The Bright Side of the Lockdown for Online Businesses in COVID-19 is Here
The first criteria to being an entrepreneur is to strike a perfect balance between risk and profit.
COVID-19 is that opportunity in disguise, when you can showcase your entrepreneurship skills amidst lockdown and social distancing.
There are roadblocks to it and limited movement of customers is making it worse. However, the digital space is wide open for the exchange of services and products. There is an exhaustive list of online businesses in COVID-19 that have managed to make a fortune.
Well, at least sixteen sectors have recorded strong growth despite being tightly bolted by the influences of lockdown and social distancing. Numerous businesses across these sectors have gravitated to the digital space through mobile app development and are, in turn, found to be resonating well with their audience/customers.
The good news is, we have done the heavy lifting for you with our incisive research about these sectors. Below you will find exclusive information about some particular sectors and online businesses in COVID-19 that have grabbed the early slice of profit during the pandemic.
What Should You Expect from our Research?
- Detailed introduction to the profitable sectors and online businesses in COVID-19
- Implementation of the digitalization to the core businesses and success estimation
- Case study of top companies that have optimized the situation and made a mark in their financial graphs
- An inspiration to go digital
Lucrative Sectors Leveraging the Lockdown Opportunity
Bag all information that you can and join the bandwagon, while there’s still room for profitability. Once it reaches a mass of businessmen, you know, the competition out there is going to be fierce.
Below are the top sectors and online businesses in COVID-19, that are making a fortune.
1. How Online Businesses in COVID-19 are Growing in the Healthcare Sector
Of course, healthcare is the most remunerative online businesses in COVID-19, on account of growing health-consciousness among individuals across age groups.
This lucrativeness is on the back of the advent, and almost boom of telemedicine. Telehealth and telemedicine are changing the very facet of healthcare when the hospitals are operating at full capacity. Regular checkups for patients suffering from chronic diseases can be conducted using telemedicine.
On top of it, there’s an on-demand business model that is promoting the concept of on-demand doctors and on-demand pharmaceuticals. The convergence of technology and healthcare has worked wonderous for patients as well as healthcare operators. As a result, numerous entrepreneurs are looking forward to healthcare app development in COVID-19.
While patients can save up a lot of time that would have otherwise been wasted in waiting for their appointment, medical professionals can utilize their resources effectively. This efficiency in the long term translates into revenue, and the examples of the companies below show how they lead the transformation.
Successful Online Businesses during COVID-19 in the Healthcare Sector
Teladoc is an affordable and convenient digital platform for patients to connect to a certified medical professional via text, a phone call or a video call. This year in mid-March, the company witnessed a sharp spike of 50% in the number of visitors, seeking medical advice from its virtual medical consultation app for doctors and patients, as compared to the first week of the same month.
Moreover, revenue from subscription fees increased as much as 29% this quarter as compared to last year’s revenue around the same time.
By the way, uncertainty amidst COVID-19 induced this spike and the company was able to leverage the most out of its digital platform.
How Does Teladoc Work?
- Teladoc has a dedicated mobile application in the Google Playstore, which is a scalable and secure platform. It underpins in-house as well as end-to-end clinical activities efficiently, thereby making scheduling and communicating easy for doctors and patients.
- A user can simply sign up for the healthcare service, using their credentials and navigate through the app.
- This healthcare mobile app offers over 100 virtual care clinical practice guidelines for users.
- The mobile app platform is developed to support over 20,000 visits a day.
- 24/7/365 availability means patients can contact the medical professional any time, thereby inducing a perpetual influx of revenue.
- All the medical advice and prescriptions recommended by the doctors undergo a stringent virtual care protocol to maintain the focus on the quality of medical.
- In-built chatting module and call functionality ensure that queries of patients are handled satisfactorily.
- The app supports as much as 40 languages and caters to the medical needs of individuals across 175 countries.
Let’s look at another successful healthcare application.
Founded in 2015, 98point6 has recorded a 200% rise in the patient volume since January. Out of this whopping increase, nearly a fifth of the visits are related to COVID-19. The telemedicine startup that connects medical professionals with AI-powered text-oriented care has been drawing more users with its user-friendliness functionality.
Gauging the perpetual rise in the demand for clinicians, nearly USD 43 Mn was secured from top investors—the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs’ and Costco’s co-founder, Jim Sinegal.
This telemedicine app solution in COVID-19 is striving to secure funds to be able to offer attractive features to its customers. The fund-raising has been directed to accommodate the latest technology in the app and increase the number of service providers.
How Does 98point6 Work?
- 98point6 is an AI-powered healthcare mobile application.
- The AI technology enriches the users’ experience, based on their previous visits.
- The real-time visit feature enables a user to post a query and seek care and consultation at any hour of the day.
- Users can post their questions or describe their symptoms in detail to draw the attention of clinicians to the exact health condition. Again, the healthcare mobile app enables users to post multiple questions, based on their subscription plan.
- User-centricity lies in the care preference mode. Users can add crucial details, including their preferred pharmaceutical brand, current medications, dosage, medical history, and allergy if any.
- Users can even view the lab results using the mobile app. If they are not completely satisfied with the care, they can initiate a new visit and talk to a professional.
- Integration of artificial intelligence makes the app smarter for the user, every time they visit the app.
2. Gauging the Lucrativeness of the Pet Supplies and Services Niche
According to a survey, nearly 67% of the U.S. households own a pet. This creates ample opportunities already for the manufacturers and distributors of pet supplies and services.
Since lockdown has limited the rush of people towards the offline stores, opportunities for online businesses in COVID-19 for pet supplies have increased significantly. During the pandemic, the sales of pet feeds are soaring, as individuals wanted to ensure that they have enough food supplies for their canines.
Numerous websites and mobile apps shipping pet supplies have benefitted, as sales from brick-and-mortar stores have slumped. It won’t come as a surprise if the demand for app development for pet supplies would soar during the times of the crisis.
Discounts, deals, free shipping, and doorstep delivery etc. are some of the features that managed to stand out for the pet owners, as distributors are striving to leverage the prowess of technology to build a dedicated digital shop for pets.
Among the other virtual shops for pet supplies and services on the Internet, below are the two companies that have made it to the news for the right reasons.
Top Online Businesses in COVID-19 in Pet Supplies and Service Business
In a very short span of time, Chewy has become a household brand. Chewy can be classified as an online eCommerce portal dedicated to pet foods. As individuals have gone to extremes to take care of their canines, Chewy has, in turn, helped them to do so by providing a range of regular and premium feeds.
While there was a steady demand for pet food, it is during the lockdown that pet owners resorted to online commerce, and Chewy drew a big hand out of it. Recently, Chewy saw a sharp uptick of 10% in its stock value. The company is set to onboard as many as 6000 new employees to cater to the increased demand. Well, lockdown isn’t that bad, is it?
How Does Chewy Work?
- Chewy enables pet owners to shop from its multi-vendor eCommerce platform that can be compared to the bigshot Amazon and Alibaba. Users can sign up and scroll through various categories to shop for the feed.
- One of the most exciting features that Chewy boasts is its sorted categories. Users can shop by selecting the type of pet they have or by choosing a brand. Besides this, Chewy keeps customers engaged with ‘today’s deals’.
- In order to cut down on the re-ordering hassles, Chewy offers an auto-shipping feature and attractive saving options on it. The auto-shipping feature has been developed in such a way that users have complete control over the schedule. Hence, they can change or cancel it at any point in time.
- On top of the unique features, Chewy offers 24/7 support and shipment tracking features to its customers to serve them right.
Chewy has got something for the ‘noob’ pet owners as well. The eCommerce website has a section for ‘Watch and Learn’ videos that are resourceful to understand about pets and feeds.
- Analyzing the fact that users are inclined to use a smartphone more than a website, Chewy has launched a mobile app for both—Android and iOS.
- The mobile application for pet food uses push notifications to remind users to refill the feed.
Unlike Chewy, Blue Buffalo has a single vendor eCommerce platform. It offers a range of feeds and treats for dogs and cats.
Blue Buffalo is one among those cohorts of businesses that embraced digital at the right time. As a result, the company was able to reverse the effect of COVID-19 on its revenue. In fact, according to stock prediction and reports, Blue Buffalo stock has witnessed and would continue to pave the path of electrifying returns during the lockdown.
How Does Blue Buffalo Work?
- Blue Buffalo is a perfect eCommerce website for the pet owners who suffer from the dilemma of choosing the right feed for their pets. The eCommerce portal offers its users with an option to select the pet’s life stage and then processes results that match up the criteria.
- To drive new customers into the sales funnel, the eCommerce website has a feature that enables users to compare the feed brand that they currently use with that of Blue Buffalo products. It provides them with a detailed report regarding the ingredients and nutrition.
Similar to Chewy, Blue Buffalo has a dedicated section for newbie pet owners to help them take care of their pets.
- To boost the user-centricity rate, the eCommerce website homes a store locator feature as well. It provides a map and satellite view of the nearby stores and vets. The website uses the location feature to estimate the distance between a pet owner’s place to a store or a vet nearby.
- Usually, Blue Buffalo is well-stocked up with dog feeds and treats. However, it provides a direct link to other online retailers that have the product stocked up, in case a product is out of stock on its website.
3. How Profitable is the Packaged Food and Beverage Sector?
As opposed to the common notion that packaged food and beverages would witness a decline in their sales, the sector as a whole, is being led by the demand for milk. As soon as lockdown was announced, people started stocking up essential food and beverages. Since eating out is not an option, for at least some time, customers have exhibited a high proclivity for packaged food.
Online businesses in COVID-19 into the delivery service niche have been leveraging the situation to make a gain, and are, in turn, encouraging new businessmen. A cue in there–More groceries delivery app development is going to happen during and after COVID-19.
Though the focus has been on the essential goods, binge eating and drinking trends have taken over the normal eating habits.
Amid the fear of coming in contact with an infected individual while shopping from local stores, people are finding it more comfortable to form new habits of buying stuff online, thereby underpinning the growth of online commerce of food and beverage.
‘No contact delivery’ has been one of the crucial features offered by the companies supplying packaged food and beverages online, which has built trust among the customers. Overall, consumers are bracing themselves to shop online for packaged food products and beverages.
Lucrative Online Businesses in COVID-19 in Packaged Food and Beverage Sector
Established in 1925, ElmHurst has occupied a prominent place in the plant-based milk niche. The company started with a brick-and-mortar store; however, as time passed by, it switched to the digital mode. Today, it has been enjoying lucrative opportunities even when the offline stores are up and running.
A majority of the success of ElmHurst has been brought by the fact that it supports online delivery. Consumers find it more reliable to get things at their doorstep, rather than going out with the fear of getting infected. This fear has, in turn, led to a dramatic rise of nearly 300% to 400% in its eCommerce sales.
Clearly, it wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity, had it been within the cocoon of an offline store.
How Does ElmHurst Work?
- ElmHurst supplies its plant-based milk in different packages, using an eCommerce website. Buying a single pack of a cheap commodity such as milk would be hard on the pocket of the customers as well the distributors, with delivery charges in the picture. As a result, the eCommerce website allows customers only to select a pack of either two or six.
- The company uses a ‘Frequently Bought Together’ feature for upselling. On top of it, customers have the option to remove an item out of the combo packs.
- The eCommerce website has been developed in a way that it supports the discount feature when a customer uses a coupon code.
- In order to acquire new customers, ElmHurst leverages the ‘Refer a Friend’ strategy. The website contains a dedicated section for promotions, wherein a user can refer the website to a friend. After the first transaction, both customers become eligible for a discount of flat 15% off any ElmHurst product.
- As of writing, the website homes four categories, under which the range of plant-based milk products are sorted. Customers can easily click or tap on a category to find out their desired product. Alternatively, they can also use the search bar to look for the products.
- ElmHurst offers the ‘Store Locator’ option to its customers, along with the real-time availability status in nearby shops. Customers can also view the total distance in numbers and by using the map view.
Who needs an introduction to Kraft Heinz? It is the fifth-largest food company in the world, and there’s no doubt about it. Post the merger of Kraft and Heinz in 2015, the company gained a new vision and a touch of digitalization helped it realize its goal.
During the pandemic, when eateries faced the blow, Kraft Heinz made sure that it pushed maximum products using its online channel in customer’s space. In April-end, Kraft Heinz stock leaped a mark of a whooping 23%, and most of the sales were organic in nature–meaning the marketing expenditure to convert leads into customers was low.
How Does Kraft Heinz Work?
- The Kraft Heinz’s website is a single vendor marketplace, developed for showcasing and selling the company’s products.
- The eCommerce portal has been developed thoughtfully, which reflects in its ‘Shop by Format’ feature. The website can differentiate between a redistributor and a customer from the option that a user selects from–Shop in Bulk, Shop Tabletop, or Shop PortionControl.
- The products are listed on the website; however, it does not sell the products from its website. The company lists out four options for customers to select the eCommerce portal to buy a product. The eCommerce websites integrated include–Amazon, Dot Expressway, RoundEye Supply, and Food Direct Service.com. This one serves as the best example of making sales without the integration of a payment gateway.
- The website also offers the option to shop for products, by sorting them on the basis of brands. The simple classification is what makes navigation through the app easy for customers.
- In a way, Kraft Heinz is not an eCommerce website in itself. However, it plays an integral role in pushing the sales of its products.