The pandemic has impacted almost every facet of society, from the economy to our daily lives. However, in what seems like a silver lining, it has also ushered in an era of opportunity for many businesses. Some industries have risen to the top of their game as consumer habits have changed, maybe permanently. This has led many investors to modify their stock predictions in order to keep up with the times.
As the pandemic continues to rage across the globe, it’s hard to predict what the future holds. But one thing’s for certain: it will be largely dominated by the remote economy. Social distancing has encouraged people to work, stay active and all-around live remotely. Experts predict these trends will continue to shape our world after the pandemic as well.
So, with that theme in mind, here’s are seven industries that are set to thrive this year:
- Online-Meeting Platforms
- Remote Fitness
- Cloud Computing
Stock Predictions: E-commerce
The pandemic served as boon for the e-commerce industry because homebound consumers were forced to take their shopping online. Prior to the pandemic, e-commerce had been on the rise as people looked for more convenient options in a digital world. So, when in-store shopping practically came to a halt last year, online shopping became even more of a necessity than ever.
Now, experts predict that the new online shopping habits of consumers will stick, continuing even after in-store shopping is able to fully return. This consumer-mindset shift has also led many businesses to allocate more of their budgets to digital marketing. Finally, brands are also finding that they need to differentiate their online experiences in order to stay competitive.
Like with e-commerce, Covid-19 and social-distancing have forced many employees to adapt to remote work as well. Although the transition to working from home was challenging, research has also shown that employee productivity spiked to an all-time high. As a result, numerous tech companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) have decided to make remote work a permanent option.
This rise in remote work has also pushed videoconferencing platforms into the spotlight. For example, companies like Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) experienced major surges in traffic at the onset of the pandemic. And given that this trend is not going away anytime soon, it’s safe to say that online-meeting platforms should continue to thrive in 2021.
Digitization in the education sector was well underway before the pandemic, but social-distancing restrictions have accelerated that transition. Age-old learning models — like teacher-student interaction — have now gone digital. At schools and universities, online tests and lectures have also quickly become the norm. In fact, nearly 1.2 billion students around the world found themselves going to school remotely last year.
Experts now believe that there will be greater integration of technology in education moving forward. In fact, many universities have already jumped on the bandwagon with online programs. That kind of disruption is a huge tailwind for e-learning platforms.
Staying fit from the confines of our homes has been a challenge for many, but a slew of online workout platforms have made things a whole lot easier. As gyms were shuttered last year, at-home workouts — which have been around for decades — became a major part of our daily lives. From a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Fitness+ platform to a bike ride on your Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON), virtual fitness has become key to conquering pandemic fatigue.
Now, even as gyms slowly open up across the nation, the concept of at-home workouts continues to have its allure. Access to world-class fitness trainers from the comfort of home is a convenience that remains unmatched. Of course, gyms will continue to be a huge part of the fitness industry. However, the future of workouts in the new normal will also strike a healthy balance between in-person and remote exercise.
Remote work has been great for employee productivity but on the flip side, cyber threats are also at an all-time high. That’s because the immediate transition to the work-from-home trend put immense pressure on IT departments trying to ensure secure systems. Data shows that there has been a 63% increase in cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic, with ploys including phishing, ransomware and malspam.
This has made cybersecurity paramount for both businesses and governments. Across the board, they are investing millions into their security solutions. That has been a big boon for companies like Cisco Systems. And with remote work expected to be a permanent trend, cybersecurity firms should continue to play an important role in business operations in the future.
Obviously, the pandemic has brought on extreme challenges for the healthcare industry. But the outbreak has also presented an opportunity to the sector, forcing it to reposition itself and innovate for the future. Looking ahead, Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on not just pharma and biotech firms, but on regular healthcare procedures as well.
For instance, big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a greater role in developing therapies moving forward. On top of that, remote health services — otherwise know as telehealth services — will become more widespread in the new normal. This sheer level of disruption in the industry will ultimately enable the most innovative companies to gain larger market shares and earn more revenue. So, with long runways for growth, healthcare companies should be great post-pandemic plays.
The switch to a remote-work environment presented a host of challenges for many businesses. Trying to navigate their way through this new normal, many turned to cloud-based strategies to meet their needs. With massive amounts of data on servers, cloud computing has now enabled companies to stay agile in the work-from-home world.
All in all, cloud solutions allow employees to be more productive with enhanced collaboration across departments. Moreover, businesses only need to pay for what they use. That makes it a cost-effective option as well. So, as we continue to adopt digital solutions at a greater pace this year, cloud computing firms should experience exponential growth for years to come.
On the date of publication, Divya Premkumar held a long position in SHOP.
Divya Premkumar has a finance degree from the University of Houston, Texas. She is a financial writer and analyst who has written stories on various financial topics from investing to personal finance. Divya has been writing for Investor Place since 2020.