Disturbingly, the coronavirus could increase the use of online retail, and mobile payment services.
To explain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people avoid close contact with people displaying flu-like symptoms, Business Insider reports. In particular, the CDC describes close contact as “being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time.”
COVID-19 is the virus that causes the Coronavirus. To elaborate, doctors believe COVID-19 spreads through saliva and mucus droplets. Specifically, doctors think the COVID-19 virus enters the body through the eyes, mouth, or nose.
How Coronavirus could Boost Apple Pay and Google Pay and Amazon Go
Consequently, mobile payment apps such as Google Pay and Apple Pay could help you avoid Coronavirus.
To explain, you could avoid contact with cashiers and people in line by using Apple Pay or Google Pay at automatic checkouts. Moreover, Coronavirus could encourage some people to shop at cashierless stores such as Amazon Go.
Significantly, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) just started selling the technology behind its Amazon Go cashier-less stores to other retailers, GeekWire reports. The “Just Walk Out Technology” enables shoppers to pay with a credit or debit card at a gated turnstile and walk out of the store, Reuters reports.
Reuters did not say if other retailers have bought “Just Walk Out.” However, Amazon is taking inquiries from other retailers. In addition, Amazon opened its first full-size cashier-less grocery store in Seattle in February, CNBC reports.
Will Coronavirus Fears Boost Online Retail?
Beyond Amazon Go, fear of coronavirus could increase the use of online retail platforms.
For instance, fear of COVID-19 could drive some people to use Walmart’s store pickup services. To explain, in store pickup you order and pay online and pickup the order at the store.
In particular, COVID-19 fears could prompt some people to pickup groceries at curbside or from lockers. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has tested the use of Pickup Towers and Lockers. People afraid of coronavirus could use the Pickup Towers to avoid contact with cashiers and people in checkout lines.
Additionally, some people afraid of COVID-19 could resort to online retail services such as Amazon Prime. To explain, you could avoid contact by having UPS (NYSE: UPS), FedEx (NYSE: FDX),or Amazon leave packages on the porch and picking them up.
Notably, pharmacy giant CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is offering free delivery of prescriptions, USA Today reports. In addition, Postmates is delivering Walgreen (NASDAQ: WBA) prescriptions.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 fears will make porch pirates’ job far easier. To clarify, porch pirates are crooks who snatch packages from porches and decks.
What Companies could benefit from the Coronavirus?
Thus, investors could profit from coronavirus by investing in companies, or services that eliminate human contact. An obvious candidate here is GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB) which delivers restaurant meals that customers order via an app.
Other businesses that could benefit are streaming video providers such as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Disney’s Disney+. Disney (NYSE: DIS) which now controls most of Hulu could profit from Coronavirus in a big way. In addition, people could watch games through Disney’s ESPN+ rather than going to the stadium.
To explain, people could stay home and binge watch instead of going out. Therefore, some companies could profit from Coronavirus. However, those benefits could fade fast if history shows the Coronavirus scare to be nothing but hysteria.
If you want to know how Apple Pay or Google Pay could help you avoid Coronavirus read this Business Insider article.