In midst of the pandemic and ongoing chaos in the world, I couldn’t help but wonder if any business is benefiting from all this at the moment?

We know that every day, more and more people are filing for unemployment and a lot of small businesses already had to close indefinitely.

I walked through the streets in the center of Hanoi after the lockdown was lifted and what used to be a bustling boom area, is now almost a ghost town that even Hanoians barely visit.


bustling hanoi


empty hanoi
empty hanoi 3
empty hanoi 2

When looking at the stock market, the majority of businesses are going downhill, but yet, there are a few who actually swim against the stream. Especially after looking at my own online store and seeing declining sales, I was curious what people look for when the world is turned upside down.

Here are some ideas:

Essential businesses are king

  • supermarkets are still open to ensure food supply and cover basic needs for society
  • bakeries are still doing well even with people starting to make their own bread
  • amazon is thriving because everyone is shopping online (basic goods)
  • eCommerce with essential goods
  • shopify is exploding

Popular product categories

  • who would have thought that toilet paper would become the most valuable product in the western world
  • flour (home made bread is popular)
  • canned food
  • pasteurized milk
  • pasta, rice, potatoes … everything that lasts for a while
  • masks and hand sanitizers
  • home office supply : height adjustable tables, office chairs, external monitors, etc…
  • home fitness tools: resistance bands, dumbbells, etc…
  • bidets

Thriving Tech

  • zoom
  • slack
  • miro
  • microsoft teams
  • skype
  • house party

Other business:

  • elearning platforms
  • online courses
  • meditation courses
  • DIY platforms
  • video streaming (netflix, disney+, youtube)


  • delivery services (grab food, Uber eats, etc…)

Industries that are hit the hardest

  • entertainment (cinema, concerts, amusement parks)
  • hotels and hostels
  • spas
  • airlines
  • traditional restaurants
  • cafes

For further investigations, here is a cool website I found that tracks popular search terms across the web: COVID-19 Trends

Explore further