Since the outbreak of COVID-19 businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to get creative, fast to find new and innovative ways to adapt their offering to keep moving through these challenging times.
Let’s take a look at some of these clever pivots that are changing the shape of business in 2020.
Frame is a fitness studio that was forced to close its doors when the lockdown restrictions came into play. But the business quickly found a way to get people moving from home. Frame Online offered virtual classes that customers could subscribe to for a monthly fee. This meant people could stay in the safety of their own homes, but still benefit from their regular, motivating workout sessions. Frame also upped its use of social media, keeping customers inspired and engaged through lighthearted Instagram content during this isolating period.
The demand for online grocery retail is higher than ever as people search for ways to get their essentials without leaving the house and putting themselves at unnecessary risk. While many grocery retailers already sell online, they are being forced to get creative in order to keep up with demand. Whole Foods have turned some of their physical stores into ‘dark stores’. This means that only employees can enter the store to pick up goods and fulfil orders. This is in a bid to reduce the spread of the virus, whilst keeping up with the demand online.
Holland & Barrett have significantly expanded their e-commerce capacity by making use of DHL’s pop-up fulfilment centre. Since the lockdown was introduced the demand for their products has doubled on a daily basis. The facility was set-up in just 48 hours by DHL and it enabled Holland & Barrett to clear an order backlog as well as process thousands of new orders each day. DHL’s pop-up solution is underpinned by an existing e-commerce structure. Able to process up to 10,000 orders from being operational, it is designed to help both retailers moving into e-commerce for the first time, or those struggling to meet increased demands as a result of COVID-19.
58 Gin is an East London gin distillery and during the Coronavirus pandemic they temporarily halted gin production and started to produce ‘Gin-itizer’, a gin-based hand sanitiser. With people avoiding bars and pubs there has been a drop in demand for gin at this time. So this shift in strategy has ensured all staff have kept their jobs and it’s protected the future of the company.
LiSA is a software start-up on a mission to establish livestream shopping among retailers and brands in Europe and the USA. Offering a live stream shopping assistant it includes shoppable live video streams in a highly engaging and conversion-boosting online experience. Hello LiSA has been running this service in order to create a bridge between closed shops and consumers at home.
Although food delivery service Deliveroo is one of the businesses to thrive during the Coronavirus lockdown, they too have had to adapt their service for safety reasons. To keep riders, restaurants and customers safe during this time, they introduced contact-free delivery. To make this work, Deliveroo provides restaurants with additional packaging and seals so food orders can be safely left on customers’ doorsteps limiting contact between people.
When the global pandemic hit, fashion brand Boohoo found a way to adapt to the new normal. They thought about the impact lockdown would have on what kind of clothes their audience would need. So they shifted their focus from going-out clothes, to staying-in clothes. There has been a rise in customers buying home loungewear, such as hoodies, joggers, tracksuit bottoms. They have also seen an increase in sales of tops, with people wanting to look smart on Zoom calls. By embracing new trends, Boohoo has seen a year-on-year rise in sales during April, at a time when rivals have reported a collapse in demand.
COVID-19 will be the catalyst for some big changes in the business world. Few industries will avoid being reviewed, reformed, restructured or removed. Flexibility, scalability and innovation will be the watchwords for the new era, and those who have embraced those qualities now, will be the winners of the future.