Our lives have changed so quickly in the past few weeks as COVID-19 became a pandemic. As travel comes to a virtual halt, schools close and governments react, most of us find ourselves stuck in our homes to avoid and freeze the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many small businesses have reacted by reducing or suspending operations and are already feeling the toll on their bottom line.
As people’s behaviors change, their search behaviors change too. Some industries were well poised for the shifting market, but many are not. But change doesn’t necessitate failure. As more data emerges and trends become apparent, there’s plenty of room for Small Businesses to adjust to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and weather the storm. For example, the WHO has received overwhelming pro-bono support from technology companies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2nd April, 30 of the world’s leading digital technology experts gathered in a virtual roundtable to help advance WHO’s a collaborative response to COVID-19.
This pandemic has triggered an unprecedented demand for digital technology solutions and has revealed successful solutions such as for population screening, tracking the infection, prioritizing the use and allocation of resources and designing targeted responses.

Mobile Apps on the rise

With major cities hunkering down to avoid the spread of the virus, people are inevitably spending more time indoors and on their mobile devices. They aren’t driving, holding face-to-face meetings or engaging in many of the activities that normally require them to put away devices. During the outbreak, phone usage went up from 6.1 hours a day to 7.3 hours a day. But most importantly, the increase in mobile use can be understood as a means of tackling social distancing.
Mobile Apps, in particular, have played a major in facilitating the transition from day-to-day life to lockdown. For example, Aarogya Setu App is an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19. It detects and tracks the user’s movement, with the help of GPS and Bluetooth sensors and sends out a notification, if they come in contact with infected people by using its database and algorithms. It’s a location-based mobile application and further, the plan is to use it as an e-pass for people to move around the city freely if the user’s app shows green color with “You are safe” message on the screen.

How Travel Apps Got Devastated

It will not have escaped anyone’s attention that the travel industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be a challenging task for governments to address such hypothetical eventualities now that are so riddled with uncertainties, but the priority must be to sustain the travel industry to a sufficient degree to ensure that there is enough left to rebuild upon once the pandemic comes to an end.

How Shopping Apps Got Affected

As it becomes even more clear just how infectious COVID-19 is, some shoppers have raised questions about the safety of receiving their online orders. The spread of the pandemic has hurt fashion and lifestyle retailers after states introduced lockdowns and containment policies including the closure of malls. Companies are also reporting disturbances in servicing online clients as the lockdown in various cities is hampering operations and of course, there is a difficulty as most warehouses are shut due to lockdown.

How FMCG Apps Got Affected

Food delivery apps in India are struggling to get new users and keep their existing customers active. There is a steady decline from December 2019 to March 2020. We believe this decline will continue in the coming months, especially since India has extended lockdown.

Social Networking Apps Are On The Top

As people are locked down themselves at their homes, it is very much expected to see a rise in the ranking of social networking apps. This is no wonder as the whole country is under quarantine and in today’s day and age, the easiest way to connect with each other is through apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.

Education Apps on the Rise

The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has forced K-12 schools and universities to close and send their students home. But this doesn’t mean education stops. Schools around the world have been taking precautions with expanded online classes and assignments. The move to remote learning has been enabled by several online tech stack such as Google Classroom, Blackboard, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, all of which play an important role in this transformation.

Business Apps Reached the Top

It is clear that a lot of businesses have been switching to remote for the time being to ensure their employee’s safety by decreasing their social interaction. There’s a clear rise in apps that support working from home like Zoom, Hangouts Meet, Slack, Trello etc. which are trending in both the App Store and Google Trends.
Zoom and Hangouts Meet are apps that let you do video or audio conferences while being able to share your screens with your co-workers, so it is no wonder it has become a top app since the COVID-19 outbreak reached its peak.

Conclusion

Experts around the world have been trying to forecast what the aftermath will be of the Novel Coronavirus. It’s clear that it is changing consumer behavior, but the exact long-term consequences are still impossible to predict. We can hope the effects will be temporary.
By sharing the recent findings and insights, Appcare hopes to help our clients navigate through these trying times and best prepare to manage the evolving situation. We can take this as a learning and strategize our businesses by having mobile apps to automatically run in these kinds of situations. Appcare also recommends all the Small – Medium Businesses to have mobile apps so that you are not completely shut down and Appcare is always ready to help our clients in building such apps.

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