Charting the market impact of the coronavirus across 150 industries – and forging a path forward

Posted on: March 18, 2020

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Category: News and awards

Charting the market impact of the coronavirus across 150 industries – and forging a path forward

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Charting the market impact of the coronavirus across 150 industries – and forging a path forward

Key takeaways:

  • Using our data, you can gauge the effects of measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus on your industry – and on those of your clients.
  • Quickly assess where you may lose business – and where new business can be found.
  • B2G will be the most resistant sector.
  • More than 50% of businesses could experience increased demand…
  • Nearly all will struggle with restrictions on their ability to supply.
  • In terms of business opportunities that will arise:
    • There are 6% of businesses with a stable or increased demand and the continued ability to supply.
    • There are a further 37% who need your help meeting an increased demand they cannot fulfil.


As the world continues to count the mounting costs it is vital we understand what comes next, businesses must now adjust to survive.

This week SOPRO assembled a Think Tank of experts to review exactly how businesses are going to be affected – and which sectors will be hit the hardest – by the measures being put in place to counter the spread of COVID-19. 

Here’s how we collated our data – and what it means for your business.

Mapping the commercial impact of the coronavirus prevention measures by industry sector

Our starting point was to consider in exactly what way the measures introduced to contain the coronavirus outbreak will impact each industry.

We considered the seven measures most widely implemented.  These include:

  1. Enforcement of social distancing (i.e. no crowds)
  2. Cessation of international travel
  3. Disruption to the international supply-chain
  4. Office/plant closures and introduction of homeworking only
  5. Lockdown scenarios (i.e. no non-emergency movement of people)
  6. Impact on workforce (i.e. 20% sickness rates)
  7. Other behavioural factors that might affect particular industries only

We assessed the impact of each measure on both the supply side and the demand side for each industry.

  • This represents 14 assessments per industry.
  • Repeated across 150 major industries.
  • Producing a total of 2,100 unique market impact assessments.

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Here’s the summary of the likely impact of the seven COVID-19 prevention measures on each industry.

The full summary report is available in Excel, free of charge.  Please contact me at to request it.

I have also uploaded the report here if you can tolerate Google Sheets:

Before you dive in, please note this is an informed assessment, not a scientific paper.  It’s a powerful data set nonetheless, and one that you can use together with other resources to prioritise and strategise in the weeks ahead.  

NB.  Use the link above or zoom in on your browser, the resolution is there.

Our findings: how will COVID-19 prevention measures impact each industry

Take your time to review but, as we’ve already had time to digest and analyse these figures, you may want to read our summarised key findings below.


The impact of coronavirus measures on demand (by industry)

Contrary to our expectations we discovered that many industries are likely to experience increased demand.  This is already visible in many cases.

In fact, as much as two-thirds (65%) of all industries will experience stable or increased demand – with more than a third (39%) likely to see increased demand.

For B2B, B2Both and B2C the percentage of industries experiencing increased demand hovers between 34% and 38%, but for B2G industries nearly three-quarters can expect increased demand.

The 58 industries experiencing increased demand across all types are:

 Industry  Type Increased demand %
Political Organization B2G 100%
Consumer Goods B2C 71%
Law Enforcement B2G 71%
Medical Devices B2B 71%
Logistics and Supply Chain B2B 69%
Telecommunications B2C 66%
E-Learning B2C 54%
Publishing B2B 54%
Supermarkets B2C 54%
Computer Games B2C 51%
Hospital & Health Care B2C 51%
Mental Health Care B2C 51%
Consumer Services B2C 46%
Military B2G 46%
Pharmaceuticals B2Both 46%
Wholesale B2B 46%
Import and Export B2B 40%
Plastics B2B 40%
Computer Networking B2B 37%
International Affairs B2B 37%
Wine and Spirits B2C 37%
Alternative Medicine B2C 34%
Broadcast Media B2Both 34%
Computer Hardware B2Both 34%
Medical Practice B2G 34%
Public Policy B2G 34%
Package/Freight Delivery B2B 31%
Utilities B2C 31%
Wireless B2B 31%
Internet B2Both 29%
Packaging and Containers B2B 29%
Public Relations and Communications B2B 29%
Government Administration B2G 26%
Machinery B2B 26%
Market Research B2B 26%
Human Resources B2B 23%
International Trade and Development B2B 23%
Media Production B2B 23%
Nanotechnology B2B 23%
Outsourcing/Offshoring B2B 23%
Public Safety B2G 23%
Transportation/Trucking/Railroad B2B 23%
Tobacco B2C 20%
Computer & Network Security B2B 17%
Professional Training & Coaching B2B 17%
Security and Investigations B2B 17%
Legislative Office B2G 14%
Newspapers B2C 14%
Online Media B2B 14%
Paper & Forest Products B2B 14%
Accounting B2Both 11%
Consumer Electronics B2C 11%
Legal Services B2Both 11%
Mechanical or Industrial Engineering B2B 11%
Retail B2C 11%
Think Tanks B2B 11%
Venture Capital & Private Equity B2Both 11%
Writing and Editing B2B 11%


The impact of coronavirus measures on ability to supply (by industry)


When we looked at the impact on the ability to supply across our 150 industries it painted very much a different picture.

And, of course, if a service or product cannot be supplied (because it can’t be delivered or because the supply chain has broken), then an increase in demand will not necessarily produce increased commercial activity.

Here, we have classified a stable ability to supply as being above a marginal reduction (i.e. less than -10%).

As can be seen nearly all industries are being hit by a decreased ability to supply.

Given the all-pervasive nature of this effect we won’t divide this down into business types, although it’s worth noting in passing that B2B businesses seem to hold up the strongest.

The nine industries only experiencing a marginally reduced ability to supply were:


Industry Type Ability to supply %
Computer Games B2C -3%
E-Learning B2C -3%
Information Services B2B -3%
Computer Software B2Both -7%
Executive Office B2B -7%
Graphic Design B2B -7%
Human Resources B2B -7%
Program Development B2B -7%
Public Policy B2G -7%


Cross mapping the effects of COVID-19 prevention measures on supply and demand.

When we layer the effects of both demand and supply across the industry grid the results look like this:

Of the 38 industries with stable demand, five maintain a stable ability to supply.

  • Computer Software
  • Executive Office
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Services
  • Program Development


Of the industries with increased demand, four maintain a stable ability to supply.

  • Computer Games
  • E-Learning
  • Human Resources
  • Public Policy

Teasing out the supply/demand permutations

Nine industries will experience increased demand and stable operational capability.
These businesses should be ramping up to capture and service additional demand.
To do this they may need your help.

These industries are:

  • Computer Software
  • Executive Office
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Services
  • Program Development
  • Computer Games
  • E-Learning
  • Human Resources
  • Public Policy


37% of industries will experience increased demand alongside reduced operational capability.

These businesses need urgent support to solve specific operational challenges in order to service demand. They also need assistance in identifying and getting to market alternative product/service variants.

They risk cashflow problems, may require financial support and, if adverse conditions continue, some will consider downsizing.

Smaller businesses will be at the highest risk of closure, as a result we can expect to see consolidation in these industries this year.

If you are able to help these businesses operate there is an immediate need to do so.

These industries are:

  • Accounting
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Broadcast Media
  • Computer & Network Security
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Networking
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Consumer Goods
  • Consumer Services
  • Financial Services
  • Government Administration
  • Hospital & Health Care
  • Import and Export
  • International Affairs
  • International Trade and Development
  • Internet
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Services
  • Legislative Office
  • Logistics and Supply Chain
  • Machinery
  • Market Research
  • Mechanical or Industrial Engineering
  • Media Production
  • Medical Devices
  • Medical Practice
  • Mental Health Care
  • Military
  • Nanotechnology
  • Newspapers
  • Online Media
  • Outsourcing/Offshoring
  • Package/Freight Delivery
  • Packaging and Containers
  • Paper & Forest Products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics
  • Political Organization
  • Professional Training & Coaching
  • Public Relations and Communications
  • Public Safety
  • Publishing
  • Retail
  • Security and Investigations
  • Supermarkets
  • Telecommunications
  • Think Tanks
  • Tobacco
  • Transportation/Trucking/Railroad
  • Utilities
  • Venture Capital & Private Equity
  • Wholesale
  • Wine and Spirits
  • Wireless
  • Writing and Editing


33% of businesses will experience decreased demand and reduced operational capability.

It is important that these businesses understand exactly where they are being hit hardest.  I.e. on the supply or demand side – and our impact delta can help here (see main table).

If these are among your customer base you need to consider ways to replace inevitable lost business – and we’ve identified some places to start looking above.

These businesses are:

  • Airlines/Aviation
  • Apparel & Fashion
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Automotive
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Building Materials
  • Capital Markets
  • Civic & Social Organization
  • Civil Engineering
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Construction
  • Education Management
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental Services
  • Events Services
  • Facilities Services
  • Fine Art
  • Food & Beverages
  • Fund-Raising
  • Furniture
  • Health, Wellness and Fitness
  • Higher Education
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial Automation
  • Investment Banking
  • Investment Management
  • Judiciary
  • Leisure, Travel & Tourism
  • Libraries
  • Maritime
  • Motion Pictures and Film
  • Museums and Institutions
  • Nonprofit Organization Management
  • Oil & Energy
  • Performing Arts
  • Philanthropy
  • Photography
  • Primary/Secondary Education
  • Printing
  • Railroad Manufacture
  • Ranching
  • Real Estate
  • Recreational Facilities and Services
  • Religious Institutions
  • Restaurants
  • Sporting Goods
  • Sports
  • Textiles
  • Translation and Localization
  • Warehousing

Has your business strategically adjusted to the pandemic landscape?

Perhaps more than ever, now is not the time for battening down the hatches.

For those who can adjust to the new landscape, there are opportunities out there, and businesses crying out for solutions.

We have a duty to maintain business as usual wherever possible. 

Nobody is going to do this for us, so I suggest we get cracking.

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