mobile app Coronavirus- If by any chance you (still) haven’t heard this term, then you’re probably living under a rock at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The pandemic has affected more than a million people and claimed more than 50,000 lives worldwide. This comes as no surprise that the global economy has suffered a massive dent. Standard Chartered estimates that the economy could take as gargantuan a blow as 42%. This is hairpulling scary!
Well, if we shift the focus to specific industries, we’ll get varying figures but one thing is constant- Covid-19 has produced a resounding effect on every industry. Here we’ll narrow it down to the mobile application industry.
Mobile apps do have an impact on shaping our lives but what happens when suddenly you are not able to use many of them? This does produce a bad effect but then it leads to something else as well.
While governments across the world are enforcing lockdowns with immediate effect, this has somehow increased user engagement with smartphones. Terms like ‘quarantine’, ‘social distancing’ and ‘isolation’ have become worldwide phenomena as people across the globe are using social media to connect with each other for all the good reasons.
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Since lockdown means long hours of spending in homes and restriction from going outside, people have started looking for alternatives to kill boredom and make good use of their time. Since the origins of the novel coronavirus originated in China, people entered the quarantine phase quite early. In fact, during the first week of February when the threat could only be felt by the Chinese, there was a colossal download of 22 million mobile gaming applications in the App Store from China. Even the average download rates in February went up by 40% in comparison to Feb 2019.
In the neighbouring country India, which is going through a nationwide lockdown until April 15th, has equally upped the game. Some gaming portals WinZO which hosts a variety of games including cricket, carrom, bubble shooter, etc. has seen a 30% rise in traffic. Game users took part and average time spent shot by ‘almost 3x, recording an all-time high’, as noted by co-founder Saumya Singh Rathore. It is also letting users use its platform for free, something the company is doing for the first time.
All of this encouraged higher business opportunities as it caught the attention of investors.
For online shopping brands like Amazon, the demand for healthcare and fitness products has increased. Yoga mats, fitness equipment, masks, gloves, etc. have been on high demand since the outbreak. But that’s just one aspect of it. The scenario that is woeful for the E-Commerce giant is that staff working in its warehouses have been tested positive for the Covid-19. This has caused CEO Jeff Bezos to order a shut down of warehouses outside of those products in high demand and healthcare.
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The online food delivery market is another company that’s been hit. Since the demands have soared, the companies have increased their prices. This has also led to increased food delivery estimates which means the ordered food comes at a later time than usual. Plus, restaurants which are facing a staffing shortage due to the pandemic. Michael DiBenedetto, CEO of the popular online food delivery company, FoodBoss said,
“There was some surge pricing last week, but that has dramatically shifted to fees that are more reasonable across the board. From March 12 to March 18, we saw food delivery fees were 16.3% higher compared to the first week of February,”
There are certain food tech apps like Uber Eats that have brought a change in their style of operations. As reported by Forbes, the company has removed charging delivery fees from local restaurants in the US and Canada. GrubHub has made a power-packed move where it doesn’t collect commission fees from restaurants and delivery partners. Although it’s temporary, the company believes that this will provide economic relief of $100 million.