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THE ONLINE GROCERY REPORT: The coronavirus pandemic is thrusting online grocery into the spotlight in the US — here are the players that will emerge at the top of the market

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence Online Grocery premium research report. Purchase this report here.
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The coronavirus pandemic has brought online grocery — a promising but formerly niche industry — to the fore. The combination of consumers' interest in avoiding public places, government orders to stay at home, and the continued need for groceries and essential goods has made online grocery delivery services from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart indispensable.

Previously, some consumers resisted the shopping method because they wanted to pick out their groceries themselves and avoid extra fees, but the pandemic has forced many to change their priorities. And the sudden focus on online grocery is set to alter consumer behavior well after the pandemic subsides, accelerating the industry's penetration in the US.

How well online grocers meet demand during the pandemic will play a major role in determining the top online grocers after the pandemic abates. Grocers' ability to fulfill as many orders as possible in a variety of convenient channels throughout the pandemic will be important, as consumers may turn to different providers if they can't place an order from one grocer through the channel they want — an issue that's popped up in some markets for several grocers during the crisis.

But online grocers that can keep customers throughout the pandemic may be able to keep those shoppers for the foreseeable future: 75% of online grocery shoppers still shopped with their first-ever online provider, per a survey from Bain and Google from 2018. So, the grocers that meet the most consumers' needs during the pandemic will likely lead the industry even after it subsides.

In The Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence first looks back at how online grocery adoption was progressing prior to the coronavirus pandemic to understand the state of the industry before the shopping method became vital to many consumers. Next, we examine why the pandemic is popularizing online grocery services and the impact it's already having on adoption. We then forecast how online grocery's penetration will grow in the coming quarters and years due to the pandemic, and consider the factors that will determine the industry's staying power. Finally, we analyze top online grocery players' ability to meet surging demand during the pandemic and how that positions them to build customer bases that can last well beyond the pandemic. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco, FreshDirect, Grubhub, Hannaford, H-E-B, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Peapod, Publix, Target, Uber Eats, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is pushing consumers to buy essential products digitally, which is rapidly accelerating adoption of online grocery services in the US.
  • Online grocery's staying power will come down to the length of the pandemic — because if the crisis stretches on, more consumers may be pushed to try an online grocery service — and how well online grocers meet surging demand, because consumers may abandon online grocery if they find it difficult to receive orders.
  • The online grocery services that are best able to handle surging order volume will likely be the most popular services after the pandemic subsides because consumers will be able to rely on those services to consistently bring them groceries.
  • Walmart and Instacart are best positioned to lead the pack post-pandemic given Walmart's massive brick-and-mortar network and Instacart's wide reach thanks to its platform model.

In full, the report:

  • Examines the US online grocery industry prior to the coronavirus pandemic to highlight what was driving the industry's adoption, and what obstacles it faced.
  • Analyzes why the realities of the pandemic — such as concerns about contracting the virus — have pushed many consumers to try an online grocery service for the first time.
  • Forecasts the US online grocery industry's penetration in 2020 and in the years to come, laying out a moderate and extreme scenario to account for the uncertainty surrounding the recovery from the pandemic.
  • Discusses why the duration of the pandemic and online grocers' ability to meet demand will determine the popularity of online grocery after the pandemic subsides.
  • Highlights how Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Instacart are positioned in the online grocery industry, how well they're meeting demand during the pandemic, and how they are expected to fare in the space beyond the pandemic.
  • Recommends how online grocers can maximize their performances during and after the pandemic with innovations like automation, operational flexibility, and bundling services.

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Europe's pandemic debt burden is large but sustainable, the ECB's chief economist says

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  • European governments are spending trillions to protect their economies against the coronavirus pandemic, but their debt burden is sustainable, according to European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane. 
  • “Yes, there will be more public debt at the end of this, but in fact that is the correct response to this type of pandemic emergency,” Lane told Portuguese broadcaster RTP3 in an interview on Monday.
  • Low interest rates in the eurozone mean the cost of payments on this debt burden will be contained for years to come, Lane said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

European governments are racking up debt in order to shield their economies from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but low interest rates mean this burden is sustainable, in stark contrast to conditions a decade ago that triggered the region’s borrowing crisis, European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane said on Monday.

Lane told Portuguese broadcaster RTP3 in an interview that while the pandemic was a large shock, it was temporary in nature and fiscal support – in the form of cheap borrowing conditions – was the correct response.

“Yes, there will be more public debt at the end of this, but in fact that is the correct response to this type of pandemic emergency,” Lane said, according to a transcript of the interview. 

Coronavirus has killed well over a quarter of a million people across the whole of Europe and plunged the region into recession. In response, the ECB has kept interest rates at zero in order to keep credit flowing to businesses and households, while national governments are spending trillions in employment support schemes and other benefits to prevent total economic collapse. 

Read More: JPMorgan shares 35 European stocks across 10 sectors that you need to own in the rotation to value – including one that could see EPS growth of almost 700% next year

Even though public debt across the euro zone will easily reach 100% of gross domestic product, the prospect of a repeat of the sovereign debt crisis of 2010-2012 is very remote, Lane said.

“Across Europe there will be significant increase in public debt, but when you look at the very low interest rates right now, the cost of making the payments on this debt in the years to come will be quite contained. If you look at the market, the market also thinks that this can be handled,” Lane said.

“There is no reason to believe that this has some kind of intrinsic dynamic that will lead us to a return of the conditions of ten years ago,” he added.

Yields on German 10-year bonds, widely regarded as the safest in the region, are around -0.55%, while those on nations perceived to be riskier, such as Italy or Greece, are trading at between 0.60 and 0.70%. At the height of the crisis in late 2011, the yield on Italian bonds was closer to 7.0% and that on Greek debt hit 38%. 

“We heard from the ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane overnight as he reaffirmed that the ECB will provide enough monetary stimulus at its next meeting to make sure governments, companies and households have access to cheap credit throughout the coronavirus crisis. He added that, “Our orientation is to keep financing conditions favorable,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said in a note.

The ECB’s €1.35 trillion bond-buying programme, together with a number of other policy tools also helps provide a safety net for sovereign issuers.

Read More: Barclays details its ultimate strategy for picking stay-at-home market winners for a post-COVID world – and shares 2 stocks all investors should own before the recovery accelerates

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THE INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS: The coronavirus is catalyzing a need for healthcare IoT in the US — here's how connectivity and technology providers are carving out their place in the market

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence Internet of Medical Things premium research report. Purchase this report here.
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Healthcare providers have been turning to the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) to facilitate their digital transformation since before the coronavirus hit the US — but the pandemic has caused a sea change in providers' willingness to implement IoT solutions that augment efforts in preparing for, containing, and diagnosing the virus. 

As the backbone that powers the IoMT, connectivity and technology providers have a mounting opportunity to capture a larger slice of the market as it evolves alongside the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, healthcare providers were forecast to adopt IoT devices at one of the fastest rates of any industry segment, with the installed base of IoT endpoints expected to grow 29% year-over-year in 2020.

And pre-pandemic, healthcare was among the top three industries expected to see the fastest growth rates (15.4%) in IoT investment in terms of spending over the 2017-2022 forecast period. But the coronavirus is fundamentally changing how healthcare can be accessed and delivered in the US, and we expect to see even faster growth throughout 2020 — and that this upward momentum will outlast the pandemic.

In The Internet of Medical Things, Business Insider Intelligence assesses the North American IoMT market and explores how the IoMT opportunity for connectivity providers is evolving alongside the coronavirus pandemic, and how these players are carving out their place in the growing segment. We first unpack the opportunities for connectivity and technology providers in the IoMT market and outline how the coronavirus pandemic will impact demand for various IoT solutions in healthcare. We then detail how emerging techonlogies are propelling the healthcare IoT space forward. Finally, we explore how connectivity and technology players can expand within the IoMT ecosystem.

The companies mentioned in this report include: AT&T, Augmedics, AVIA, Choice IoT, DarioHealth, Eko, GE Healthcare, Intel, Medtronic, Packet, Phillips, PlushCare, PTC, Smardii, Sprint, Telit, Vuzix, XENEX, Zebra. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report: 

  • Healthcare providers are prioritizing IoT investment in solutions that enhance virtual care delivery, augment emergency services and triage, and automate or streamline tasks. 
  • The IoMT opportunities for connectivity and technology providers will only be amplified as the IoT intersects with other emerging technologies. 
  • We interviewed executive decision-makers in the connectivity and technology space to gather their insights on how they determine which IoMT opportunities to prioritize, the best go-to-market strategy for these new opportunities, and what goes into the decision process when selecting a partner to expand within the IoMT. 
  • The report also highlights the opinions of executive decision-makers in the connectivity and technology space on topics that include: telemedicine, preventative care, administrative operations, 5G, edge computing, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. 

In full, the report: 

  • Sizes the North American IoMT market through 2022 and explains how it compares with pre-coronavirus estimates. 
  • Identifies the three biggest IoMT opportunities for connectivity and technology providers based on conversations with companies entrenched in the IoMT ecosystem, and on our analysis of their impact, scalability, early evidence of value creation, and increased utility amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Provides recommendations for connectivity and technology providers on how to carve out and expand their footprint in ways that unlock the most value. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how to get access:

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THE STATE OF VIRTUAL CARE IN THE US: The coronavirus is pushing telehealth into the mainstream — here's how traditional healthcare players are using it to retain business now and where the market is headed

 

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence The State of Virtual Care in the US premium research report. Purchase this report here.
  • Business Insider Intelligence offers even more healthcare coverage with our Digital Health Briefing. Subscribe today to receive industry-changing health news and analysis to your inbox.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a watershed moment for telehealth — or the use of mobile technology to deliver health-related services, such as remote doctor consultations and patient monitoring — as patients have had to reimagine the ways they seek healthcare.

While telehealth has been on the brink of taking off for years, consumer usage of the tech ticked up slowly before 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has given consumers the push they need to adopt telemedicine on a wide scale — and we expect adoption to keep climbing so long as the pandemic rages on. Once outbreaks became severe in the US, consumers began flocking to telehealth: Telehealth usage among US adults climbed 6 percentage points month-over-month from February 2020 — when 11% of respondents reported having tried telehealth — to March — when 17% said the same, per a survey by CivicScience. And we expect adoption to continue climbing to reach 22% of US adults by June.

As many patients are being urged to stay home and avoid seeking out nonurgent medical care in-person, providers, payers, and clinical researchers have been forced to restrategize to ensure their customers' needs are being met — and they're increasingly leaning on telehealth. Hospitals and physicians offices have had to invest in and ramp up telemedicine services to make sure that they're able to reach their patients, private and government-sponsored payers are lengthening the lists of virtual services they'll reimburse clinicians for, and pharma companies and researchers have had to restrategize the ways they conduct visits with participants.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explains how the coronavirus pandemic has fast-tracked the implementation and use of virtual care channels in the US. We outline the benefits that virtual care offers for players across the healthcare ecosystem — including health systems, payers, and clinical researchers. Next, we examine where the market is headed, including forecasting telehealth adoption in 2020 and beyond, outlining the key drivers behind usage and adoption, and unpacking our predictions regarding funding and mergers we expect to see in the space. Finally, we identify barriers that stand in the way of sustained adoption post-pandemic.

The companies mentioned in this report are: 98point6, AbleTo, Aetna, AiCure, AliveCor, Alphabet, Amazon, Amwell, Anthem, Apple, Biofourmis, Blue Shield of California, BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chipotle, Cigna, Circle K, Cleveland Clinic, Doctor on Demand, Fitbit, GE Healthcare, Google, Google Nest, GreatCall,, HCA Healthcare, Humana, InTouch Health, Iora Health, Kindercare, MDLive, MedicalAlert, Microsoft,, Mount Sinai, One Medical, Philips, Plushcare, Samsung, Science 37, Pfizer, Teladoc, UnitedHealthcare,, Verizon, Vertex, VirTrial, and Zipnosis.

Here are some key takeaways from this report: 

  • The coronavirus pandemic has catalyzed a major telehealth boom, and as long as outbreaks continue to crop up throughout the US, telehealth adoption rates will continue to soar. Even once outbreaks subside, we think a sizable share of consumers will remain tethered to the convenience virtual care efforts. 
  • Telehealth presents opportunities for providers, payers, and and pharma companies: Providers can use the tech retain business and hook in revenue as practices remain closed or at lighter in-person capacity; payers can ensure their members healthcare needs are being met; and clinical researchers and pharma companies can keep track of patients who are unable to venture into trial sites for visits. 
  • As telehealth vendors become more central to the healthcare landscape, we expect recent upticks in funding for these startups and M&A activity in the telehealth space to carry on throughout 2020. 
  • We think tech behemoths Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft won't want to miss out on the telehealth opportunity as they expand deeper into healthcare — and we anticipate to see these four dig deeper into the virtual care space. 
  • Barriers including poor interoperability, regulation that differs state-by-state, and lack of consumer access to connectivity continue to weigh on telehealth's potential to reach wide-scale penetration. 

In full, the report: 

  • Provides an overview of the ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is forcing providers', payers', and pharma companies' hands to build out telehealth services — and how this is spurring broader-scale adoption among consumers.
  • Highlights how leading telehealth vendors have reacted to a sudden, rapid uptick in adoption of their services.
  • Outlines what we expect to see in the telehealth market through 2020 — and our predictions for consumer adoption.
  • Identifies the barriers that are still in place that are weighing on sustained, wide-scale telehealth adoption.

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how to get access:

  1. Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the healthcare industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has BII Enterprise membership access to the full report
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I'm a Christie's auctioneer who's raised half a billion dollars for charity at black-tie events. I nailed my 'Survivor'-like audition at age 24, but my career really took off after I got sick and couldn't find anyone to cover for me.

  • Lydia Fenet is the lead benefit auctioneer and global managing director of strategic partnerships at Christie's Auction House. 
  • She landed a coveted job as a live auctioneer at just 24 years old, after a summer internship at Christie's and two years of working in the company's events department.
  • Since then, she's led more than 1,000 auctions on behalf of hundreds of nonprofits and has brought her unique auctioning style and sense of humor into the traditional world of live auctions.
  • This is her story, as told to freelance writer Jenny Powers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

I was 24 years old when I took my first auction representing Christie's in New York City. It was a winter auction for a nonprofit based in Kansas City, but even arctic weather couldn't put a damper on the fact that I was going on my first official business trip. An all-expense-paid trip to anywhere sounded like a dream at that point in my life.

It was 2001 and I'd been working in the events department for two years, having spent a summer as one of their college interns. I was single and living alone. The way I looked at it, I had nothing but time on my hands, so I could sit home by myself on Saturday nights eating takeout, or be an auctioneer and get dressed up, head out to black-tie galas, and take the occasional business trip. 

Up until then, you had be at least an associate vice president to try out to be a charity auctioneer.

But as requests increased, the company needed a larger pool to choose from, so they decided any employee who'd worked at Christie's for at least a year could try out. 

When open tryouts were announced, I immediately signed up. Twenty of us turned up, including my boss and my boss's boss. Sixteen men and four women. Tryouts lasted four days and included a series of mock auctions and interactive exercises including taking an auction when everyone was instructed to talk over us to show how unnerving it can be at times. It was all videotaped so our speaking elements could be reviewed and our style could be broken down and studied.

It was like the show "Survivor," as we all witnessed people get voted off the island, one by one. My boss's boss didn't make the cut. My own boss dropped out. On the final day, four made the cut. Me and three men, each with at least ten to 15 years on me. Two were British.  

When most people picture an auctioneer, they often conjure up images like the older British gentleman that were selected. I know I always did, so much so that for the first five years I took auctions, I seemed to be playing the part of a distinguished British gentleman. I was formal, polite, and detailed when presenting auction lots. 

One evening I was scheduled to take an auction and got sick. I tried to find a replacement but when I couldn't, I reluctantly got dressed and went. That night, I didn't have the energy to play the usual part of the British gentleman and instead, I wound up talking to the audience like they were my friends. I joked with them, shared stories about my own life, and essentially, just sold as myself.

The most shocking part of it all was suddenly, people stopped chatting and began engaging, and then lots began selling for more than the anticipated price. At that moment, it dawned on me that although I was a storyteller at heart, I'd never used storytelling to sell lots. 

From that day on, I dropped the British gentleman persona and simply sold as myself.

The results were in the numbers. The auctions I took began earning 20%, 30%, even 40% more than in previous years and I began receiving more requests to take auctions than ever before. Even senior executives at the company started recommending me to their clients.

It's been nearly two decades since that first auction in Kansas City. That night I struck the gavel three times on the podium in what has become my signature move, only to watch it break and watch it roll onto the floor. 

Since then, I've auctioned off everything from a private yacht for hire with a staff of 17, to Bruce Springsteen's own motorcycle, to lunch and a dance lesson with Madonna. 

There are lots of moving parts when it comes to planning events. I typically meet with the nonprofit and their gala committee to ensure the auction is placed correctly in the evening and to review the auction lots, and be careful to put them in the best order to get people bidding. Most live auctions last 30 minutes. 

To survive in this job and be successful, you've got to have a good sense of humor, be quick on your feet, and be completely unflappable.

Anything that could happen to me on stage has. I've worked through drunk people causing a ruckus, glasses shattering in the background, and much more. Once a world-famous celebrity presenter began ranting about politics and after two minutes of listening to him ramble, I put my arm around him and said, "This is fantastic, thank you," and then gently but forcefully shoved him off stage.

At the last live auction I took for an event honoring actor Alan Cummings, I accidentally mispronounced his last name, leaving off the 's.' He called me on it in front of a thousand people, and I made up a joke on the spot. Despite experiences like this, the good heavily outweighs the bad and even the awkward.

The pandemic has put a temporary halt on live auctions, but I've already taken two virtual ones and have 12 more lined up.

I've emphasized to our nonprofit clients this is not the year to try and crush your goal. We've all got to set realistic expectations. People are experiencing major Zoom fatigue, so fewer people are likely to participate than normally do in live auctions. 

I miss the auctions a great deal. It's a huge part of my life and has been for a long time.

These days I'm a married mother of three children under the age of seven, having taken auctions until I was nine months pregnant with each of my kids. As the lead benefit auctioneer for Christie's, I like to say that's really my night job, as I'm also the global managing director of strategic partnerships by day.

Since 2012, I've been the one leading the annual auctioneer tryouts, and now 40% of those who try out are women. My on-the-job experience led me to write my first book last year called "The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success."

To date, I've taken more than 1,000 auctions on behalf of between 600-750 nonprofit organizations.

Overall, I've raised over half a billion dollars for charity. 

To get into this line of work, having internships and working in special events or with charities is always a good way to get your foot in the door. Also, practice public speaking at every opportunity. You have to be able to speak confidently and think quickly on your feet, so you have to get over the nerves that usually keep people from getting onstage in the first place.  

I don't know when we'll be back doing live auctions, but when we are, my gavel and I will be ready and waiting. 

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A 'growth bomb' is brewing in the US with consumers sitting on $2.5 trillion in savings — and it's poised to give the economy a huge boost, one Wall Street chief strategist says

  • The US economy could be set for a surge in growth as consumers start to spend the money they saved during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Leuthold Group.
  • When the personal-savings rate has been this high in the past, economic growth has surged, according to historical data from Leuthold.
  • "More than $2.5 trillion of sidelined savings is the fuel for a growth bomb waiting to explode," Leuthold said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A $2.5 trillion cash pile hoarded by consumers may be all it takes to fuel the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Leuthold Group's chief investment strategist James Paulsen.

Consumers have increased their personal savings rate amid the pandemic as budgets were cut and spending out at places like restaurants and theaters declined significantly.

The savings rate surged to 35% as the economy went into a recession earlier this year, and now sits at 15%, which is still size percentage points above its historical average. Once consumers are convinced that the economy is on good footing and its safe to get out and spend, economic growth should soar.

"More than $2.5 trillion of sidelined savings is the fuel for a growth bomb waiting to explode," Paulsen said, citing historical data.

When the personal savings rate was above average while consumer sentiment was higher than its current level, average annualized GDP growth nearly doubled to 4.44%.

Read more: Morgan Stanley says to load up on these 10 stocks featured on the firm's 'buy list,' which has dominated the broader market this year

And on top of the heightened savings rate among consumers, a lack of inventory for a wide range of consumer goods should necessitate "considerable job creation," according to Paulsen, as companies rush to replenish their supply of goods.

A surge in housing during the pandemic has led to a shortage of common consumer goods, and according to US manufacturing and trade inventories as a percent of nominal GDP, US inventories are the leanest ever, Paulsen highlighted.

Meanwhile, the economic recovery won't be entirely reliant on another round of fiscal stimulus, according to Paulsen.

"Additional fuel isn't needed," Paulsen said, referring to more stimulus. Instead, "the fuse just needs to be lit," referring to consumers beginning to spend their savings pile.

An increase in consumer sentiment from its pandemic lows is materializing, so perhaps that fuse will be lit soon.

"With a pool of excess idle fuel [savings], it has only taken a bit more confidence to produce a healthy advance in the economy," Paulsen concluded.

Read more: From flipping burgers at McDonald's to a self-made multimillionaire: How Willie Mandrell leveraged a simple real-estate investing strategy to acquire 40 units and achieve financial freedom

Learn more about the financial services industry.

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THE GLOBAL E-COMMERCE LANDSCAPE: How the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating e-commerce maturation in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nigeria

  • Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Payments & Commerce industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.
  • The following is a preview of one Payments & Commerce report, the Global E-Commerce Landcape. You can purchase this report here.

The coronavirus pandemic is strengthening e-commerce in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nigeria, which already had factors like sizable populations, fast e-commerce growth rates, and a large number of digital buyers working in their favor — but it also faces distinct obstacles in each country.

Pre-pandemic, each e-commerce market was set to reach more consumers and rack up more sales in the coming years due to factors like expanding internet access and smartphone adoption, as well as the development of digital payment methods. However, there have also been factors working against e-commerce in each market, such as unfavorable regulatory environments, geographic obstacles, foreign competition, and lacking infrastructure.

Now, lockdowns and concerns about visiting stores are accelerating these e-commerce markets' development, illustrating how the pandemic is rapidly strengthening opportunities for e-commerce stakeholders around the world. Each of these countries experienced some form of lockdown in response to the coronavirus crisis, making e-commerce more appealing and necessary than ever.

This caused consumers in these countries, where many people had yet to make an online purchase, to start shopping online and plan to make more e-commerce purchases after the pandemic subsides. The sudden uptick in e-commerce shopping, both right now and in the years to come, is giving e-tailers more consumers to target than they would have without the pandemic, offering e-commerce players the chance to scale their operations more quickly than they might've planned.

In The Global E-Commerce Landscape report, Insider Intelligence examines the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the development of the e-commerce markets in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Nigeria. We lay out the major e-commerce players in each country, including both domestic firms and companies based around the world, to examine the level of competition in the four markets. Finally, we analyze the opportunities and challenges e-tailers face in each market, considering both changes caused by the pandemic and factors that are unrelated to the crisis. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Alibaba, Amazon, Bukalapak, Cornershop, Facebook, Falabella, Flipkart, Flutterwave, Google, Gojek, Grab, JioMart, Jumia, Konga, Lazada, Linio, Liverpool, Mall For Africa, Mercado Libre, Ovo, Paga, Reliance Industries, Shopee, SystemSpecs, Tokopedia, Uber, Visa, Walmart, Worldpay

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The 2020 election was always going to be messy, and in many ways what's happening was expected

  • The 2020 election was always expected to be especially messy because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive number of mail-in ballots.
  • Election officials in key battleground states said for weeks that it was unlikely that they would have counted enough votes to declare a winner by November 3.
  • And despite President Donald Trump's claims to the contrary, it's a normal part of the electoral process for ballots to continue to be counted after Election Day.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

For months, election experts and journalists told Americans that it was unlikely there would be a clear winner on election night. But almost as soon as polls began to close on Tuesday, it became evident that those words of caution had not taken hold with many voters.

The anxiety across the nation was palpable on election night, as people on social media jumped from one conclusion to another about the result. It did not help matters that President Donald Trump continued to push disinformation about the process, falsely claiming victory as votes were still being counted and baselessly asserting that the election was being stolen.

Final election results are never available on election night. Even when news outlets were able to use available results to declare a winner on Election Day in past elections, full results were still not in. But the convoluted array of circumstances surrounding the 2020 election essentially ensured that a winner would not be projected on election night, and voters should've braced for this.

An unprecedented number of Americans — roughly 65 million — voted by mail in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes longer to process and count mail-in ballots than in-person ballots, and laws about which ballots are counted and reported first vary from state to state.

The huge number of mail-in ballots also led election experts to expect an increase in provisional ballots, which are provided to voters when their registration cannot be immediately verified at the polls.

Provisional ballots — which, like mail-in ballots, are time-consuming to process and count — are also given to voters who requested an absentee ballot but decided to go vote in person.

Twenty-two states and Washington, DC, count all ballots postmarked by Election Day. And most states allow absentee ballots, which include those from voters overseas and in the military, to arrive after Election Day and be counted.

Before Tuesday, election officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania repeatedly said results were likely to be delayed, possibly by days. That scenario has played out, with results still up in the air in all three battleground states as of noon on Wednesday. The three states were crucial to Trump's 2016 victory, providing him 46 electoral votes.

The 2020 election is also hinging on these states, as neither Trump nor former Vice President Joe Biden has crossed 270 electoral votes, the threshold necessary for victory.

In short, as hard as it is, the best option for voters is to be patient as election officials continue to count votes. And regardless of what Trump says, counting ballots is not equivalent to stealing an election.

Democracy is messy. Everything that's happening was expected and is a normal part of the process. Legal challenges expected from the Trump campaign could further complicate what happens next, so voters should buckle up.

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SMALL-BUSINESS POINT-OF-SALE BATTLE: Here's how point-of-sale providers can adapt their offerings for the coronavirus pandemic to win over small businesses

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  • The following is a preview of one Payments & Commerce report, the Small Business Point-of-Sale Battle Report. You can purchase this report here.

The coronavirus pandemic has put the future of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in jeopardy. Many SMBs are on the brink of closing permanently in the wake of the pandemic. The crisis forced many to temporarily close and has caused drops in demand as consumers deal with financial difficulties and follow social distancing guidelines.

The sudden drop in earnings, which may continue if pandemic conditions don't improve soon, could lead to wide-scale small-business closures in the coming months, and medium-sized businesses may be facing similar risks since the prolonged nature of the crisis is likely cutting into any additional resources and funds they have access to.

By helping SMBs survive the crisis, point-of-sale (POS) solution providers will preserve their client bases and strengthen their appeal to prospective customers. Many SMBs already had some form of POS system in order to accept payments. But now they may also need tools that help them digitize their business, adjust their operations, and trim their costs for post-pandemic survival. POS providers that offer features that help SMBs meet these needs during the pandemic have a chance to protect current revenue streams and set themselves up for growth after the crisis.

In the Small Business Point-Of-Sale Battle report, Insider Intelligence lays out the difficulties SMBs are facing during the pandemic and the opportunities POS providers have in helping firms address those pain points. We look at how POS providers can attract new SMB clients while helping their existing customers by meeting their changing needs during the pandemic.

We also consider which SMB segments POS providers should prioritize based on their ability to outlast the pandemic. Finally, we examine the changes top POS providers have made to help SMBs survive and consider what best practices other firms should adopt themselves.

The companies mentioned in this report are: BigCommerce, First Data, Ingenico, PayPal, Shopify, ShopKeep, Square, Stripe, SumUp, Toast, TouchBistro, and Visa.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is endangering SMBs as revenues have dried up and they have few funds to fall back on and use to adjust their operations.
  • The pandemic's impact on SMBs poses a problem for POS solutions providers, since SMBs are a key client segment.
  • POS solutions providers must support their current SMB clients to help them survive the pandemic, and they also have the chance to recruit new customers that are in need of new tools.
  • Targeting the needs of specific SMB segments can help POS providers solidify their performance amid the pandemic, and POS providers should consider longevity and and demand for POS solutions when determining what areas to focus on.
  • POS solution providers should provide solutions that meet SMBs needs for digitization, operational changes, and financial support during the pandemic.
  • Major POS solution providers with various backgrounds and focuses have added a number of new tools and programs in response to the pandemic, offering blueprints for other providers. 

In full, the report:

  • Examines how the pandemic is affecting SMBs, as well as how their struggles should influence POS solutions providers' strategies.
  • Discusses how POS solutions providers should determine which segments of SMBs are most worth targeting during the crisis.
  • Lays out the three categories of needs providers should focus their solutions on to support existing clients and attract new ones.
  • Looks at several initiatives and features introduced by major POS solutions providers in response to the pandemic that other players should consider offering themselves.

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Business

THE STATE OF VIRTUAL CARE IN THE US: The coronavirus is pushing telehealth into the mainstream — here's how traditional healthcare players are using it to retain business now and where the market is headed

 

  • This is a preview of the Business Insider Intelligence The State of Virtual Care in the US premium research report. Purchase this report here.
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The coronavirus pandemic has been a watershed moment for telehealth — or the use of mobile technology to deliver health-related services, such as remote doctor consultations and patient monitoring — as patients have had to reimagine the ways they seek healthcare.

While telehealth has been on the brink of taking off for years, consumer usage of the tech ticked up slowly before 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has given consumers the push they need to adopt telemedicine on a wide scale — and we expect adoption to keep climbing so long as the pandemic rages on. Once outbreaks became severe in the US, consumers began flocking to telehealth: Telehealth usage among US adults climbed 6 percentage points month-over-month from February 2020 — when 11% of respondents reported having tried telehealth — to March — when 17% said the same, per a survey by CivicScience. And we expect adoption to continue climbing to reach 22% of US adults by June.

As many patients are being urged to stay home and avoid seeking out nonurgent medical care in-person, providers, payers, and clinical researchers have been forced to restrategize to ensure their customers' needs are being met — and they're increasingly leaning on telehealth. Hospitals and physicians offices have had to invest in and ramp up telemedicine services to make sure that they're able to reach their patients, private and government-sponsored payers are lengthening the lists of virtual services they'll reimburse clinicians for, and pharma companies and researchers have had to restrategize the ways they conduct visits with participants.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explains how the coronavirus pandemic has fast-tracked the implementation and use of virtual care channels in the US. We outline the benefits that virtual care offers for players across the healthcare ecosystem — including health systems, payers, and clinical researchers. Next, we examine where the market is headed, including forecasting telehealth adoption in 2020 and beyond, outlining the key drivers behind usage and adoption, and unpacking our predictions regarding funding and mergers we expect to see in the space. Finally, we identify barriers that stand in the way of sustained adoption post-pandemic.

The companies mentioned in this report are: 98point6, AbleTo, Aetna, AiCure, AliveCor, Alphabet, Amazon, Amwell, Anthem, Apple, Biofourmis, Blue Shield of California, BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chipotle, Cigna, Circle K, Cleveland Clinic, Doctor on Demand, Fitbit, GE Healthcare, Google, Google Nest, GreatCall,, HCA Healthcare, Humana, InTouch Health, Iora Health, Kindercare, MDLive, MedicalAlert, Microsoft,, Mount Sinai, One Medical, Philips, Plushcare, Samsung, Science 37, Pfizer, Teladoc, UnitedHealthcare,, Verizon, Vertex, VirTrial, and Zipnosis.

Here are some key takeaways from this report: 

  • The coronavirus pandemic has catalyzed a major telehealth boom, and as long as outbreaks continue to crop up throughout the US, telehealth adoption rates will continue to soar. Even once outbreaks subside, we think a sizable share of consumers will remain tethered to the convenience virtual care efforts. 
  • Telehealth presents opportunities for providers, payers, and and pharma companies: Providers can use the tech retain business and hook in revenue as practices remain closed or at lighter in-person capacity; payers can ensure their members healthcare needs are being met; and clinical researchers and pharma companies can keep track of patients who are unable to venture into trial sites for visits. 
  • As telehealth vendors become more central to the healthcare landscape, we expect recent upticks in funding for these startups and M&A activity in the telehealth space to carry on throughout 2020. 
  • We think tech behemoths Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft won't want to miss out on the telehealth opportunity as they expand deeper into healthcare — and we anticipate to see these four dig deeper into the virtual care space. 
  • Barriers including poor interoperability, regulation that differs state-by-state, and lack of consumer access to connectivity continue to weigh on telehealth's potential to reach wide-scale penetration. 

In full, the report: 

  • Provides an overview of the ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is forcing providers', payers', and pharma companies' hands to build out telehealth services — and how this is spurring broader-scale adoption among consumers.
  • Highlights how leading telehealth vendors have reacted to a sudden, rapid uptick in adoption of their services.
  • Outlines what we expect to see in the telehealth market through 2020 — and our predictions for consumer adoption.
  • Identifies the barriers that are still in place that are weighing on sustained, wide-scale telehealth adoption.

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how to get access:

  1. Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the healthcare industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has BII Enterprise membership access to the full report
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