- Zirca Digital Solutions’ whitepaper, Restarting Trends During The Pandemic, examines key categories to measure consumer sentiment and determine how the sectors are recovering.
- According to the report, the number of minutes spent on fitness-based platforms / apps increased 5,300% from 73 million in the third quarter of fiscal 19 to 3,917 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 20.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to many businesses, but some categories have grown and continue to do so in difficult circumstances. When the lockdown lifted, some categories recovered instantly while others slowly revived. With people at home, consumption of content in various categories increased, and consumers turned to the Internet to not only relax, but also to survive, improve, and learn more. Many tried to become more aware of issues like personal finances while others turned to personal wellbeing.
Zirca Digital Solutions’ whitepaper, “Restarting Trends During The Pandemic”, examines the key content categories that have grown during the lockdown and classifies them into “Survival”, “Work + Upskill”, and “Money” and “Wind down”. The whitepaper is part of Zirca’s Ungeek knowledge series, which simplifies facts to help companies make better decisions and to examine data and trends in content consumption between the second quarter of fiscal 19 and the fourth quarter of fiscal 20.
The categories that did well included contactless payment modes and apps. The reach of payment-based platforms increased from 208 million in the second quarter of fiscal 19 to 291 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 20. A slight decrease to 288 million was observed in the third quarter of fiscal 20, but the reach was still higher than in the second quarter of fiscal year 19. Among the others that worked flawlessly were Health, Cooking and Recipe Pages, Skills, and Money. Some highlights from the study:
- The pandemic has made people more aware of health and fitness. The number of minutes spent on fitness-based platforms / apps increased 5,300% from 73 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 19 to 3,917 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 20
- Overall time on the popular recipe website Tarladalal.com increased 2110% over the reporting period as the lack of outside housekeeping blurred the line between gender roles.
- 61% of respondents felt it was important to improve new skills in the third quarter of fiscal 20 for job security reasons, compared to 48% in the third quarter of fiscal 19
- People expanded their financial acumen and took an active part in taking over their finances. As a result, 42% of respondents were better able to manage money after being locked.
- More free time helped online gaming portals increase their reach from 80 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 19 to 120 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 20.
Sectors such as automotive, e-commerce and sports recover over the course of the activation phases.
- 82% now prefer owning a vehicle over using public transport or shared services as these are considered unsafe and risky.
- The economic slowdown reduced e-commerce as deliveries were impacted during the first phase of the lockdown. Big companies like Amazon and Flipkart saw a plateau in reach in the second quarter of fiscal 20, but no real decline as reliance on e-commerce was higher as people dared less.
- The lockdown also affected the e-commerce sub-categories. However, the focus on health and wellness, as well as working from home, which led to demands on the essentials of the home office, could have resulted in less of an impact on the facility and e-pharma.
- The reach of sports-based platforms declined from 114 million in the second quarter of fiscal 19 to 111 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 20. The final quarter saw a revival with the return of the cricket season.
Some sectors are still struggling to survive. The days of a thriving business in luxury, travel, navigation, dining – and jobs – are fond memories and hope for the future.
- Time spent on travel platforms decreased 38% and the Hotels / Resorts category decreased 79% in the fourth quarter of FY 20 compared to the fourth quarter of FY 19, as travel, tourism, and hospitality appeared the hardest hit.
- The decline in economic activity meant that companies had to reduce their workforce. With no new job postings, the time spent on career pages decreased 42% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 20 compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 19.
- The financial crisis reduced people’s interest in real estate. As a result, industry-related platforms fell nearly 30% for the entire fourth quarter of fiscal 20.
The lockdown also led to a significant change in behavior. While people were concerned about the technology and social media and its impact on our lives prior to the lockdown, in times like these they have seen the blessings too. 46% of people like to keep up to date with the news, 41% think social media is good for society, and 37% feel they are in control of their personal information.
Neena Dasgupta, CEO and Director of Zirca Digital Solutions, said: “At ZIRCA, we always rely on knowledge, research and insight-oriented decisions. Our “Ungeek” series is an attempt to gather business and consumer insights and translate them into actionable information for the digital and marketing fraternity. ZIRCA will always strive to provide the industry and consumers with insights that will help them make better business decisions. We deliberately started the series with this particular topic as there have been many changes across the spectrum in the past few months and having actionable information to improve recovery is more important now than ever. ”
Karan Gupta, Managing Director of Zirca, added, “Data” is quickly becoming a commodity and it is becoming more difficult every day to extract important insights from a mountain of readily available data. ZIRCA has positioned itself uniquely to collect large amounts of data and to filter out important findings from it. In “Ungeek” you will not only find the breadth of the information, but also the depth of this knowledge. We hope this series helps readers by providing them with more understandable facts and figures. “The pandemic has affected profound changes in businesses, many of which stem from changes in attitudes.