COVID is Changing the World. Here’s How to Stay Ahead

A crisis can trigger new changes, or accelerate changes that were already underway. This crisis is doing both.

I don’t have to tell you how much the world has changed and will continue to. What I want to discuss today is exactly what changes have already begun, and what you can do about them. How you can position yourself to succeed in the world right around the corner.

We are about to dive into the deep end on how exactly the world is changing before our very eyes—so you can be ready for it.

We’ll look at how businesses, behavior, whole industries, and the workplace itself are changing. We’ll also include a BONUS section at the end full of great business ideas to start that will help you ride the wave of re-opening back up, so read to the end to find out.

Let’s go!

 

How these 10 industries will change

The following analysis is summarized from this CBInsights research report. We’ve got the good parts below.

 

Healthcare: All about telehealth, data, wearables, and VR

Telehealth adoption has gone WAY up since the start of the pandemic.

Once the pandemic hit, traditional ways to access healthcare were over-burdened and risky. It became a no-brainer to seek help via an app or website. Expect strong growth here to continue. The same holds true for remote therapy, by the way!

If health professionals can’t be there with you, expect health wearables to skyrocket as well. How else will they be able to “Track & Trace” data effectively of whole populations?

Don’t forget about virtual fitness. Gyms are terrible places to go when there’s a virus on the loose. When lockdown started, over 350,000 fitness instructors in the US alone were forced to move online.

Connected equipment, workout apps, and new at-home fitness tech has seen a huge boost in the past few months.

Finally, aging and senior care has been forced to enter the digital age as a result of the pandemic.

Companies like Umbrella, a services marketplace aimed at seniors, and VitalCare, a telehealth company, have stepped up to fill the sudden demand for safe and contactless services for this particularly vulnerable group.

 

Work: Remote work accelerates adoption of digital infrastructure

All companies not deemed “essential” were forced to go remote when the pandemic struck. And now that they’ve tasted that sweet, sweet work-from-home life, many workers will be very reluctant to go back.

Faced with a fully distributed workforce for the first time, many companies leaned heavily on some of the big communication and work management tools. For instance, Microsoft Teams and its competitor, Slack, have exploded in user adoption.

Source: CBInsights

Zoom has been one of the big winners here, with its share price rocketing 72% from December 2019 to April 2020.

Expect enterprise virtual reality to become a reality as well. Already expected to become a $12.6B market by 2025, the current crisis has pulled that timeline forward. Many companies are using VR to facilitate safe medical training, run real estate visits, and more.

 

Education: The age of the online classroom

All of us with kids have dealt firsthand with the challenges and opportunities of suddenly switching to an all-remote classroom. With K-12 and secondary schools adopting online learning infrastructure simply in order to keep operating, many won’t go back.

And it’s not just education infrastructure for K-12 and secondary. Online learning at all levels is seeing a massive boost.

 

Manufacturing: Automation and 3D printing

With companies trying to take more measures to keep workers safe and still keep up output, it’s no surprise that automation is in: Machines can get as close together as they want, and they still won’t get sick.

So too, 3D printing has gotten a huge boost as companies still need to pump out products while trying to limit human contact as much as possible.

The upshot from this is that the manufacturing industry as a whole is getting more flexible and agile all at once. It will be much more able, now and in the future, to respond on a dime to changes in demand.

Source: CBInsights

 

Retail: Shopping is going online and not coming back

One of the biggest changes in retail has been the shift to doing grocery shopping online. It’s created massive growth for companies like Amazon, Instacart and Freshdirect, and created lots of jobs.

Source: CBInsights

Traditional ecommerce has taken off in new directions, too. Fashion companies are doing virtual catwalks; brands are doing livestreams; and home improvement companies have taken to VR with a vengeance in a bid to help people test out products virtually.

 

Customer Service: The rise of the bots

With call centers shutting down for physical distancing purposes, companies have also seen an increase in customer calls. They’ve responded to this by calling in the conversational AI bots.

Banking, healthcare, retail, and even food service and delivery are all adopting conversational bots at a rapid clip. From simple messenger bots to Amazon Alexa’s advanced AI, companies are turning to these tools to relieve their overburdened teams and infrastructure.

Bonus: Here’s how you can use Amazon Alexa to support your customers.

“Cloud call centers” have also become a thing as companies needed an alternative to packing reps into physical call centers. Will companies go back once they realize the cost savings they’ll get from these? I think not.

 

Finance: Contactless is the name of the game

Contactless payments have seen a surge since the pandemic hit, and you can expect that surge to continue. This has resulted in increased adoption of new digital payment methods that might have taken much longer.

Another casualty of COVID has been the bank retail branch. Estimates show that traditional brick-and-mortar banks could lose up to 40% of revenue to their digital competition. Now more than ever, if your bank’s digital presence sucks, you really feel it. Those new digital neo-banks have never looked more attractive for many consumers.

What may gain from the pandemic is a niche insurance product known as “parametric insurance”, whereby you get an insurance payout if some “parameter”, or condition, happens. For instance, when the Wimbledon tennis tournament had to be canceled earlier this year, they were OK—they had paid for a pandemic insurance policy every year since the SARS outbreak in 2003, so they expect a payout of around $142M as a result.

 

Cybersecurity: Everyone and everything is online, so let’s secure it

Nothing has illustrated the need for investments in cybersecurity in recent months like the case of the Zoom-bombers, hackers who found their way into private Zoom calls (in some cases, Zoom classrooms) to cause mayhem.

Another thing we may see is invasive surveillance technology becoming more acceptable to people in exchange for heightened security. For instance, Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants have pulled their resources together to track people’s movements in order to track the spread of the virus.

With so many companies and schools doing their work remotely, it’s become paramount to secure files and environments from outside tampering. There have also been increases in cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is set to become a $350B industry when the dust settles.

 

Entertainment: Everything is virtual

Noticing a trend? Yep, just about every industry is going virtual as a result of the pandemic, and entertainment is no exception.

Online games are getting a huge boost. Can’t go out on the weekends? People are playing online games together instead. People are even going on dates virtually, via their favorite video games.

Source: CBInsights

Expect esports to get a huge boost as well, as popular in-person sports like soccer, NASCAR, and Formula-1 explore ways take their experiences online.

All events and conferences are going virtual, too. Expect that to continue.

 

Food Service: Take-out and delivery or bust

Restaurants were forced to make a choice, when all this started: Either shut down and lay off your staff, or go all-delivery or all-take-out.

Food delivery apps such as UberEats and Deliveroo have seen huge numbers of new restaurants and patrons, as they try to find the tools to continue business.

“Cloud kitchens” have also gotten a big boost. Think of these like kitchens that serve multiple restaurants, tailored especially for delivery apps. If you go on UberEats, chances are some of the restaurants you see don’t actually have a physical location. They just have a brand and menu on the delivery app, and all their food is prepared for delivery only in a cloud kitchen.

As reopening starts in parts of the world, we expect to see a resurgence of physical restaurants, albeit with some restrictions. This might be the same for in-person events, as people look to get what small bit of human contact they can.

 

How to thrive in the post-COVID world

Now you know how the world is changing… What do you plan to do about it?

If you want to start a business or side hustle, there may be no better time. With all these changes taking place across industries, there are tons of great opportunities to exploit—if you can see them and act on them. Check out these 26 business ideas you should start (backed by Google data).

It’s no surprise that smart speaker usage has gone way up as well. If you want to make a big impact in the post-COVID world, you need to be where your people are. And right now, chances are many of them are interacting with a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa. You’re going to want to be there when they ask for your services or products.

Shoutworks makes that easy. One click, and Alexa has instant access to just the right information about your business. It’s almost like she’s your personal sales rep, right in your customer’s living room!

Plus, when you start your 30 day Shoutworks free trial today, you’ll get $1,050 in signup bonuses. Just our little way to say “go get ’em”!

 

Now is the time to take a leap, take a risk, try something new. The world is changing fast. You have to be fast to keep up.

But we know you can do it. Get out there and carve a piece of it out for yourself. You got this. We’ll be there to help and cheer you on along the way. Amazon Alexa will be, too.

What are you waiting for? Try Shoutworks free today!

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