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.
- 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.
Discover the unique features of Teladoc App
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.
- 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.
Get Exclusive Business Growth Strategy of 98point6
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?
- 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.
Know about Chewy’s Genius Business Strategy
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.
Get detailed information about Blue Buffalo’s feature
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.
- 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.
ElmHurst has had an interesting growth trajectory
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.
Did you know about these exciting features of Kraft Heinz?
4. What are the Opportunities for Video Streaming Businesses During the Crisis?
According to a report, people are found to be using apps over 20% during lockdown than they would usually do.
Can you guess the most popular online businesses in COVID-19?
As per the first quarter of the year, social media apps remained the chart toppers. Among which—Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp Messenger made it to the top five.
However, when it comes to the total time spent, online streaming apps have replaced these apps. The entertainment businesses also made sure to release content in the form of short films and web series to build a loyal audience. Amidst this zeal, it is the online streaming businesses that hosted their content and connected them with the audience.
Looking at an uptick in the number of subscribers and downloads, the reliance of online streaming businesses have only increased, in recent times. They have been striving to incorporate user-friendly features to beat their competitors.
Prosperous Online Businesses in COVID-19 in Video Streaming Sector
Talking about how online businesses in COVID-19 have given a leeway to the audience to chill at the very comfort of their home, let’s talk about Netflix.
Well, Netflix needs no introduction. However, if there’s something to be said, it is that Netflix has taken over and revamped the arena of online streaming. With people being stuck at their places, Netflix has been a go-to means of entertainment.
If we go by the numbers, Netflix welcomed 15.8 Mn new users during the period of January to March. Addition of new series and movies has been playing instrumental to keep users hooked to the platform. Among these 15.8 new users, nearly 4.4 Mn users are from Europe.
Given the sharp increase in the competition, Netflix is looking at an expansion into new geographies, alongside integrating user-friendly features. Taking a more user-centric approach, Netflix joined forces with Google to launch a Chrome Extension that allows users to connect with their friends and watch shows together, virtually.
All-in-all, Netflix did make a profit from the lockdown. As a result, demand to develop a mobile app like Netflix and OTT app development in COVID-19 has only increased.
- Netflix offers users to view original content and series using their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. One of the top features that users love about Netflix is the fact that it processes content without any ad. While other competing platforms use ad as a means of revenue generation.
- Netflix has shows for adults and kids alike. However, given the wide range of content, it provides a parental control feature. Unlike its competitors, Netflix stores the search results and watch list of every user from an account.
- One of the features that stand out for users is its pricing plan. Netflix offers four plans–Mobile plan, standard plan, basic plan, and premium plan. Users can select the plan as per their convenience.
- Netflix allows users to view content using any Internet-connect device including smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players, set-top boxes, smartphones, and tablets.
- While users have self-isolated themselves, Netflix allows users to binge watch shows using a Chrome extension from their laptops together. Users have to install Netflix Party on their laptops and add their friends to watch the content together.
Learn about the Growth of the Topmost Video Streaming Business
Previously available in a handful of geographies, Disney+ is soon to be launched in at least 15 countries. The online streaming platform especially has witnessed an uptick in the usage, as kids have no schools and parents have to find a way to keep them engaged.
During the period of January to April, Disney+ was able to cross the 50 Mn user mark. Launched in November 2019 along with Apple TV, Disney+ managed to acquire fourth position in the world of online video streaming, only after Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
- Disney+ app can be downloaded on mobile, tablet, and even laptop. Besides being an online streaming platform, it also supports live streaming. As a result, users can catch up on a match or even view news.
- Users can use any Internet-connected devices such as smart TVs, media players, and gaming consoles to view the content.
- The app offers complete parental control options. Besides this, the app offers two plans for users–VIP and Premium. Contents are categorized within these plans and users can access it, based on their subscription.
- Users can download the content of their choice and view it offline. On top of it, there’s a recommendation feature that allows users to find the most relevant content as per their preference to avoid the scrolling and searching.
Intelligence into Disney+ Exclusive Feature is Here
5. Influence of COVID-19 & its Effect on the Restaurant Pickup/Delivery Sector
Well, individuals may not be able to dine in a restaurant or have a drink at a pub. However, they can still savour their food and drinks at their home, and we cannot help but thank the online delivery services.
Issues regarding the prevention of non-essential contacts and unnecessary moving out of the house have been publicized, but that has indeed favoured the restaurant businesses. Restaurants are able to cut down on their operational costs, since they only need a functional kitchen and not the dining area. Juice bars, cafes, pubs, snack centres, and other eateries have found a means to make an earning, and are looking to outsource online food delivery app development project.
With growing reliance on this ‘contact-free’ mode of food delivery, the demand for food pickup is only going to witness an acute rise. Yet another benefit that these food pickup and delivery service cohorts are experiencing is in terms of inclusion of grocery.
So, besides catering to the request for food, these services are also ensuring that customers get the groceries and other essentials. Most cities across the world have been locked down, and the opportunities for the boom of restaurant pickup and delivery service are in abundance.
Key Online Businesses in COVID-19 in Restaurant Pickup/Delivery Service Sector
Deliveroo is an online food delivery service company. Simply put, Deliveroo is Uber for food delivery. Deliveroo does have a website; however, the operations and the processing happens from the Android and iOS app.
In an ideal scenario, Deliveroo, just like the restaurant businesses should have been under the effect of COVID-19. However, the beauty of the digital business is that it is always up and running, regardless of the physical constraints. On similar lines, Deliveroo did grab the opportunity to maintain a steady influx of revenue. Besides catering to its existing customers, Deliveroo has taken an extra mile to ensure that no infection is passed from riders to customers. Having noticed the quality service, the UK govt. is considering a potential partnership with the company to deliver care packages to the elderly.
No wonder, the online food delivery business has been up by 11.5% as compared to the previous year, with Deliveroo setting the standards for the rest.
- Deliveroo operates through a mobile application. There are three stakeholders–a restaurateur, a rider, and customer. A customer requests food from a restaurant using the app. On the confirmation of the order, a rider is assigned to that particular customer and the delivery is made.
- The Deliveroo mobile app not only has features for customers but also for the restaurateurs. The app provides complete control of restaurateurs over the price and the menu. They can edit the price and the menu at any point in time.
- Similar to scheduling a cab for tomorrow, Deliveroo offers an option to order food in advance.
- Following the common notion–a hungry customer is an angry customer–the app has been built with a real-time tracking system that lets customers view an estimated time of the delivery. Besides this, there is an in-built chat and call module that enables communication if need be.
- One of the smart ways to attract the attention of customers is staying updated. Given the times when people are being conscious of what they come in contact with, Deliveroo launched a ‘contact-free’ option, which customers can use before checking out. When a customer opts in for the feature, the rider is notified about the same and he follows a simple procedure. On arrival at the destination, the rider contacts the customer, places the food on the ground in a thermal package, at least one metre away from the doorstep. The customer picks up the package and the delivery is fulfilled.
Did you know these fierce competitors of Deliveroo?
If there’s one thing that individuals are seeking during the pandemic, it is the ‘feel good’ factor. The social media feed is overwhelmed with recipes and pictures of food. Food is the comfort that individuals seek, amidst the ‘work from home’ scenario, since they cannot go out and unwind.
The lockdown scenario has favoured Blue Apron, which is an online fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service. The company provides its customers with a detailed recipe along with all the necessary ingredients. So when customers are tired of the instant food, it is the exotic recipes from Blue Apron that is gaining traction.
The good news is, Blue Apron’s stock has rallied over 98% during the last three months.
How Does Blue Apron Work?
- Blue Apron is an online mobile application that provides customers with recipes and food ingredients for a week. A customer has to choose a plan from–the Signature Plan for 2, Signature Plan for 3, and Vegetarian Plan for 2.
- Users can mention their culinary needs, when they subscribe for the plan, and the menu is designed as per their wish. A package is delivered every week at the doorstep of customers, which includes fresh cooking essentials along with the menu for the entire week.
- Customers can pause their current plan, as early as five weeks in advance or cancel their plan any time.
- The mobile app consists of an ‘Upcoming recipes’ column, containing the information about the next week’s menu. Customers can view and change recipes, as per their liking, before it is out for delivery.
- The app also takes care of people with dietary conditions. It lets customers add allergies and their food preferences.
- Customers are offered with the choice to make payment using their preferred mode from Apple Pay, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Trace the business growth of Blue Apron
6. What is the Growth Potential of the In-house Entertainment during the Lockdown?
Thanks to the lockdown that the once-popular means of entertainment—going to malls, theatres, play zones, concerts, and partying—are no longer the options for people. However, some of the companies have come to the forth to redefine the concept of entertainment.
The term that you are looking for is—In-house Entertainment.
In recent times, live streams, virtual tours, digital releases, and online gaming are striving to satisfy the entertainment-hungry individuals. Yet again, the digital space is filled with an audience, while people in groups are banned on the streets.
The live streaming option integrated into social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram, is being used more than ever before. The NFL offered a free subscription to Game Pass, which gained significant traction from users. Others in the entertainment niche seemed to follow the suite and benefit out of the lockdown scenario. Sensing the profitability of online entertainment businesses, the pace of app development for entertainment industry has accelerated, in recent times.
For instance, Amazon Prime and Houseparty are serving entertainment at low or no cost at all.
Flourishing Online Businesses in COVID-19 in Entertainment Sector
Amazon is a brand with its businesses in different niche–prime music, shopping, grocery, prime video, and whatnot. Lockdown did impact the eCommerce segment of Amazon. Most of the essential items had been unavailable for the longest time, due to distorted supply chain.
However, the company zoomed in on its focus on its entertainment niche. Individuals subscribing for Amazon Prime Video received a free subscription of Amazon music. Besides this, Amazon stepped out from its territory of subscription model and offered over 40 free shows for kids.
This, in turn, has been a swift move to gain a new base of subscribers, and it indeed succeeded.
How Does Amazon Prime Work?
- Amazon Prime Video is an online video streaming platform that streams TV shows, movies, web series, and cartoons without any ad.
- Content of Amazon Prime Video can be viewed on a mobile app, tablet, and even a laptop. The app comprises a wide range of categories to choose from—Movies by language, Thriller Movies, Best of World Cinema, Amazon Original Movies, Latest Movies, Amazon Original series, and so on, for enabling easy content-picking for users.
- One of the important features incorporated in the app is the ‘push notification’. Users get notified about the new shows through push notification. Moreover, there is a carousel of newly added and popular shows that helps users pick the latest content.
- The app hosts a ‘My Stuff’ feature, wherein a watchlist is created for users. This watchlist is common for all users accessing the app. In addition, there is a downloads section, which consists of downloaded movies or shows that users can watch offline.
- The search feature helps users to search for content based on an actor, genre, or the title.
- Besides Amazon Prime Video, the company offers Amazon Prime Music for users in the bundle subscription plan, which can be streamed online without any interruption from ads.
Amazon Prime outperforms Netflix with some unique features
While the entertainment industry has all been only about streaming content, live or recorded, Houseparty brought in a fresh perspective of in-house entertainment. In a way, Houseparty is an online video-calling app. However, when you ask what it can do, the video-calling seems too trivial of a feature.
Launched back in 2016, Houseparty gained momentum during the pandemic, when self-isolation became a norm. The app allows people to socialize virtually, play games together, draw pictures, etc. During the COVID-19 lockdown, this group video app recorded 70X growth, and this shows how lockdown is not bad for all the businesses.
How Does Houseparty Work?
- Houseparty is an online group video calling app that enables users to have fun virtually.
- The app requires people to connect to initiate a video call. The app has other video call features such as changing the view of a camera, muting/unmuting audio, turning off the video, etc.
- One of the features that stand out in the app is ‘Facemail’. It is similar to recorded audio or a text message but in the form of a short video. Users can Facemail when their friends are not using the app.
- The app consists of a gaming module—Win, wherein the app gives users a win on accomplishing designated tasks.
- Users can even upload their personal emoji and chat using the same, once they have their Snapchat account integrated with their Houseparty account.
- The app provides a ‘Ghost’ feature for users who want to access the app in anonymous mode.
Houseparty grew manifolds since 2016
Now that you know which sectors have benefitted from the crisis, can you find out the common thread that is helping online businesses in COVID-19 to pull out profit?
You probably got it right. It’s the shift to the digital space.
These are uncertain times. Influence of COVID-19 can be here for a long time or may fade sooner than expected. All that we are trying to imply is that your revenue generation should be independent of the timeline of pandemic.
Want to know how your business can benefit amidst the pandemic just like these online businesses in COVID-19? Talk to our business executives directly to find out.
If not, we have some more profitable sectors coming in, in our next blog, to show you how they did it.
Need a curated list of more sectors with robust growth during the pandemic?