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COVID -19 – How the Last Quarter of 2020 is Going to Look for the Businesses

The COVID – 19 pandemics has imposed a melancholy circumstance in the lives of people. And it’s affecting how we live and work. As those in authority intervene to calm the deadly air, businesses are vividly changing their workflow to accustom to the situation and thereby address the needs of their prospects.

The present is indeed dreary, but most businesses dread the future being drearier.

With profound research, therefore, I have compiled a curated study on how the last quarter of 2020 would be like across various business domains.

Technology

As far as India is concerned, the tech giants such as HCL, TCS, and Infosys would grapple during the last few months of the fiscal year 2020. Since their American and European clients are limiting their software spending, these software exporters are expected to lose around 2 to 7% of their revenues, according to Brokerage HDFC Securities. Although the fiscal year 2020 experienced $147 billion worth software and services exports, they are bound to fall in the last quarter as client bankruptcy, and slow clientele decision-making process inhibits discretionary spending.

On the other side of the spectrum, even global tech giant, Apple, claims a decline in its iPhone shipments via Q1 by 10%.  Apple attributes its loss to the partial and complete shutdowns of factories, like Foxconn (Apple’s primary manufacturer) in China. This is a case in point to cite that the disruption in the supply chains followed by declination in the demand cycles is affecting the technology sector profoundly. 

With this demand and supply disruptions, the stock market also faces challenges. As the Q1 earnings are bound to be affected, uncertainty threatens the share prices.

Further, with the cancellation of many tech events, the notable ones being SXSW in Austin and MWC in Barcelona, has put a standstill to the possibilities of novel innovations and new business partnerships. Further, Facebook had to cancel its Global Marketing Summit and its F8 conference for developers. Even Google transitioned its Google Next Cloud to the virtual space. Altogether, as cited by Recode, the cancellation of events alone led to a direct economic loss of $1 billion.

E-Commerce

As people eschew physical market places, the e-commerce industry would boom in the last quarter of 2020. Nevertheless, logistics can face dynamic challenges. According to eMarketer, 28% of the US avoids all public travels while 58% plan to do so if the circumstances worsen. This data even follows suit to the shopping behaviour of people. Three-quarters of the US population claims to avoid all shopping centres.

This could result in a dynamic boom in the e-commerce industry. Usage of omnichannel commerce such as BOPUS (buy-online-pick-up-in-store) is also welcomed by consumers desiring to avoid crowded shop centres.

Digital Media

As people are being held in lockdowns, the consumption of digital media is increasing and is forecasted to continue to do so following consumer behaviour. It is believed that social networks would be most benefitted. Beyond being the means of a connecting chord between families and friends across vast distances, the social channels have become the go-to for tracking live news updates.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have done well in procuring more subscriptions which are not going volatile any time soon. Thus, these vendors can opt to feature live national news and other programs which are unavailable in many SVOD service providers.

Payment

The World Health Organization advises folks to endorse contactless transactions. In response, countries like South Korea are quarantining all their incoming cash. The effort to curb the virus spread boosts non-cash transactions.

It is forecasted that online payments would increase at 10.5% CAGR between 2019 and 2024. Such a rise is typical for cash predominant economies like China and South Korea. Eventually, the curve is bound to steepen towards a non-cash payment mode even among customers who would have otherwise continued in cash.

But here is where other challenges also come into play. For dependency on the internet for transactions, calls for good user experience and consumer service from the banks. The better these operations are carried out, the better the service providers would fare in attracting new leads and retaining existing customers.

Cloud Computing

As these tough times call for novel innovations in the present and the future, cloud developers have a brighter scope in tying up with researchers to develop drugs for diseases. For instance, using Amazon’s AWS, Moderna, a biotech company based in Massachusetts, was able to collaborate with other healthcare agencies in the US, to develop a cancer vaccine in just 40 days.

This promises better scope for the healthcare sector as the cloud operations make talent sharing feasible to arrive at novel innovations to fight diseases.

Take Away

While globally there is going to be an economic shock, there’s going to be still room for novel innovations. Those businesses that harness the innovation paths are the ones that’ll succeed. This is a time of testing for talents and efficacy. How well businesses adapt to the changes mark their success in the last quarter of 2020.

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