Dramatic shifts in consumer behavior have occurred, due to the pandemic, and are rapidly driving new trends across multiple industries. Not to make our current situation sound like a positive, but this shift has triggered an opportunity for people who want to start companies or small businesses that can pivot to provide new products and services based on these accelerated trends. Here are several trends that you might be able to leverage into a startup company:
Live Streaming E-Commerce
The Amazon equivalent in China is Alibaba. Their live streaming e-commerce platform Taobao generated more than $15 billion in sales in just 2019.The pandemic will fuel the live streaming ecommerce market to grow even bigger and faster than it has over the past few years.
Quite a few companies in the late 90’s were funded to provide virtual worlds where people could meet and hangout through their personal avatars, but these companies never really took off. But as people today easily move about in social media and dating sites, they have become accustomed to online as an acceptable medium so their expectations have evolved, and some people will start to seek out virtual personalities online. If Peloton can have a virtual “real” trainer push you faster on your ride, then you are probably open to other online experiences and perhaps even virtual experts, coaches and friends.
The pandemic has spotlighted peoples’ willingnesss to rapidly accept online video for education, meetings, sales calls, etc. The next logical jump in this “self isolation” world is self-improvement through online platforms. Whether that’s for education, certification, cooking or even mental health issues, there are a variety of opportunities for startups or small businesses.
You may have heard about, or participated in, virtual “happy hours” as a way if staying connected with your company during the Coronavirus era. Those have been fun, but will they last? The real opportunity is to provide the experience and connectively of former live events to a virtual one that actually can sustain itself over time, even after the end of the pandemic. 3D and virtual platforms will probably come to professional sports and events more rapidly but who will provide the business solutions that allow people to meet, converse and do business in a way that does not involve Zoom?
Even before the Covid crisis triggered a global public health crisis and raised fears of a deep economic slump, people were facing other issues that could impact their mental health: social media competition, lack of confidence, not enough affordable housing, climate and energy issues, career concerns and so on. Future platforms and services that can help improve people’s mental wellbeing and overall health will be welcomed with open arms.
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