Although the global pandemic that swept away millions of small businesses is far from being over, we expect to see the economic crisis deepening even further in 2021. However, it’s already apparent that, at the same time, it gave rise to hundreds of new industries and business opportunities. Let’s see how you can take advantage of the new post-Covid-19 market field and make the 2021 year – a success.
In this article, we will cover:
Table of contents
- Better bracing for possible changes
- Building a flexible business
- A shift in customer behavior
- 9 emerging opportunities in the post-Covid-19 market
- Affiliate marketing industry
- eCommerce opportunities
- Gaming industry
- Online education industry
- Online communication industry
- Delivery and carrier industries
- Online payment gateways industry
- Insurance industry
Better bracing for possible changes
The many months that people had spent in a lockdown with limited opportunities have taught us that we cannot take the world we live in for granted. Things can change in a brick of an eye, and business success now depends more and more on “smart luck.”
Government policies around the world seem to impact all companies, both large and small.
Before you can brace changes, a vital first step is to consider the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on your business and your corporate ecosystem.
Given the experience of the first shock and the relative predictability of renewed government interventions, leaders can reliably evaluate and plan for the effect of their business’s coming changes. If your ability to predict the market is greater than that of your competitors, and you can respond quicker, can you imagine what advantage that will give you in the post-pandemic market?
Building a flexible business
When you decide to start a new business from scratch or launch a new company in 2021, the key to success should be its’ flexibility.
In order to shape the post-COVID-19 environment to their advantage, entrepreneurs should recognize changes that have produced opportunities and assess how durable they are.
This kind of understanding would make it easier to put better bets on the future and make smarter investments.
Not many existing businesses emerged as winners after the first few waves of the pandemic, and the only business that managed not only to survive but also to thrive were the ones that managed to adapt.
These businesses didn’t only accept the new reality; they embraced it.
For example, IKEA built their entire business model on the concept of customer experience and customers’ presence in their physical stores.
While IKEA still has a thriving online shop and sufficient funds to carry itself through the pandemic, they decided to purchase wind farms and invest in new business opportunities. Since IKEA was already famous for being environmentally conscious in the past years, this seemed like a natural and logical step for them to take (in the effort) to influence the climate changes and the impact of big industries (such as IKEA iteself…) on our planet.
IKEA isn’t the only company that made a shift.
We should learn from the global industrial giants that no matter what business model you will decide to start, we should keep it flexible and keep an eye on new opportunities, regardless of the niche you are in.
In summer 2020, some companies succumbed to the panic and weren’t flexible enough to remain afloat. Others, on the other hand, managed to adjust and, therefore, stayed in the game.
For example – businesses who already dealt with ethanol manufacturing (such as spirits factories, cosmetics, and perfumes) simply switched to producing hand sanitizers and disinfection sprays.
As famous entrepreneur and business coach, Tony Robbins, loves to say:
“It’s not about the resources; it’s about resourcefulness.”
A shift in customer behavior
The coronavirus pandemic brought upon us financial uncertainty, isolation, long hours of video call meetings, and endless home office days. On top of that, the forever-extending lockdown and inability to engage in our usual shopping behavior made a big shift in customer behavior, both in the B2B and B2C sectors.
Read our post: How B2B customer comes to you.
9 emerging opportunities in the post-Covid-19 market
As you could see so far, we vie Covid-19 as an emerging opportunity rather than a crisis. Many new top-selling products had entered the market that we couldn’t even imagine.
However, opportunities lay far beyond the manufacturing of hand sanitizers and facemasks.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 industries that skyrocketed in 2020 and will continue to rise and prosper in 2021 and beyond.
Affiliate marketing industry
One of the industries that saw an enormous boost in 2020 was affiliate marketing.
It’s no wonder, considering how easy it is to get into an affiliate marketing business and how profitable it is.
After Amazon’s announcement to slash affiliates commissions from 8% to 3% due to the pandemic crisis, many affiliates realized that building their entire business around someone else’s network is uncertain and decided to launch their own.
Of course, it’s debatable whether Amazon – whose profits tripled during the pandemic, really had to cut the commissions or not, but the fact remains – the more independent you are, the more control you have over your own business.
Since Scaleo offers affiliate marketing software for networks, we experienced this boost first hand. More and more clients came to us, looking for a solution to start their own affiliate network, and we can see the demand gradually but continuously growing.
Waking up to a modern economic paradigm has dramatically altered consumer behavior in the retail sector.
Same as affiliate marketing, the eCommerce industry is booming like never before.
With people shopping online, even for groceries, e-shops are among the safest businesses you can bet on.
A recent study found that global online grocery sales hit 110% in April 2020 and continues to grow ever since.
Although there is a strong demand for online shopping, some eCommerce stores face the challenge of meeting their consumers’ demands: product flow, time management, and customer service.
Sony’s PlayStation online gaming store has reported record sales peaking during the lockdown. I guess needless to say, how they got there, considering most of us have kids at home, and it is starting to feel like the days get increasingly longer and dull.
Not only kids play online, though. I can easily imagine an unemployed dad finally having the opportunity to grab the joystick and dive into the God of War for a few days in a row.
Moreover, hazard games, which we can still technically categorize as “games,” – marked an enormous boost.
The financial instability, in combination with the promise of “the American dream,” can persuade even the savviest minds to buy a lottery ticket, bet on your favorite team, or try their luck in an online slot machine.
It’s been long proven that hazard games are popular with lower-income households. Since the coronavirus crisis left millions without a stable stream of income (or even none at all), it’s no wonder that we can see a huge demand for the online gaming industry, from betting networks to mobile phone games to even simple online arcade websites.
Many people (both adults and kids) who have now spent countless days playing games – got increasingly addicted to this new engaging fun and will continue their engagement in the world of online games even long after the crisis will be over.
Considering a combination of low-cost and with high-value offers, the gaming industry is expected to grow in partnerships with other entertainment sectors.
Online education industry
Education moved online. So is the demand for education.
There is a huge demand for learning new skills, private online tutoring, online courses, educational workshops, online coaching, and tutoring for kids who fall behind their classmates.
Not only parents are seeking additional classes for their kids online.
Adults also seek to extend their skills, learn new trades, learn a new programming language, or anything else that would allow them to increase their passive income or start a new business altogether.
In its broadest sense, the online education industry will continue to be in demand in 2021.
If you are considering offering your services online or offering them as an affiliate (since there are already millions of courses out there you can start promoting right away), this is the right time to get into this niche.
Online communication industry
The lockdown, the home office, the online education, and the total isolation. Where can people meet and interact, if not through online video calls?
Zoom, Meet, and other communication platforms saw a 500% boost already in the pandemic’s first wave, back in Q2 of 2020. The demand for online meetings, both professional and personal, will continue to soar in the near future.
Apart from one-on-one meetings, many conferences and events were steamed live online since there was no opportunity to deliver the event in person and allow such massive crowds of people to meet in person.
I guess we can also push the dating industry under the “online communication” umbrella. The dating industry (mainly mobile apps) experienced a massive demand from various sides.
- A high percentage of divorces and separations left many people single amidst a lockdown.
- Many were unable to meet new people casually due to the lockdown isolation and had no choice but to look for adventures online.
- Others just got bored and curious as they were left with plenty of free time in their hands.
Connecting people online seems like the ultimate future model and perfect business opportunity. (It looks like Nokia’s slogan will be revived soon).
Delivery and carrier industries
Since most physical shops were either forced to close or decided to close themselves, customer behaviors shifted dramatically in favor of online shopping.
This gave rise to many vacancies in the delivery industry. From Wolt and Uber Eats to the average UPC delivery jobs, the number of orders online rose tremendously, and the supply can hardly meet the demand.
While I definitely do not advocate anyone taking a career path in pizza delivery, this is yet another great opportunity to consider when planning or rethinking your business in 2021.
If your product can be delivered to the door through any kind of carrier – it has a chance to withhold changes in the weak economy.
Online payment gateways industry
We all know that fintech is growing successfully, and many recent successful startups are binding finances and tech in some innovative way.
However, good old “payment gateways” are not going anywhere.
With the tremendous increase of online transactions, many vendors are looking for better, more secure, more flexible online payment gateways that offer a more satisfying shopping experience for the end-user at a lower % fee.
No one can honestly say that with big players such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Payoneer, Stripe, 2Checkout, and Amazon Payments on the market, there is still a “good opportunity” to start a payment gateway app.
However, with the market going global like never before, there is accelerating demand for payment integrations, multi-currency apps, and more.
Entrepreneurs in the fintech industry and developers should not miss the opportunity to create or invest in a product in this niche.
Insecurity is the breeding ground for insurance sales.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Covid-19 had this effect on restless minds.
Whether people had something to lose in the first place, or they were at the point of “nearly nothing to lose,” the shaky ground beneath their feet forced them to rush for insurance coverage.
For example, Forbes published a report in Q2 of 2020 that notes a 30-50% increase in insurance sales, especially for life insurance.
Who took advantage of this rise, apart from the insurance moguls and banks?
Mainly companies with integrated insurance apps, where purchasing insurance is a part of a smooth customer experience. This includes all kinds of apps in the traveling industry, financial and trading apps, coupons and discount apps, and many others.
What does this suggest to you?
If you are in the affiliate business, perhaps you already know that insurance sales account for one of the highest commissions on the market. So, the development of any partner ecosystem technology, mobility, wealth, health, financial service or other, could be seamlessly integrated with insurance selling.
Climbing out of 2020’s economic ditch will be a slow and hard struggle. Not only we at Scaleo but also 86% of Fortune 500 CEOs believe business activity will not return to normal (pre-pandemic levels) before Q1 of 2022. However, don’t take it as bad news, but rather (as we tried so hard to illustrate in this article) as an opportunity.
An opportunity to engage in an emerging new business industry, an opportunity to expand your current business, or give it a new curve. Or, perhaps an opportunity to get into the affiliate marketing business and join millions of people who already benefit from the shift in customer behavior. Remember:
“In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity.”