Did corona virus just spark a massive digital economy?
Did corona virus just spark a massive digital economy?

With the outbreak of corona virus crippling the world economy, many companies are looking for ways to save their businesses. With many countries in shutdown mode, many companies are looking for digital survival strategies. I know what you are thinking because i have been asking myself the same question too.

“Did corona virus just spark a massive digital economy?”  Maybe i am overthinking it.

Since the outbreak of covid-19, there has been a growth in online traffic. On the 19th of March 2020, BBC News reported that Vodafone and Talk Talk have seen a rise in internet usage by 30% its UK fixed-line and mobile networks. This is only in the UK. Now just imagine whats happening in other parts of the world.

The growth in online traffic has presented a lifetime opportunity in many industries although others have suffered severely from it. Now the question is “What are the opportunities being presented by this surge in online traffic?”

Firstly, lets look at the rise of the need for e-commerce

OK let’s look at the  following statistics.

According to Michael Oslon of Piper Sandler (Expert Analyst), as presented by NASDAQ, predicts that Netflix’s year-on-year subscriptions growth for the US and Canadian markets is now expected to reach more than double previous predictions of 1.6%.

Econsultancy.com reported that 50% of Chinese and 31% of Italian consumers say they’re using eCommerce ‘more frequently’. Respondents from affected countries have revealed their lifestyle changes, opinions and reactions brought about by the pandemic in a new study from Ipsos MORI.

Ok Listen to this, with many people being asked to stay home to limit the spread of corona virus, they will need some form of entertainment and some groceries too. This means that they will have to change their life styles. No more going to stores for groceries or cinemas for entertainment. All these are being delivered to them in the comfort of their homes.

Its unfortunate that the travel and tourism industry is going to suffer a lot during this outbreak. I don’t think anyone would risk travelling right now. Expert analyst Rob Sanderson from Loop Capital Markets predict a 15% year-on-year decline in travel ad revenue. Google and Facebook’s ad revenue will be severely impacted by the decrease in ad spend by travel brands, as reported by Search Engine Land.

Social Media Marketing

With so much traffic on google and social media platforms right now, its just unfortunate that the tourism industry won’t be able to capitalize on that as a result of all the shutdown and travel restrictions imposed in many countries right now.

Many businesses (especially those of marketers), are going to benefit a lot when advertising on social media during this outbreak. The growth in social media traffic means that they can now reach a larger audience and more prospective customers. If your product is essential during this outbreak, it means you have a larger market online provided you can deliver the product or service to your customers.

For some businesses, which sell products or services which are not essential right now, I would advice to just keep your brand alive online. They can focus more on brand awareness campaigns. Trust me you will see the benefits whilst everything is back to some form of normalcy world wide.

Let’s look into digital healthcare

There is a very significant need for digitization in the healthcare industry.  In the UK, last week, the Prime Minister advised that the NHS would be sending letters or text messages to 1.5 million people, advising them to stay home as they are most at risk of serious complications from corona virus.

The UK were able to identify those who are at high and vulnerable  by examining and analyzing their medical records using data some technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence. This actually helps in fighting this disease.

I wish i could say the same for many parts of my continent Africa. Many African public healthcare systems and private clinics are still using paper-based written health records. Such insights through data will simply not be available which makes the battle even harder for us.

This might be the right opportunity for healthcare startups to focus on these vulnerabilities in our healthcare industry in order to help the continent fight this corona virus.

Lastly lets look into the education industry

Many schools in Africa have been investing into e-learning platforms. This proactive investment will see many African students benefiting as they will be learning online from home during this outbreak.

I think this pandemic just ignite the digital economy. I am confident that many are now seeing the internet as an essential service and an enable of whole other essential services.

What do you think?



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