Last year we reviewed the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic was having on markets and industries across the globe. We analysed global business growth, as every sector felt the crunch of pandemic restrictions.

This year, as we gradually adjust to a world with lessening restrictions we’re doing the same thing. As a card machine and payments provider specialising in small to medium sized businesses, we’ve seen the shift in customer attitudes first hand, and wanted to take another look at how they’ve changed as we rediscover our freedoms.

We analysed stock price and stock ticker data from Google and Yahoo finance, as well as purchase intent for each industry from YouGov. Purchase intent shows how likely Brits are to consider purchasing items or services from specific industries.

Using this combination of data, we are able to reveal which businesses have benefited the most from the behavioural changes that their customers have undergone since the pandemic began and those likely to grow in the coming year.

The top 20 industries with the highest percentage increase in business growth between March 2020 and March 2022

Rank Category Industry Ave. % change from 15th March 2020 to 15th March 2021 Ave. % change from 16th March 2021 to 16th March 2022 Overall ave. % change between 15th March 2020 to 15th March 2022
1 Renovation & construction (paid builders etc) Trade 433% 98% 1,017%
2 Investment Finance 97% 121% 834%
3 Electronics (TVs, speakers, computers etc) Retail 1774% -18% 732%
4 Sports & fitness apparel and equipment Retail 639% 4% 627%
5 Home soft furnishings Home 1,134% -28% 500%
6 Internet and network services (Virgin, BT etc) Telecommunications 301% -29% 427%
7 Groceries Food 170% 38% 282%
8 Sweets & chocolate Food 71% 105% 274%
9 Jewellery Retail 198% 34% 231%
10 IT services (Help desk support, network security etc) Business 125% 24% 205%
11 Toys & games Entertainment 159% 17% 204%
12 Photography equipment Entertainment 293% -21% 181%
13 Hotels & casinos Entertainment 220% -15% 173%
14 Gaming Entertainment 179% -1% 166%
15 Cinemas & theatres Entertainment 208% -21% 163%
16 Alcohol Beverage 76% 26% 162%
17 High street fashion Retail 164% 1% 150%
18 Sporting activity (memberships, events etc) Entertainment 159% -7% 148%
19 DIY Home 161% -1% 145%
20 Recreational goods (bicycles, canoes, skis etc) Entertainment 182% -7% 132%

Renovation, construction, soft furnishings and DIY all saw huge growth over the past two years

DIY, renovation and home projects may have started in lockdown but businesses and services in this sector are continuing to reap the rewards. Between March 2020 and March 2021, renovation and construction industries saw a 433% increase in growth in stock prices, a trend that continued in the following year with 98% growth from March 2021 to March 2022. Overall, in the past two years, between 15th March 2020 and 15th March 2022, these industries saw an average stock price growth of 1,017%.

As people spent more time in their homes, it became more important to make them places we could be comfortable in. For some, this meant creating a zen space through interior design. For others, it meant turning their homes into a multi-functional space where they could relax, dine, game, workout and, ultimately, entertain themselves.

So with this new appreciation for the home, it’s no surprise that entertainment industries also boomed between 15th March 2020 and the same date in 2022. Electronics, such as TVs and audio systems, saw a 732% increase while internet providers grew by 427% and gaming went up by 166%. Sports brands featured three times in the top 20 businesses and food, chocolate and alcohol all remain on a growing trajectory.

It’s clear what we enjoyed doing while in lockdown.

A number of industries also saw growth across both years of the pandemic, including construction, investment, food shopping, jewellery and IT services. Others saw initial success which then slowed during 2021. Enterprises such as home soft furnishings, recreational goods and cinemas all grew during 2020, but experienced a decline in demand throughout 2021.

The top 10 UK sectors that have seen a positive increase in public purchase intent ranked by percentage change, between March 2020 and March 2022

Customer demands have continued to change throughout the pandemic. Tablet and broadband providers have seen a huge growth in interest, with a 37.9% change during the past two years as people lean into more remote working. Home office and computing looks set to stay, seeing an 11.5% growth.

Pubs and bars also saw a 37.5% growth in demand - with their absence during the lockdowns duly noted, Brits are happily still making the most of these venues now.

For many Brits social media was the channel of choice to keep in contact with friends and family. It was during this time that the video sharing app TikTok gained some serious momentum and with it the rise of skincare and beauty videos affectionately labelled #skintok (55.5 million views) and #beautytok (8.9 billion views). Now, self-care is continuing to trend with Brits’ purchase intent for cosmetics & skincare increasing by 15.8% over the past two years. Health & beauty has also seen a steady incline of 8.7%.

Rank Sector Purchase Intent - March 15th 2020 Purchase Intent - March 15th 2022 Purchase Intent - March 2020/2022 % change
1 Tablets & Broadband Providers 2.9% 4.0% 37.9%
2 Pubs & Bars 1.6% 2.2% 37.5%
3 Leisure & Entertainment 2.0% 2.4% 20.0%
4 Chilled/Frozen Foods 2.5% 2.9% 16.0%
5 Cosmetics & Skincare 1.9% 2.2% 15.8%
6 Home Office & Computing 2.6% 2.9% 11.5%
7 Mobile phone handsets & networks 2.7% 3.0% 11.1%
8 Health & Beauty 2.3% 2.5% 8.7%
9 Beer & Cider 2.3% 2.5% 8.7%
10 Home utilities (Energy, water etc) 2.5% 2.6% 4.0%

The 10 UK sectors that have seen the biggest decrease in public purchase intent ranked by percentage change, between March 2020 and March 2022

Obviously the pandemic wasn’t good news for every industry. Some sectors relied on public mobility, and struggled significantly when movement was restricted. Property purchase intent dropped by 36.4%, in no small part due to the end of the stamp duty holiday, taking insurance down with it by 25%. The intent to purchase cars declined by 23.1% and, of course, the transport sector suffered dropping by 14.8%.

Rank Sector March 15th 2020 March 15th 2022 March 2020/2022 % change
1 Property 2.2% 1.4% -36.4%
2 General Insurance (travel, home, car, health*) 2.0% 1.5% -25.0%
3 Cars 2.6% 2.0% -23.1%
4 Soft Drinks 3.1% 2.4% -22.6%
5 Alcohol 1.8% 1.4% -22.2%
6 Life Insurance, Pensions & Wealth Management 1.6% 1.3% -18.8%
7 Transport (Bus, train, flights etc) 2.7% 2.3% -14.8%
8 Sports 2.8% 2.4% -14.3%
9 Retail (inc. homeware, pet products) 2.9% 2.5% -13.8%
10 Travel Companies 2.3% 2.0% -13.0%

*Excludes life insurance

Whatever sector you’re in, we can help make making profit easier

Here at Dojo, we specialise in providing contactless card and payment solutions for small and medium businesses, making it easier than ever for you to take payments and keep cash flowing. We’ll do our best to have your money in your account the very next day, even on bank holidays, meaning you never have to worry about late payments.

About Dojo

Dojo can help your small business make a difference. At Dojo, we understand that owners of small businesses often face challenges when it comes to taking payments. That’s why we have created our own way for SMEs to seamlessly take payments and begin boosting their local economy.

Our Dojo Go and Dojo One card readers were created with small businesses in mind, completely innovating the payment space for SMEs. We’ve made taking payments simpler than ever, so that you can focus your energy on building a great community.


Worldwide Industry growth: These company stock prices were recorded for 15th March 2020 and 15th March 2022 using stock price data managed by Google Finance and stock ticker data from Yahoo Finance Yahoo Finance historical data. The percentage change between these figures was calculated to highlight the percentage of growth each company saw between those two dates. Companies were then categorised into industries according to Yahoo Finance labels and the average of all companies fitting within each designated label resulted in the final average change figure for each industry.

UK Purchase Intent: Calculated using the average purchase intent from over 500 companies across 40 sectors for March 2020 and March 2022. The average purchase intent was then calculated for each sector. The percentage change between these two months identifies which sector saw the greatest changes from the peak of the COVID crisis to now. Percentage changes were calculated using Brand Index and SEMrush data.