THE RESPONSES OF BUSINESSES TO THE PANDEMIC
COVID-19 had an immense impact on the whole world, taking everyone by surprise. No one was entirely prepared for this, and this made people and businesses to put measures in place to make sure that life went on. Lots of businesses were affected during this period, with some of them being forced to shut down.
Businesses that recorded sales during this pandemic were those who modified their strategies to make sure they did not lose their customers. For some businesses, they had to entirely create new markets that would provide value for their customers during the lockdown period.
The pandemic proved to be a useful eye-opener, revealing to everyone that the best way to thrive in times like this, is to be innovative and creative.
Businesses that adapted to the situation to explore new areas of business and reach new customers
One of the businesses that adapted suitably well and explored other aspects of business is Caresignal. Caresignal is a company that gives provides a proficient patient monitoring platform for increasing populations. This platform is remote, and it seeks to improve the performance of payers and providers by spotting increasing-risk patients.
When COVID-19 started, companies began to terminate their programs, Caresignal knew there was no way out because there was no way they could have graced some of these programs. So, instead of accepting defeat, they restrategized on how to provide value in the healthcare sector.
So, within a short period, they launched an innovative service medium, COVID Companion. This service line is a text-operated program that works with the location. With the COVID companion, outbreak resources can be easily accessed alongside with CDC guidelines to patients and communities.
The fantastic part about COVID companion is that the program can be implemented at no cost at any health system in the United States.
Caresignal has shown that it is crucial to assess your customer’s needs during unfavorable situations like the pandemic. The focus of brands should shift towards the modern service lines, and fresh offerings should be established to fill in cracks.
Another company that adjusted well to the COVID-19 pandemic was Horderly. Horderly is a professional home brand that provides services like decluttering, arranging, and unpacking belongings for clients. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it became impossible for Horderly workers to go about their services as usual.
One of the company co-owners, Fillip Hord, mentioned that the brand lost some contracts within a few days.
So, Horderly changed strategies and came up with a virtual organizing service for homeowners. The function of this service is to provide customers with virtual solutions that help to keep their homes clean and organized.
Horderly was able to retain a good chunk of its customers with this innovative move. This ascertains the fact that the provision of value matters a lot to customers when reality meetings are not feasible.
Businesses that came up with initiatives and services to tackle the lockdowns
Almost everyone was forced to stay at home, to halt the spread of the virus that was ravaging all nations of the world. With this, everyone sought to remain in touch virtually and still be happy. So, birthday parties, trivia events, and the likes were organized virtually.
One of the businesses that came up with services to ensure people remained in touch was Zoom. Zoom, a video conferencing service, helped people stay in touch and communicate face-to-face.
Based on statistics from cnbc.com, the daily installation of this video conferencing service increased 30 times. On iPhones, Zoom remained the top free application in the United States, starting from 18th March.
Worthy of note is that the number of users which stood at 10 million in December, increased to 200 million in March.
With the influx of several users, the company was able to function optimally, without the service experiencing any downtime. The Zoom video conferencing service sustained the communication initiative that businesses were able to use to keep in touch with one another.
The swift actions that Planet Beauty took during the early period of the pandemic needs to be applauded. This California-situated brand, notable for retailing cosmetics, had to close some stores in California.
Then, the CEO of Planet Beauty, Bahman Fakhimi, had to switch to the e-commerce aspect of the business and made some retail points, distribution centers.
In addition to these modifications, a digital marketing agency was hired to strengthen the work of the marketing department, in order to enhance operations. With this, Planet Beauty was able to sustain contact with loyal clients and also get new ones.
With digital marketing inputs like email marketing and search engine optimization, Planet Beauty was able to drive much traffic to the website. Also, they communicated with all loyal clients concerning the new offers onboard.
Interestingly, Planet Beauty experienced a 300% increase in its online transactions.
Piroshky Piroshky is one business that other related businesses need to take a cue from. Primarily, they produce handheld pies that come with fillings containing quality ingredients. Piroshky, as a meal, is universal, and it is not one that has a stereotyped list of ingredients, each culture has its uniqueness.
Olga Sagan, who is the owner of the Pike Place market, decided to employ the initiative of helping other business proprietors in Seattle, to become highly functional. The Pike Place Market bakery Piroshky Piroshky has a delivery service on her website. So, what they did was to expand their website to accommodate other businesses in the market.
Within a little time, the number of visitors to the site increased, and several businesses queued to get listed on the site.
Piroshky Piroshky showed that to thrive in times like this, it is essential to collaborate with other brands, particularly those who offer services that complement what you offer. This would be beneficial in boosting sales for everyone.
An existing brand that managed to create new market
For existing brands that strived to create a new market, Tultex is worthy of mention. This brand, notable for designing quality apparel, switched to the market that favored everyone: face masks. Since the pandemic began, the company resorted to the massive production of facemasks.
As weeks rolled by, Tultex increased production, supplying 2 million washable face masks weekly. These facemasks were basically for healthcare workers and other consumers.
The CEO of TSC Apparel, Dave Klotter, mentioned that they heard several stories of healthcare workers who were working without facemasks. And knowing that it was dangerous for their health, Tultex decided to step in and save the day.
Hence, the brand fulfilled one of its core values, which is the provision of solutions. It was easy for Tultex to achieve this because they had the needed capabilities and materials, so it was effortless for them to create a new market and provide value.
E-COMMERCE AND LOGISTICS BRANDS AS WINNERS IN THE PANDEMIC
With the adjustment to life brought about by the pandemic, our habits and behaviors are rapidly changing. There were three categories of businesses in this period. Those who benefitted, those who suffered, and those who either benefitted or lost depending on how to respond.
One of the categories of businesses that highly benefited from this pandemic is Ecommerce marketplaces; a worthy example is Amazon.
Since everyone had to stay at home, people made all their shopping online, and online marketplaces like Amazon had to put measures to cope with the spike in demands. Based on a report, they are in the process of adding 100,000 extra jobs that would suitably cope with the additional demands.
Online grocery stores, like Ocado, had to suspend new orders until they could settle the pending deliveries.
Since people around the world cannot leave their homes, they can only receive products and services via logistics brands.
A business worthy of note that responded swiftly to the logistics need of people is Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group. Based on statistics, in early February, Cainiao recorded calls numbering 7,000, and around 5 million medical items were shipped to Wuhan and other nearby cities.
Also, a food delivery app in the United Kingdom, Deliveroo, started a drop-off service. They helped restaurants to package products for their customers and got them delivered to their doorsteps.
Having gone through this enlightening piece, you will see that the businesses mentioned above had to implement various plans to keep their heads above the water. Some of them like Amazon recorded huge sales, while the others broke even still maintaining their customers and warding off competition.
The best way a business could have responded during this lockdown is to observe people’s needs and provide them carefully. The needed materials are at our disposal, but most business owners do not take much time to figure out this.