Companies like GE, Disney and HP got their start during the Great Depression, while Airbnb, Uber, Slack and Venmo launched in cyberspace during the Great Recession. Taboola’s analysis of more than 8 billion page views, along with data from the aggregated readership among 1,000 of its publisher partners, collected in March and April, shows several promising growth markets, as Singolda noted in an article published on CNBC.com.
Creating the next great videoconferencing platform is an idea that’s probably already taken, but the Taboola analysis of search engine terms revealed others:
- Fitness and growth saw a 2 million percent (or if you prefer, 2,000,000%) growth in consumer interest, probably unsurprising given the correlation between obesity and more serious and fatal cases of COVID-19. Statista showed more than 2.6 million downloads of home workout with no equipment apps in March alone. Searches for “weight loss” have grown, Peloton’s stock went up, and meal-kit company Blue Apron has done well with its promise of well balanced, easy to prepare dinners.
- Gaming-related searchers rose 145%, including both video games and board games, with demand for the Nintendo Switch outstripping the company’s production capability. Spending on gaming hardware hit nearly $1.6 billion in March and April, as compared with $1.8 billion during the entire Great Recession. And eSports have performed extremely well.
- The home improvement sector enjoyed robust growth, with a 140% spike in searches for the overall home and garden category, and 245% in gardening and plumbing. The shares of Home Depot were up more than 4.2%, and search terms like “home garden” and “how to snake a toilet” garnered great interest, the latter possibly due to people using alternatives to toilet paper when shelves went bare.
- The U.S. saw a “pet boom” of sorts in early spring, as shelters encouraged people to adopt pets and search terms on the topic rose 50%. Los Angeles saw a 70% spike in shelter adoptions, and New Yorkers took in 10 times the number of pets, while well-loved online pet bazaar Chewy enjoyed a 7% leap in shares.
- The home beauty sector saw a 36% increase in page views about haircare and skincare products, and this wasn’t limited to women and girls. With growing numbers of men shaving their heads, hair clipper sales buzzed upward by 200%. And this growth should extend to companies providing custom training or communities around home beauty, not just the products themselves, Singolda predicts.
“The news cycle is a direct reflection of what’s grabbing consumer attention in real time,” he writes. “Successful businesses will heed its advice and use it to ‘look outside’ in times of crises, but also how to ‘look inside’ effectively to determine where to save costs and make responsible business choices. … New companies that will be born now [will] be with us forever.”
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