COVID is Changing the Economy and Personal Online Behavior

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

Since the 2020 COVID pandemic burst on the scene, people all over the world have had to change their daily routines. For most, it meant more time online, working, playing, reading, and socializing. For corporations and small businesses, the pandemic has been either a blessing or a curse, depending what industry they’re in. Here’s a short summary of some of the ways people have altered their online habits and how some businesses are faring.

Health Sector Stocks

Investors have been keeping a close eye on the healthcare industry. Several companies are working on development of a vaccine for coronavirus. Additionally, the entire sector has been doing well during these otherwise hard times. Sales of vitamins, over the counter medicines, disinfectants, cloth masks, and other pandemic-related products has taken off. Even the increased demand for anecdotal treatments like vitamin D and other nutritional supplements has buoyed health stocks.

New Forex Traders

Online trading has been enjoying a great decade. Steady growth, new clients, advanced trading platforms, and a renewed spirit of entrepreneurship for all involved. When quarantine orders went into effect in March of 2020, the segment saw an increase in interest from people who had extra time on their hands. Stock shares, bonds, precious metals funds, and forex trading online have been undergoing a rapid expansion. This is another win-win situation that, unfortunately, was created by a worldwide virus. The good news for individuals is that it’s relatively easy to learn how to trade, and the brokerage websites make it easy for newcomers to practice on simulators, learn how to place orders, open accounts, and eventually earn income as part-time or full-time traders.

Home Gym Equipment

One of the biggest winners since millions of citizens have gone into home-based quarantine is the gym equipment industry. People love to exercise, or at least they like the idea of it, which means big sales growth for treadmills, stair machines, weight sets, and more.

Grocery and Courier Delivery Services

As soon as the virus took off, people all over the U.S. began to wonder how to safely shop for groceries. Almost overnight, vast networks of delivery services sprang up to cater to the booming demand. The first few months of the pandemic saw independent couriers doing a lot of grocery and food delivery. After a while, however, the stores got wise and began offering their own delivery services as part of customer outreach and retention. The private couriers are still doing a solid business serving fast-food from drive-thru lanes to residences.

Car Sales

The automobile industry was enjoying a good year when 2020 began. Unfortunately, it’s one of the larger segments of the economy to be hit hard by a lack of business. Dealerships are trying to go 100 percent online but the switchover isn’t working perfectly. Plus, due to the general slowing down of the economy and with so many folks on shortened work schedules, car buying is being put on hold until times are better.

Telecommuting

We might look back at this unfortunate year a decade from now and realize that it was the turning point in telecommuting for workers in all sorts of industries. Just a decade ago, telecommuting, working from your computer at home, was a rarity. Nowadays, especially since COVID made its unwanted appearance in the world, it’s commonplace. While not every job lends itself to the practice, many do. Already, some of the world’s largest financial institutions have allowed millions of employees to work from the comfort of living rooms, dens, and spare bedrooms.

Language Learning Companies

One of the bright spots throughout the darkest days of the lockdown has been an increased interest in online language lessons. Many consumers are using their quarantine hours tackling a second language, which can be an excellent job-enhancement skill for anyone. As for the purveyors of the lessons, they and other sellers of computer-based self-improvement courses have been thriving. Whether it’s to complete a college degree, learn Spanish or French, or watch a car repair tutorial, millions of people are educating themselves while stranded indoors.

Apparel Stores and Outlets

While most retail stores have suffered through tough times during the pandemic, clothing retailers have taken a huge pounding. They’re really in a double bind because when incomes go down, even in normal times, consumers tend to cut back on clothing purchases. But with the virus restrictions in place, brick and mortar clothiers have mostly had to shut their doors completely. That means having to get through nearly a year of low, or no profits.

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