December 29, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resuting lockdown affected businesses in numerous ways. There were problems from manufacturing down to distribution. Many physical shops saw declining sales. According to Yelp, about 98,000 companies shut down permanently.
These development sent many entrepreneurs back to the drawing board to come up with better ways to serve their customers. Many B2B companies embraced the D2C model to reach their customers directly. Simultaneously, it seemed like some companies got the memo and did something differently beforehand, which let them thrive in the crisis.
And it seemed like eCommerce brands were some of the biggest benefactors in the whole situation, along with remote interaction, online entertainment, e-learning, and health and fitness. So naturally, businesses changed their approach to better satisfy their customers and of course, thrive. Studies show that during the height of the pandemic in May 2020, the total online spending across the globalized world hit $82.5 billion—an increase of 77% year-over-year.
Here are three companies that managed to succeed during the economic crisis—and how they did it.
Serving an overlooked market
Because is a health and wellness brand that looked like it saw the pandemic coming before it was even founded and created their service accordingly to thrive in times like these. The business, co-founded by Luca Gualco, and Alexi Suvacioglu, focuses on older adults. It helps them buy their personal care products and deliver them discreetly to their homes. Their product line includes incontinence products, skincare, urinary health, skincare, oral care, supplements, and hemp-based products.
Not every senior can leverage the “senior hours” stores offer, so getting their products delivered to them trumps in-store purchases. Given their D2C model, Because didn’t have to change their operation due to the pandemic.
What everyone would probably like to know is how they were able to come up with such an idea, given that the average young person won’t think of it.
“We are so proud to offer a better way for older adults to get essential personal care products, a need which has been clearly validated during these last few months of stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Alexi Suvacioglu, CEO and co-founder. “Because is dedicated to the often-overlooked senior market and the often-not-talked-about-topics associated with this age group. Baby Boomers spend more than twice as much as millennials online but are targeted by just 5–10 percent of the marketing. We think there is huge potential here.”
Shifting business models
The healthcare startup Maven Clinic focuses on pregnancy and women’s health. Katherine Ryder founded it, and they shifted course from B2B to D2C. One of the things that pushed them into going into D2C was seeing her sales get to zero. In an interview with Adexchanger, Julie Binder, VP of marketing for Maven Clinic, explained the story of how they shifted:
We started the first quarter(Q1) very focused on how we get in front of HR (human resource) buyers and how they think of women’s health as a part of their overall healthcare and benefits. The pandemic has made many people more interested in telemedicine, of course, since it raises tremendous challenges for families and women who are pregnant or going through depression or postpartum. The gap in care for services has become the focus of many people’s attention. So rather than focusing on our traditional B2B, the pandemic has caused us to say, “What can we do in response?” So now we’re broadly marketing to consumers and offering free appointments through our platform.
They’re currently pioneering a situation where checkup, diagnosis, and medical consultation can be done from home. With the global health crisis, telehealth’s demand has increased. According to the American Hospital Association, 76% of U.S. hospitals connect with patients through video.
Devising a thoughtful approach
The online florist company Bloom & Wild is another company that seemed to have gotten clues about the coronavirus and created solutions to serve their customers better.
Their “thoughtful marketing movement” made them stand out during the pandemic. The initiative was launched last year and focuses on putting customers first. How it works is brands come together to allow customers to opt-out from sensitive marketing messages. And already, they have over 100 brands who have shown interest in the movement and have committed.
What started in 2019 for customers who find Mother’s Day sensitive, probably because they lost their mother, has now become a useful marketing strategy in this crisis because brands are doing everything they can to be supportive to their customers, Bloom & Wild’s thoughtful marketing movement is one weapon in their arsenal that will offer that personal touch, show that you care, and strengthen customer relationships.
“With the current Covid-19 crisis ongoing, there’s uncertainty across all industries, but what we can be certain of is the fact that customers are craving for brands to be ‘human’ and thoughtful in their communications,” head of brands Marisa Thomas said in an article. “We hope to see more and more brands sign up to the movement and commit to putting customers first by using technology that allows them to do this.”