Many people say that the current COVID-19 epidemic will go down as a defining moment of the decade, if not the century. If one thing is for certain, COVID-19 has had a huge effect on the American economy. March 7, 2020, saw the three worst point drops in the entire history of the US.
It is a bit difficult to understand abstract stock measurements. Most people feel the effects of an economic downturn in more personal ways, whether it’s higher-priced goods, loss of employment, or a lack of resources.
When it comes specifically to online business, COVID-19 has had some effects. We are going to cover some of the important ways the online economy has changed in these trying times. Knowing the effects will make it easier to bounce back once the ordeal has passed.
Sales of Non-Essentials Have Dropped
Several states have closed down businesses that offer “nonessential” services. As such, the number of non-essential sales has plummeted. In contrast, the sale of essentials has skyrocketed (you’ve probably seen those videos of people buying massive amounts of toilet paper). People also started to stock up on PPE such as masks, gloves or hand sanitizer as well as disaster / emergency kits like this one.
In fact, Amazon recently announced they would temporarily suspend the shipment of nonessential goods on their platform. Given that an estimated 1 million businesses rely on Amazon’s platform to sell goods, this suspension could result in the loss of revenue for several online businesses.
At the same time, the threat of Coronavirus has changed people’s buying behaviors. According to BigCommerce, 96% of Millenials and Gen Z say that the pandemic has caused them to change their buying behavior by cutting back on nonessentials and spending in general. In contrast, only 24% and 34% of Boomers and Gen X respectively say that the pandemic has significantly affected their buying behavior.
Drops in online sales have not only affected small businesses either. Apple announced that it will not meet its Q2 benchmark due to supply chain disruptions in China. Other major retailers such as Nike, Starbucks, and Bed Bath and Beyond have closed up shop for the time being.
Remote Work and Related Software Is Growing
If there is a silver lining it’s how the pandemic has shown the potential of remote work. The federal government issued new guidance on the subject of remote work with the goal of maximizing telecommuting capabilities. Nearly a quarter of the workforce already has some form of remote work in their schedule and advocates argue that the pandemic will only cause remote work opportunities to increase.
As more companies move their employees to a remote schedule, they will need to spend more on the digital infrastructure to allow those capacities. As such, experts think we can expect to see growth in workplace-style applications like Zoom, Workplace, Google Hangouts, and more. Zoom itself has added more users so far in 2020 than they did in all of 2019.
One area in which COVID-19 is expected to cause a huge boom is in the realm of telemedicine. Telemedicine allows people a novel way to visit the doctor in a time when self-quarantine is the recommended action. Interest in telemedicine and other remote health applications have spiked since the beginning of the pandemic. The demand for remote medical software is in a position to meet the needs of this increase in interest.
Online Learning Swells
Coronavirus has also caused a huge spike in interest in self-learning and online classes. With so many people off work, more people are using self-quarantine as a time to develop their skills to learn something new. Search frequency for terms like “online classes” and “online learning” has skyrocketed since the end of February.
The online learning industry has one advantage that other online retailers lack. Online course platforms sell digital products instead of physical ones. As such, they are not bound by any restrictions on essential vs nonessential goods. The interest in things like online fitness classes, hot-to-videos, and instructional videos has risen in the past month.
Why Not Sell Your Own Online Courses?
Given the rise in interest in digital products, there is a growing market for course creators to share their knowledge. One of the most popular platforms for course creators is Kajabi. There are of course other platforms such as Teachable, Thinkific and Udemy. These platforms and specifically, Kajabi, is an all-in-one business platform designed specifically for creating, marketing, and selling online courses. In other words, these platforms give you the tools to create courses and market them to your audience.
Times are uncertain about selling physical products, which is why sharing your knowledge and selling courses online is a unique solution. For example, Kajabi is geared specifically around selling digital products like courses, e-books, lectures, webinars, and more. You’ll find many options for webinar software and online courses with a quick Google search. When the going gets tough, people can resort to selling their knowledge, an important intangible good that knows no scarcity.
Kajabi is an excellent platform to launch your knowledge base. Kajabi has a wide range of tools specifically designed for creating and selling digital products. As the sale of physical products dwindles as more people go into savings mode, online courses and classes remain a great way to recoup some lost costs during the pandemic.