Business guide to Coronavirus

9 industries likely to thrive as a result of COVID-19

In just a few short weeks, COVID-19 has turned the business world upside down. Many enterprises that had been successful for years are now struggling to survive. Lockdown laws, lost jobs and fear about an unknown future have stopped much commerce in its tracks. Yet, there are also those that are busier than ever. Here we take a look at those industries most likely to thrive during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

1. Health supplies

As hospitals treat more patients, it’s not only medical staff who are busy. Suppliers of essential equipment are also seeing big increases in demand. Manufacturers of medical equipment, of course, but also the information technology (IT) that has become essential to modern patient care.

An Australian IT channel professional supplying technology to hospitals says, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Demand is outstripping what we, or anyone else in the global industry, can provide. Hospitals are increasing their capacity with Critical Acute Care units and need our specialist equipment to support medical staff. We’re delivering it as fast as the factories can make it.” 

2. Manufacturing 

Manufacturers that can adapt their production lines to make vital supplies are also thriving, like LVMH, which is now producing hand sanitiser in its perfume factories. JCB, which usually produces diggers, will convert its factories to make the steel housing for a new ventilator designed by James Dyson.

Local manufacturers are benefitting from Australians being motivated by the crisis to buy local. A cleaning consultant for a local cleaning products manufacturer says, “We’ve seen increased demand, and while much is due to the need for hygiene, customers are also telling us they’ve been wanting to use Australian products, and this situation has given them the final push.”

3. IT for education

As schools move to remote learning, online platforms like Google Classroom are thriving. So are the companies that provide the necessary IT equipment, including networking and laptops. What’s more, the World Economic Forum (WEF) forecasts that the rise of online education will bring long-term changes to the way we teach and learn.

4. Remote work and social platforms

Online meetings from home, and social interaction by video, have rapidly become the new norm. This is reflected in the massive growth of platforms such as Zoom, whose downloads rose to 2.13 million per day on 23 March 2020. Only two months ago, they reported only 56,000 downloads a day.

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5. Household furnishings, home improvement and DIY

Spending more time at home has motivated many to spruce up their homes. The Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA) household spending figures show furnishings and equipment as one of the clear ‘winners’ in this time of crisis. 

6. Cleaning

Workplaces, especially those open to the public, need to do their best to keep their employees and visitors safe. With increased publicity about the spread of the virus via surfaces, cleaning companies are seeing a big increase in demand for their services.

7. Groceries, food and beverages

Empty supermarket shelves and queues at bottle shops are evidence of sales sky-rocketing. CBA spending figures show a massive increase in purchase of alcohol for home consumption. The grocery boom also has knock-on effect back through the supply chain. Warehouses, transport and logistics companies that get the goods from producer to shelf are looking for more staff to cope with increased workloads.

8. Delivery services

Take-away food providers are increasing, as restaurants switch from dine-in to dine-out. This has been a boon for delivery services, such as UberEats and DoorDash. It’s not just food deliveries - cab service 13CABS has launched 13things with a pledge to deliver ‘anything that will fit in a car’.

9. Animal adoptions

One from left field: isolation seems to be making us appreciate the company of pets. The general manager of the Australian Animal Protection Society reported they were continuing to see ‘unprecedented levels of adoption of cats and dogs’. 

While it’s safe to assume some of these industries are likely to settle back down once the pandemic is over, others have the opportunity to continue to thrive through ingenuity and innovation. As such, COVID-19 could be the start of a time that sees dramatic change and long-term growth.

To learn more about navigating your business through the COVID-19 crisis, visit our free resource centre.