With Covid-19 dragging the economy down and people cooped up at home or sheltering in place, consumer behaviors and trends are changing.
Businesses have to find a way to pivot to meet these new demands and habits. The obvious ones are easy to spot like food delivery, entertainment (Netflix!), and productivity software that make working from home possible.
I’ve consolidated the rest in the list below. We hope this helps you stay more in tune with our changing world.
Online legal advice ⚖️
- Lockdowns are forcing couples to spend an increasing amount of time together. Throw in money problems amid a slowing economy, and the chances for arguments increase. It’s happening in China and in the U.S, which may cause a surge in demand for online lawyers.
- The pandemic has also pushed wealthy elderly folks to seek advice on how to write their will. Thankfully, that can be done online, too.
Gaming from home 🎮
- Sales of video games are soaring as people find ways to entertain themselves. Gaming companies like Tencent, Sony, Microsoft, and Apple are the winners.
- Online game retailers are also enjoying the surge.
- Similarly, companies that sell gaming gear and consoles are experiencing high demand. That includes Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Razer products.
Cooking at home 👩🍳
- US-based Waffle House couldn’t offer its signature menu item in its restaurants. So the company made its waffle mix available online and it was sold out in four hours.
- Shake Shack is offering DIY kits so you can enjoy its burgers from home.
- Demand for flour is on the rise as people are looking to bake to kill boredom and at the same time fill their stomachs.
- Baking and cooking are also healthy activities to do with kids and can also distract people away from their anxieties.
- As a result, sales for cooking appliances are skyrocketing.
Mental wellness and recreation 🧘
- The current situation is uncertain, and it’s detrimental to our mental health. CNN reported that a crisis hotline has seen an 891% spike in calls.
- Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are seeing a spike in downloads in the corona economy.
- Alcohol and legal cannabis sales are higher as well.
- Alcohol delivery app Drizly told Yahoo that it saw “sales explode in the last week of March, climbing 537% above the company’s expectations.”
Keeping kids entertained 🤡
- Parents have to work from home… with their kids around. To stay focused, they have to keep their kids entertained. Providing toys is one of the solutions, and Hasbro is seeing a surge in sales.
- Parents are also under pressure to act as teachers, scrambling to set up home-school schedules during the lockdown.
“With schools across the country closed and unlikely to reopen soon, families are gathering teaching materials, setting up schedules, and looking for ways to keep kids engaged beyond the limited hours of remote-learning school days,” writes learning specialist Katharine Hill in The New York Times.
There are several useful and free resources in that NYT piece to help you plan your kids’ schedule.
Online learning 🤓
“In highly competitive markets like India and Southeast Asia, parents are even more keen for their children to perform well in exams and find better employment opportunities,” says GV Ravishankar, a managing director at Sequoia Capital India.
- Online education companies are defying the funding slowdown. They continue to do well in the Covid-19 economy as kids stay home and education has to go on.
- To suit current user behavior, Airbnb has launched “online experiences”, bringing their offline experience online.
- Events have gone virtual as well, from open-house school tours via Minecraft to trade conferences like our very own Product Development Conference.
- Some students got creative and still marched towards “graduation.”
Work-from-home fashion 👕
According to a report jointly produced by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company:
- The personal luxury goods industry (luxury fashion, accessories, and watches as well as fine jewelry and high-end beauty), estimates a global revenue contraction of 35% to 39% in 2020 year-on-year.
- If stores remain closed for two months, McKinsey analysis approximates that 80% of publicly listed fashion companies in Europe and North America will be in financial distress.
- A large number of global fashion companies are expected to go bankrupt in the next 12 to 18 months.
The pain trickles down to the workforce. As demand drops, garment workers are also feeling the pinch. “If our workers don’t die from coronavirus, they’d die of starvation,” an industry executive pointed out.
Meanwhile, comfort wear and pajamas are in vogue as people stay indoors.
Other trends 🔥
- As the risk of catching the novel coronavirus shoots up, even grocery workers are reluctant to turn up at work. If Covid-19 cases escalate in your city, the same problem may apply to services that still require workers to go out, including food and ecommerce deliveries.
- Six things that are undergoing a sales boom: Exercise gear, gardening items, electronics, coffee, games, and books.
- Condom sales are up in India. People are also watching more pornography and purchasing more sex toys.
- Coronavirus fears are driving up interest in private jets.
- Random but interesting: Rats are going hungry and they’re eating their own kind.
Interesting pivots ✨
- A strip club gets their strippers to deliver food… while topless.
- An apparel brand now makes and sells masks.
- A cinema has turned its parking lots into a drive-in cinema.
Similarly, Razer has also “pivoted” some of its manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks for Southeast Asia. That’s quite a feat, and I have a lot of respect for that. In fact, it spurred me to reach out to discuss their work further.
The company agreed, so now we have a virtual event: How Razer joined the X-Force.
Join us on April 22 and listen to Edwin Chan, Razer’s chief investment officer, and LiMeng Lee, who serves as chief strategy officer. We will talk about the company’s actions during Covid-19, its leadership during a time of crisis, and more.
Stay optimistic! 💪
Here are some of my favorite recent pieces from our newsroom:
- 🤥 Honestbee founder’s biggest lie in a web of deceit – Brian Koo, a key investor in Honestbee, speaks to us in an exclusive interview.
- 🤔 Should Masayoshi Son step away from SoftBank Group? – SoftBank Group’s shares could be worth far more, maybe?
- 🎬 Video streaming in Asia is not for the faint of heart – Insufficient disposable incomes and intense competition make it a challenging market for players in the over-the-top video scene.