Covid-19 hit the entire world badly in more ways than we can imagine and we still have to wait to see its impact on our psychological well-being and how it influenced society as a whole.

However, some changes are quite visible in terms of technology and user behavior. Consider, if we didn’t have the eCommerce sites to purchase groceries online, what if we didn’t have Netflix to chill and what if we didn’t have Zoom or Skype to connect to our loved ones? The world would have ended in the first six months of the lockdown.

The Pandemic has accelerated the growth of the digital world from online shops to virtual hangout spaces. Everything has made a shift to the digital space.

As a software house, we see a lot of potential for various applications, numerous opportunities, and market demand for online businesses. Where there is a trend, there is always an opportunity for a business, but only brave ones dare to take the risk. A lot has happened during these last two years of the pandemic. To know more about the trends that have been accelerated during Covid-19, keep reading the article.

The starting year of a global pandemic

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) China office received the first reports of an undiscovered virus causing many pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019.

The WHO designated the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Almost everything was shut down by the governments, trapping people in houses for the next few months.

When the virus initially surfaced, some nations imposed temporary bans on flights from China or required travelers from high-risk locations to be quarantined upon arrival.

On March 15, President Trump banned all non-essential flights from the European Union in the United States, and the EU implemented the same the next day for all travelers from outside the Schengen free-travel zone.

Air transport from several of the world’s busiest airports had plummeted to a fraction of what it had been at the same time last year.

From the end of 2019, we have seen three waves of Coronavirus affecting businesses of all scales. However, there were some positive shifts, and miraculously, the world survived with virtual resources. Here’re some of the positive changes during the pandemic period in the business world.

Changes in revenue for eCommerce

People have adopted social distance as a means of slowing the pandemic’s spread, which has inevitably resulted in a reduction in brick-and-mortar purchasing. That would appear to imply that as more individuals turn to eCommerce, there would be an increase in online purchasing.

Sales of everyday home essentials have quadrupled on JD.com, China’s largest online retailer, compared to the same period last year. According to a poll conducted by Engine, individuals spend 10-30% more online on average.

Grocery eCommerce

In the middle of March, grocery eCommerce exploded as customers went online to locate items that weren’t accessible in their local grocery shops.

Changes in revenue for eLearning

According to Pi Datametrics, “free online learning” was the electrical search phrase that grew the most year over year on Google in the UK from January to April 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. The second-highest rise was in “free online learning,” followed by “security training courses.”

E-learning Revenue
A girl studing online courses | Image credit: freepik

eLearning has become the new survivor in today’s pandemic world. From schools to universities, shifted from traditional classroom to a virtual classroom, soaring the demand of eLearning software to reach the skies.

Today, we will look at five of the increasing trends that Covid-19 has affected throughout the lockdown time.

Screen time takes off

Screen usage is increasing across the board, with the most substantial increases occurring among children and teens.

Another digital sector that has profited from the pandemic is gaming. Revenue from video games soared in the spring, and sales have stayed high far into 2020. Companies are betting that once the pandemic has passed, casual gamers who were won over during the quarantine would continue playing.

Proof of Acceleration: International bandwidth and internet traffic was already increasing steadily, but COVID-19 stay-at-home activity has blown away previous numbers.

Online shopping

With lockdown and social distancing, every single merchant shifted from a physical store to an online store. Those businesses with no online presence suffered heavy losses and shut down their operations.

Online Shopping
Online shopping with credit card | Image credit: lifeforstock /freepik

Of course, no discussion of eCommerce would be complete without mentioning Amazon. In recent years, the company has witnessed a continuous increase in subscription income, and its activities have a far-reaching impact on the rest of the sector.

Proof of Acceleration: eCommerce penetration predictions have moved upward.

Worldwide globalization

The pandemic impacted trade, and it’s too early to determine what the long-term consequences may be. One thing is sure: the information component of globalization is becoming an increasingly crucial part of the global economic riddle.

Proof of acceleration:

The increase in merchandise trade looks eerily similar to the one that took place in 2008.

Flexible workplaces

Over half of businesses that did not have a flexible or remote workplace strategy in 2019 claimed “long-standing company policy” as the explanation. To put it another way, that’s how things have always been done.

Flexible Workspace
Workspace concept | Image credit: freepik

The pandemic, of course, has caused many businesses to reconsider their practices.

This massive experimentation in dispersed teams and remote work will influence office life as we know it, perhaps altering the entire “office economy.”

Proof of acceleration:

Millions of individuals are fleeing high-cost cities, apparently because they can work remotely from a less expensive region.

Remote work

Stay-at-home orders impacted more than just our work; they also drove us to find new methods to occupy ourselves as the weeks passed. However, a significant number of people who desired something different during the pandemic fueled a new trend: the growth of virtual experiences.

Proof of acceleration:

Seminars, conferences, and even concerts have all gone online. People might utilize their laptops or cellphones to attend exciting events, listen to renowned lecturers speak, or even enjoy private music sessions with their favorite musicians in this manner.

The winning domains of pandemic

Some of the domains have won the battle against pandemics and provided us much room to survive during the lockdown.

eCommerce

SearchNode published a new report on eCommerce trends. According to the report:

  • During the worldwide shutdown in the spring of 2020, it appears that most eCommerce companies witnessed a boost in an online income.
  • 90% experienced a rise in online sales, with 40% reporting increases of more than 100%.

Many brick-and-mortar businesses had to alter their operations to prevent closing down substantially. As a result, several new procedures were implemented last year.

eLearning

The majority of businesses (45%) will now place a greater emphasis on the digital aspect of their operations, whether by changing their product mix, investing in new eCommerce software, or spending more on online marketing channels.

Many colleges and universities are switching to online platforms to continue their regular sessions. This includes using online technologies like group video software, allowing teachers and students to meet and conduct lessons via the internet. Even with online classes, parents must assist younger children in using the computer for school.

Companies like Scholastic and Coursera are advertising free online courses to encourage students to continue studying at home. At the same time, websites like Unesco and Openculture compile lists of free online courses and resources for anybody interested in learning at home.

Students who are transitioning from traditional classrooms to online programs may discover that distance education is beneficial.

eHealth

In response to COVID-19, major health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have pushed for measures to reduce physical contact between patients and healthcare professionals, commonly known as “medical distancing.”

Many people have been forced to use eHealth as a result of COVID-19. Health technology is likely to have a big impact on the battle against this pandemic. However, most of these approaches, such as telemedicine and crowdsourced disease monitoring, will certainly reach their full potential until some of the other “needs” are handled promptly.

“Crowdsourced” indicates that many individuals, largely through the internet, submit important health information. The “crowd” might be actively involved, such as responding to online surveys or providing data via smartphone applications and smart devices, or it can be a passive information source.

Fintech: digitalization

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying lockdown tactics prompted workplaces and bank branches to close. As a result, both financial services businesses and their clients have been forced to rely on digital solutions.

Moving a bank’s IT system from local servers to the cloud simplifies various operations, including onboarding, credit checks, creating new accounts, and connectivity between the bank and the client. Furthermore, cloud-based financial technology is naturally more scalable, which means managing periods of heavy demand with minimal downtime.

Finance companies must recognize this and learn from the pandemic’s experience thus far. Progressive decisions are necessary, and those companies who make the greatest ones will gain an edge.

Communication tools

The majority of the world population was already using WhatsApp, Skype, and Messenger daily. Still, applications that emerged as the biggest communication tools for personal and professional use during the pandemic are as follows:

Zoom: Zoom, previously only used for business conferences, has become a popular video chat hangout alternative. However, keep in mind that Zoom calls have privacy issues, as well as a 40-minute duration restriction if you have a free membership.

Google Hangouts: Anyone with a Gmail account can join Google Hangout video chat. The app offers unlimited time for video chatting, unlike Zoom, which restricts one hour in a free subscription. However, Google Hangouts can only accommodate ten people at one time.

Netflix Party: Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome plugin that makes viewing movies and TV with your buddies easy and enjoyable again by synchronizing playback and providing a group chat function. Keep in mind that Netflix Party is only available on Chrome browsers on desktops and laptops. You might be able to cast your screen to your TV if you have a Chromecast device.

Steam: Steam is one of the greatest online gaming platforms, with over 30,000 video games, 90 million active players, and social features like friends lists and in-game messaging and voice chat options. It’s a wonderful choice for buddies who want to play a game together. Steam also has a feature called Remote Play Together, which allows you to play a game with up to four people from the comfort of your own home. This feature allows players to share video, audio, and voice, making it even easier to connect and play with your friends.

Shifts in the IT industry caused by COVID-19

Covid-19 has massively impacted the IT industry and for good. There has been a huge shift in the IT industry during the pandemic.

Artificial Intelligence

The customer journey is now almost entirely conducted online. When it comes to reacting to this scenario and satisfying current B2B buyer expectations, AI technologies like chatbots and virtual assistants are front and center. Forrester points out that giving a customer an instant connection isn’t the primary aim. The current goal is to give virtual help that is more subtle, pro-client, and capable of responding to more open-ended inquiries while also suggesting correct methods.

Cybersecurity

Covid-19 has resulted in the majority of devices and assets being dispersed outside the company. The cybersecurity mesh model is expected to expand at a faster rate in 2021. Businesses will use hybrid security technologies to enable remote workers to safely access a company’s digital assets, regardless of their location.

Hybrid cloud

Many businesses are currently relying on hybrid cloud infrastructure, and this trend is expected to grow. The hybrid cloud combines on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and public cloud services.

The hybrid cloud environment fulfills the company’s specific cloud requirements with the right balance. To be responsive to changing customer expectations and manage security, data privacy, and compliance, investing in the hybrid cloud is crucial.

5G

The Covid-19 outbreak has boosted the demand for 5G coverage even more. The motivations for launching are no longer limited to accelerating the digital transformation of the business ecosystem. To meet connection and bandwidth requirements, nearly every organization nowadays needs higher speeds, robust and low latency technologies.

Smartthings

The social and economic difficulties of 2020 have made it critical for businesses to be extremely sensitive to changing customer and employee demands and to alter organizational processes with ease. An IT operating model is closely connected to the “anywhere operations” paradigm. A major strategic technology trend for 2021 will be the expectation of providing customer and staff assistance everywhere and company services through distribution channels via Smartthings.

Robot

With the Social Distancing concept, one of the shifts in the IT industry is to use mobile Robots for providing service as they are not vulnerable to the virus. The Robotic sector has been working for many decades, but we haven’t seen Robots being implemented in industries on a massive scale. However, after the pandemic, the possibilities are that sooner we will be served at restaurants by robots.

Final thought

Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, are driving the stock market’s heady gains since March lockdowns. It confirms that more investors will dive in and earn benefits from the expansion of digital businesses. They include eCommerce, 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, 3D printing, and drones, among many others.

Are you thinking of investing in an online business but lack expert guidance? Worry not! We have a team of highly professional and qualified experts to guide you in the right direction. Whether you wish to shift your existing business to the digital space or want to invest in a new one – we have solutions for everyone.