The COVID-19 pandemic was a global phenomenon with “many losers and few winners.” Nearly 100,000 businesses shut down, sending millions into unemployment. Sectors that depended on foot traffic, like retail and hospitality, had to temporarily close their doors to abide by quarantine measures, which all but dried up their revenue stream. On the flip side, there was a massive surge in demand for delivery and logistics solutions, with e-commerce stores reaching new heights in sales and revenues.
This is what the K-shaped recovery looks like — a recovery model where a portion of businesses recover quickly and fully, while others decline. While e-commerce industries enjoy huge growth, the restaurant, bar, travel, and hospitality industries will take a while to bounce back.
People, therefore, are wary of where they invest their money. Everyone wants to put their hard-earned dollars in pandemic-proof businesses that guarantee income, even pandemic-induced recessions. So, here are some sectors that are worth investing in in the post-pandemic world.
Delivery and Transportation
The delivery and transportation industry is one sector that kept the economy moving when quarantine closed shops down. Thanks to logistics companies, basic goods continued to flow, and people could get what they needed without stepping out of their homes. The Supply & Demand Chain Executive reports a 13% increase in the number of parcels shipped in January to March 2020, compared to the same period in the previous year. B2C e-commerce shipments increased by 17%, too.
Because they are rarely felt in consumers’ day-to-day lives, it’s easy to take the delivery and transportation sector for granted. However, there is a thousands-strong workforce operating behind the scenes to ensure goods are delivered, from the sorters to couriers to professional truck drivers. To continue their good work, companies are always looking for operational innovations, such as automation, and they might need capital to develop these solutions.
Home Improvement and Sanitation
Staying indoors has led to a newfound love for all things domestic, like cooking, gardening, and interior design. And this passion for the homebody life will stay long after the pandemic recedes. Even workers want to stay home—the Global Workplace Analytics estimates that up to 30% of the workforce will still be working in the comfort of their couches until the end of 2021.
People are frequenting the online shops of home improvement stores, like Home Depot and Lowe’s. Experts also project that home improvement projects will continue to increase as people invest in new properties. As a result, people with home improvement stocks have a high chance of reaping long-term benefits.
The same holds for sanitation companies. While we might not see the next great pandemic at the tail-end of COVID-19, people are more conscious of the importance of cleanliness and sanitation. People who invest in a residential or commercial cleaning services franchise have a huge chance of getting a positive investment return.
Because COVID-19 patients occupy hospital beds, the number of telehealth appointments skyrocketed. This platform allows patients to consult a health professional without having to be physically present at the hospital. Pre-COVID-19, only 11% of patients booked telemedicine appointments, but figures soared to 46% as patients used telehealth to replace canceled visits. In fact, telehealth providers experience 50 to 175 times more virtual appointments compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
This upward trend is expected to continue, even if hospitals see fewer COVID-19 patients. According to McKinsey & Company, about 20% of all emergency room visits could be addressed by virtual care, while 24% of healthcare clinic and outpatient visits can also be conducted virtually.
US telehealth companies’ total annual revenues are projected to swell from $3 billion before the pandemic to $250 billion post-pandemic.
With gyms closed, people relied on online fitness programs to stay in shape or stave off boredom. But even if they are allowed to step out of their houses, the home routines are likely to stay for the long term. At-home fitness programs mean they don’t have to spend time driving, exert effort in putting together a gym bag, or spend money on the commute. Moreover, they enjoy being able to customize their classes to an ever-evolving lifestyle. As such, at-home fitness is a good investment for aspiring entrepreneurs.
While there are no guarantees in an economic recession, some industries are more likely to stay afloat during times of trouble. It pays to put your investments in a sector with solid footing so that you can expect a positive return on investment, pandemic or not.