*Updated on April 1, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a tragic impact on our community. According to Splunk’s interactive COVID-19 dashboard, over 877,422 cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide as of today. The most important areas of focus right now are slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives.
As conditions continue to be unpredictable, TrustRadius is committed to monitoring changes in the B2B tech industry and helping software vendors stay abreast of the ever-shifting market.
Below you’ll find the third weekly installment in our COVID-19 Impacts series. This data comes directly from Google search impressions observed via the TrustRadius platform in Google Search Console and reflects the most significant week-over-week changes among high-searched categories and products.
We’re also offering a free, no-strings-attached webinar on Thursday, April 2 at 12:30 CST to discuss these trends in more detail. TrustRadius CEO Vinay Bhagat and Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing will be discussing real-time market insights and offering advice to tech marketers on how to navigate selling software in unprecedented times. Sign up here.
Rising Software Categories
Many software categories have seen uncharacteristic increases in impressions in response to COVID-19. Here’s what we saw over the last two weeks:
- March 9-15: Appointment Scheduling software saw the highest change at 351%—more than 4x the normal amount of impressions.
- March 17-23: Antivirus rose to the top spot on our Top 10 list. Telemedicine rose to #2, which was interesting given that this category routinely saw little interest before March 2020.
This week we chose to examine which software categories have grown the most overall in response to COVID-19:
|6||Mobile App Development||199%|
|9||Virtual Desktop Infrastructure||111%|
|11||Medical Office Software||59%|
*Figures over 100% indicate that impressions have more than doubled.
Individual Category Insights
In previous weeks, buyers have been highly concerned with building out software for a remote workforce. Companies worked quickly to set up antivirus software, VPNs, and remote desktop software tools for secure remote workstations. As more and more companies moved to remote work, we weren’t surprised to see the categories of Web Conferencing, Webinar, Video Platforms, and Video Conferencing Equipment rising steadily.
As expected, Web Conferencing continues to rise week-over-week and month-over-month, both on the TrustRadius platform and according to Google Trends:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve also observed significant growth in the Telemedicine software category that seems to be continuing into next week. Google Trends reports volume for this search term to have peaked once on March 17, but still rising today:
New for this week, we’ve started to notice that certain categories have peaked and are now starting a gradual decline.
Remote Desktop, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and Video Platforms are all slightly down week-over-week, but are still earning significantly higher impressions than previous months. Our trendlines for these categories are nearly identical to the below data from Google Trends:
It seems that as buyers are finding and acquiring the tools they need, their immediate need is decreasing and these categories are returning to normal levels as a result.
Weekly Product Hot Spots
The following software products have seen a significant increase in impressions this week in response to COVID-19:
Because we’ve seen top products change dramatically week-to-week, we’re not surprised to see that 14 out of 16 products above are new to this list. The only products we see carried over from previous weeks are Google Classroom (which grew 669% last week) and Zoom (213% last week)—industry-leading products that continue to be hyper relevant in today’s climate of remote learning and remote working.
Here are last week’s top products for comparison:
This week we’re seeing lower growth numbers overall across products and categories, which indicates that the peak software purchasing activity of COVID-19 is beginning to lessen. If this trend continues, software vendors who provide tools for remote work can expect to see less of a “boom” in coming weeks.
Product Growth Since The Pandemic Began
The products listed above grew the most during individual weeks following March 9. However, we also found it interesting to compare the products that have grown overall since COVID-19 hit the United States. All of the products below have seen significant growth in response to this crisis:
Growth in Web Conferencing Software
Now that most companies are working from home, we’ve also been closely monitoring how the TrustRadius community compares web conferencing solutions.
Our data shows that the fastest growing conferencing tool on the TrustRadius platform is Intermedia Anymeeting (with 13X growth), followed by Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, BlueJeans, and Amazon Chime. All of the products listed below have more than doubled with uncharacteristic growth since the coronavirus pandemic began:
|#||Web Conferencing Tool||Growth|
While all of the products above have grown significantly due to COVID-19, it’s important to observe these data points within a broader context.
When comparing total impressions of all the products in the Web Conferencing category on TrustRadius this month, Zoom still clearly leads the pack as the most researched product. Buyers have been considering Intermedia AnyMeeting more than ever before, but that particular product still only owns <1% of the total share of the influence in this category:
This data agrees with what we’re seeing in the broader market for Web Conferencing software. According to SEG’s Public Market Update, Zoom stock is up over 90% YTD—leading the pack of remote collaboration companies who have seen remarkably positive returns despite the current economic crisis.
It’s also interesting to note that Skype falls decidedly in the bottom of the pack as far as category influence is concerned. Tom Warren from The Verge has an interesting take on why that might be:
“Like Microsoft said, ‘For now, Skype will remain a great option for customers who love it and want to connect with basic chat and video calling capabilities.’ The ‘for now’ part of that statement is a telling sign that Microsoft’s focus is now Teams, not Skype.”
With the influx of traffic to Zoom’s platform, users have also experienced serious data privacy and security breaches that resulted in a class-action lawsuit and investigation from New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Zoombombing” may be one reason why thousands of enterprise software buyers are actively comparing a full list of alternative software options this month.
Booming Software Product Comparisons
Certain comparison pages on TrustRadius.com have received even more extreme increases in impressions due to COVID-19.
|1||RingCentral vs Zoom||291%|
|2||ADP Vantage HCM vs ADP Workforce Now||250%|
|3||Renaissance myON® Reader vs Accelerated Reader||100%|
|4||Microsoft Teams vs Zoom||66%|
|5||RingCentral Meetings vs Zoom||60%|
|6||Blizz vs TeamViewer||56%|
|7||Twilio WebRTC vs Zoom||51%|
|8||Webex Meetings vs Zoom||51%|
|9||Oracle CPQ Cloud vs Salesforce CPQ||49%|
|10||Adobe Sign vs DocuSign||48%|
In previous weeks, buyers were desperately seeking web conferencing tools and comparing many alternatives to Zoom in order to form their shortlists. That trend continues today. Interest seems to be waning for distance learning and learning management systems—likely because schools and universities have purchased and implemented their tools by now and are beginning to roll them out with students across the country.
9 out of 10 comparisons on this week’s Top 10 list are new, though most still fall within the predictable category of Web Conferencing. The only lingering page seeing significant growth week-over-week is Blizz vs TeamViewer, which is still growing at 56% (on top of 560% last week).
Again, growth numbers here are lower than they have been in previous weeks. Below you’ll see that while these comparison pages did grow week-over-week, their trend lines are now presenting a steady decline. This is another indicator that the peak software purchasing activity caused by COVID-19 may be waning.
For comparison’s sake, below are the comparison pages that have seen the most overall growth since COVID-19 began:
|1||Loom vs Zoom||19692%|
|2||Google Classroom vs Zoom Video Webinar||12400%|
|3||GoToMeeting vs GoToWebinar||11471%|
|4||Google Classroom vs Zoom||3104%|
|5||Skype vs Zoom||2185%|
|6||Webex Meetings vs Zoom||1950%|
|7||Microsoft Teams vs Zoom||1436%|
|8||Blizz vs TeamViewer||1269%|
|9||Canvas vs Microsoft Teams||1113%|
|10||Cisco Webex Teams vs Zoom||1059%|
|11||RingCentral Meetings vs Zoom||863%|
|12||Whereby vs Zoom||795%|
Falling Software Categories and Products
As expected, impressions have also declined for certain categories in response to coronavirus. We currently don’t see massive declines at the category level, which is a good sign—this indicates that software buyers are still considering products in previously strong categories and haven’t abandoned them entirely.
However, the Banking Software category took a steep and unprecedented dive over the last few weeks (-31%) on the TrustRadius platform. We assume that the harsh impact of COVID-19 on bank stock could be decreasing the amount that banking professionals plan to spend on tech. According to Google Trends data, search volume is slightly down for this term worldwide:
Last week we observed declines in Event Management Software, particularly with the products Eventbrite (-42%) and Splash Event Marketing (-40%). This coincides with a clear decrease in search volume for the search term “event management” beginning around March 8, 2020 according to Google Trends data:
We also saw several individual declines in products in Recruiting Software, including talentReef (-80%). We assume that recruiting software tools may be falling in direct correlation with rising unemployment rates in the United States. According to the Department of Labor, 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment during the week ending March 21. This number shattered previous records, representing more than 5X the number of initial claims recorded during the Great Recession.
We also observed unusual declines for products in the Accounting Software category—Wave Accounting (-24%) Sage 50cloud Accounting (-22%) and QuickBooks Self-Employed (-22%)—presumably because the United States tax deadlines have been moved, and so the seasonal increases we’d normally see within this category may be shifted.
Trends in Buyer Spending
While we know that many companies are tightening their budgets to weather the economic storm of COVID-19, this data suggests that buyers haven’t ceased purchasing software altogether.
In fact, the extreme increases above indicate that there may be net-new buyers in the market who are only now looking to invest in software due to the rapidly changing circumstances. This is not only good news for the companies who come out on top, but also for the entire B2B tech industry.
When we surveyed over 3,000 members of the TrustRadius community on this topic, we found that only 16% of software buyers say they are halting all new spending. 26% are using more software now in light of the pandemic. And while most companies are taking measures to work from home (77%) and reduce corporate travel (44%), 11% continue to operate with business as usual.
More Coronavirus Statistics
- Internet Traffic: According to Akamai, internet traffic is up more than 50% overall. According to CEO Tom Leighton, 2020 traffic so far has more than doubled what Akamai’s networks saw in Q1 of 2019.
- Reddit Traffic: Reddit is reporting a 20-50% increase in traffic across certain subreddits in response to coronavirus. r/wallstreetbets received 11.7 million pageviews on March 12, representing more than 9X growth.
- Software Reviews: Traffic on the TrustRadius platform has increased 20% in response to COVID-19, primarily due to companies seeking remote workforce tools.
- Internet Speeds: Speedtest has observed a distinct degradation in internet speeds worldwide in response to increased internet usage. They’re also reporting a 50% increase in global test volume.
- Network Usage: According to Verizon, daily VPN traffic on their network is up 52% in response to COVID-19. They’ve also observed a 47% week-over-week increase in the use of collaboration tools on their network, primarily on weekdays.
- Weekend Browsing: Weekend sessions on TrustRadius are up by 83% (compared to weekends in February), and our bounce rate has also decreased to 16%. This means more buyers are more engaged with reading reviews and comparing products during their weekend hours.
- Category Searches: Data from SimilarWeb states that the growth rate of the global “Events” category is down nearly 40% overall, even more than “Online Travel” which sits just under -30%. Grocery delivery is up 45%.
- Organic Search: PathInteractive reports that the CDC and WHO have moved solidly into the top 4 organic search spots throughout the month of March for the query “coronavirus”. Interestingly, WebMD, Medical News Today, Healthline, and Wikipedia have all fallen completely off the first page.
- Google Ads: Conversion rates have dropped 21% on average across multiple industries, according to WordStream. However, sites in the Nonprofit, Health, Business Management, and Finance sectors (among others) have seen an increase in both impressions and clicks.
Get Access to the Latest Data
To get real-time analysis of these trends before our next weekly blog update, attend our free, no-strings-attached webinar on Thursday, April 2 at 12:30pm CST.
TrustRadius CEO Vinay Bhagat will dive into the details with Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing. You’ll get hard-hitting data and industry-leading market analysis with absolutely zero followup.*
*We pledge to not treat you as a “lead,” meaning that you will not immediately get follow-up emails or calls from TrustRadius.*
To sign up for the free webinar, click here: