But Wait, There’s More
More Legal Processes Move Online: Legal tech is another space in which COVID-19 just accelerated an existing trend, here for digital legal support. More arbitration, small claims, bankruptcy, weddings and divorces will move online. Legal firms will race to keep up, operating on freelance marketplaces or using AI to cost-effectively serve more people.
Data and Privacy: A largely cashless world means much more data on consumer behavior. In addition, prevention efforts for the next pandemic will likely push the adoption of apps that track consumer movements and interactions. Already, privacy was a major issue – I expect consumers to ask for even more control of their data as this new world evolves (especially given how much more power the major buying platforms will accrue).
Subscription Flight: It’s pretty clear that the travel industry that returns will not be the one we had in 2019. Most phased return-from-lockdown plans involve a delayed reopening of non-essential business travel, nevermind personal travel, and most borders are still solidly closed or require long quarantines upon entry. Even with government support, many global airlines will not survive. Those that do are trying to get cash in the door, relaxing change fees and offering support for flexible travel. It will be hard to pullback on flexible travel once it’s offered – a competitive environment for the airlines that remain should drive them to maintain offers like this. How big of a leap is it to asking customers to commit a certain amount per month in exchange for a set amount of travel?
Micro-Luxuries: A recession will drive consumers to seek smaller luxuries. The sharing economy that was born of the last recession allowed people access to unique experiences cost-effectively without the cost of ownership, but sharing in general will face a headwind with the sanitation concerns arising from this crisis. Do consumers look to small, at-home luxuries like fine-dining meal kits, premium video on demand, at-home beauty treatments or virtual styling to treat themselves?
Enterprises Need Software to Power Remote Work: Sure, it's an obvious one, but enterprise buying focuses should change. Obviously, those ill equipped from a VPN, security, video conferencing, collaboration tools or data policy perspective will have a field of existing solutions to choose from. I expect new demand for project management software, solutions to manage employee productivity, more spontaneous chat formats vs. Zoom, and conference solutions that are not webinars. But we have to be cautious about investing in this sector, since a recession can drive down enterprise spending materially. There should also be an interesting cottage industry of solutions to monitor employees for community health - monitoring compliance with social distancing, doing contact tracing in the workplace and monitoring temperatures and symptoms in a privacy-compliant and non-intrusive way.
Office is Home and Home is Office: Maybe not as obvious is the opportunity in the future of “office services.” For years, office perks like onsite food and snacks, beautiful gathering spaces, foosball tables and crafted events have been part of the recruiting pitch, not to mention powerful glue for team culture. While I expect even fully remote teams to leverage space for the occasional get together, if we’re really talking about a remote future we need to be talking about virtual perks and bonding as well, and obviously employees will need the basics. Should we expect more solutions to pop up to deliver employees notebooks, swag and snacks? Many enterprises are also shifting some budget to their employees, giving out stipends to ensure employees can equip themselves with the workspace they need - perhaps a great opportunity for DTC players targeting home office furniture and supplies.
And that's a wrap on our series! Thank you to everyone who contributed ideas. To see previous posts on education, cities, retail, CPG, entertainment and fintech or to read our other content, please go to https://jumpcap.com/blog.