COVID-19 has decimated a number of industries that were thought secure. Aviation, retail and hospitality are just a few of the sectors that have really, truly suffered throughout this pandemic period. However, there are a few areas of the economy that have not only survived but thrived during the lockdown. Here are a few of the major ones that are predicted to keep growing.
E-sports have seen a massive rise in popularity since people have been stuck at home and are looking for alternative means of entertainment. PwC stipulates that online gaming is filling a “social void” that the lack of human connection has left in our day to day lives, through games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and FIFA.
Equally, not only the playing of online games but the spectatorship of virtual games or e-sports has skyrocketed, as people vie for a form of entertainment that isn’t baking or a Zoom pub quiz. E-sports has been on an upward trajectory for several years, however e-sports revenue leapt from $194 in 2014 to $980 in 2019, and pre-coronavirus estimates predicated a further rise to $1.8bn by 2023 (a figure which now looks to be an understatement).
Worldwide, the healthcare system has suffered as a result of the pandemic. The news was plagued with stories of overflowing hospitals, ventilator shortages and exhausted medical staff for months. The outlook for digital healthcare, however, may not be so dire. The pandemic has prompted a marked digital transformation in the provision of some avenues of healthcare. The NHS has embraced digital healthcare at a rapidly accelerated rate which will most likely have a domino effect into the future.
Innovations such as Telehealth allow patients to articulate health issues safely and conveniently, whilst wearable and connected technology brings data into the equation and provides real-time information such as vital-signs, symptom tracking and medication adherence. This allows medical professionals to easily review patient data in a way that does not require any breach of lockdown guidelines.
As with other sectors able to transition online, grocery shopping has become a virtual experience too. Partnerships between companies such as Morrison’s and Amazon, or Deliveroo and Co-op are illustrative of real investment in combining the necessity of grocery shopping with the speed of the online courier. 1 in 4 Brits now buy food and essentials at least once a week online, and Waitrose has suggested that the pandemic has accelerated a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour which is likely to be a permanent one. Online shopping is set to make up 6.4% of global grocery sales by the end of 2021, which is again, higher than the pre-coronavirus predictions of 4.6%
COVID-19 has undoubtedly catalysed some major shifts in the economy and consumer behaviour. Digitalisation is now centre-stage as people become increasingly reliant on the virtual sphere. Given that many of these trends were in the works already, it seems that the fundamental shifts the economy has experienced will likely be here to stay.