenon is particularly acute for Amazon, which said this week its warehouses will temporarily stop accepting non-essential items so the company can restock household goods and medical supplies. Amazon is hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse workers around the world to keep up with increased demand.

It’s not just e-commerce. States like Washington and California will only permit restaurants to serve takeout meals, causing a spike in delivery orders from on-demand services like UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash.

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But delivering groceries so promptly might start to become more of a challenge. Several of the services like Shipt say they’re seeing a sharp increase in demand, as public health organizations advise people to avoid crowded places because of the novel coronavirus.

Indeed, business is booming. A Shipt competitor, Instacart, says it had the highest customer demand for groceries in the company’s history this past week. In New York City, where restaurants and bars have been ordered to close, grocery delivery service FreshDirect told customers that it’s working “around the clock to meet growing demand.” 

Amazon also acknowledged a sharp uptick in people shopping online for groceries. The company is, a spokesperson says, “working around the clock to continue to deliver grocery orders to customers as quickly as possible.”

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With more Americans staying home and taking preventative steps to socially isolate themselves due to the coronavirus outbreak, companies that offer delivery services are seeing a surge in business.

A number of companies have already announced large-scale hirings, such as Amazon and Domino’s Pizza, to keep up with demand to bring goods to doorsteps. The new hiring comes even as various industries brace for widespread layoffs amid fallout from the pandemic.

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Streaming services

Netflix Inc said it will cut traffic by 25% on networks across Europe in a relief measure for internet service providers (ISPs) experiencing a surge in usage due to government “shelter in place” orders aimed at slowing the coronavirus outbreak.

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Netflix’s bit rate reduction comes at a time when Nielsen is estimating that people staying home “can lead to almost a 60 percent increase in the amount of content we watch in some cases and potentially more depending on the reasons” due to the novel coronavirus. Streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu — alongside other forms of streaming entertainment — will grow the longer people are stuck at home.

Nielsen has already seen increases in TV and internet consumption in areas heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus, including South Korea and Italy. In South Korea, between the second week of February and the fourth week, “there was a surge in the virus, the analysis noted a 17 percent increase in TV viewing — an increase of approximately 1.2 million viewers.” Italy saw similar gains.

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Data from expert analyst Michael Olson of Piper Sandler, as reported by NASDAQ, predicts that Netflix’s year-on-year subscriptions growth for the US and Canadian markets is now expected to reach more than double previous predictions of 1.6%.

Indeed, Olson expects this figure to reach closer to 3.8% as the public are encouraged to stay mostly indoors during the outbreak and therefore resort to popular streaming platforms. The research also suggests that the growth of international subscriptions will rise to 30.9% year-on-year compared to previous estimations of 29.9%.

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Video games

Video games and Twitch-style gaming streams are also testing the limits of the network. StreamElements, a research firm that conducts regular surveys of the industry with partner, discovered that Twitch saw a 10 percent increase in viewership over the last week. Live-stream viewership in Italy also grew more than 66 percent since the first week of February, according to StreamElements — just when the quarantine began. “In addition to individual channels growing in size, we have … seen the amount of channels being watched almost double,” CEO Doron Nir told The Verge.

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With Verizon reporting gaming usage increased 75% during peak hours since the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic began, according to the Hollywood Reporter, this past weekend saw some intermittent outages across different games and platforms along with some record-breaking concurrent player figures.

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Software as a Service (SaaS)

Washington state’s Northshore School District superintendent Michelle Reid wrote to parents about the move to online schooling and noted that if students don’t have a stable or usable internet connection, they’ll be provided with a mobile hotspot in order to continue their education. Other school districts aren’t as well prepared, but are trying to conduct online classes in similar ways.

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Teleconferencing / Communication App

Zoom has been preparing for this moment since the new coronavirus began spreading in China in January. Even then it was easy to see that Zoom’s primary customer base — videoconferencing desk workers — would become more reliant on its services while quarantined at home. So the company began closely monitoring its capacity and started hosting free training sessions. In China, Zoom dropped its 40-minute limit for free calls.

But no amount of planning could have anticipated the company’s emergence as a cultural phenomenon used to host parties, concertschurch services and art shows. Zoom could not have prepared to become a meme.

Widespread containment efforts have also resulted in many more people relying on the internet for previously offline activities, like working or conducting classes. Many people are using video conferencing tools like Zoom, which puts an additional weight on broadband.

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One bullish scenario argues that consumers will shift more and more purchases online as they avoid public places, with Amazon, delivery services and the online divisions of major retailers (e.g., Target, Walmart) as the biggest beneficiaries. Indeed, foot traffic in shopping malls is down. However, supply chain issues, product shortages and potentially declining consumer demand could also blunt e-commerce growth – if the economy falters or goes into recession.

In a recent report, Nielsen projected significant growth of U.S. “omnichannel households” over the next five years. While retailers often see the world through a bifurcated lens (online vs. offline), consumers have been “omnichannel” for a long time: using the internet to make offline purchase decisions. Today, they typically care less about the specific channel — though they prefer local returns — than convenience, price, and service.

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Social Networking Sites

The telecoms industry has in recent days reported a spike in data traffic on networks as thousands of people were forced to stay home in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, which has infected more than 274,800 people globally and led to the deaths of 11,389 people worldwide.

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Economy globally is unstable, businesses are struggling, fear of Covid-19. All these are bad, but there are also opportunities on the bright side, this outbreak showed us all that technology is useful more than ever. Let it be mobile apps that you can use to deliver items or buy food, video games, streaming apps, online services, web-based software are all great businesses to be ventured in.

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