Online businesses press on amid corona

Thursday March 26 2020

Online business: Some businesses which mainly

Online business: Some businesses which mainly rely on walk-in business such as the tourism and hospitality industry, among others that have been forced to close. PHOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA 

By Christine Kasemiire

Before the coronavirus outbreak, few people knew about the Zoom video application.

Today, Zoom is the go-to application for most businesses whose employees have been urged to work from home to avert rapid contraction of the virus from congested work areas.

Zoom is a videoconferencing online application that connects different people from different areas enabling them to communicate remotely.

The video application, according to international media, has seen a surge in downloads since the outbreak in the premise that many employees have been advised to work remotely.

According to the Telegraph and an article published by learnbonds.com on Tuesday, Zoom recorded a remarkable surge in downloads between February and March.

“Data gathered by Learnbonds.com indicates that over the period, Zoom application downloads increased by 1,270 per cent (over 12 times),” the article reads in part noting; “The high downloads are on both iOS and Android platforms. Cumulatively, the two platforms have seen a total of 17,190,100 downloads over the period under review.”

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The company’s share price closed at $135 yesterday at the Nasdaq Stock Market, where it is listed.

It is a worldwide agenda to ensure the public isolate themselves and limit movement to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

This has led to losses in some businesses which mainly rely on walk-in business such as the tourism and hospitality industry, transport and bars among others that have been forced to close shop.

However, online businesses which offer convenient delivery services to customers’ door steps continue to operate despite the pandemic.

According to Ms Samantha Abaho, public relations manager, Jumia Uganda, this has been an unpredictable time that has led the company to working with stakeholders to try and adapt to the change.

Jumia, she said, has also advanced from a convenient service provider to a necessity which has forced the company to ensure that all staff, sellers and partners are following the highest standards of sanitary guidelines.

“We are providing them access to basic and essential products and services to allow them to stay safe,” she said.

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