The coronavirus pandemic has meant that businesses have had to find new ways to safeguard their revenue and protect their profits. This has meant that businesses in industries which have previously relied on face-to-face interactions, such as hospitality, have had to think radically about their business models – and many have opened up an online ecommerce store with innovative products and delivery methods to keep the cash flowing.
In this blog, we’ll look at some of the radical ideas that, through the use of an online ecommerce store, have helped businesses who couldn’t traditionally sell online.
The hospitality industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic, with more than 3.2 million furloughed workers – not only because of the ban on face-to-face meetings, but also because, superficially, their service seems too anchored in personalities to ever translate to a product which could be sold on an online ecommerce store. However, radical thinking means that some have found ways to keep the cash flowing.
- To keep some money coming in, some restaurants sold gift vouchers, which could be redeemed when the doors re-opened.
- Some sold “tickets” to webinars with chefs, teaching their audience how to make their favourite dishes for themselves.
- Of course, some have been able to adapt their premises and menus to sell takeaway dinners
Pubs & Bars
With no reliable locals, and no post-work rush, the struggle of pubs and bars is self-evident, and this struggle continues even with the lifting of some lockdown restrictions. These establishments are often smaller than restaurants, making it harder to impose social distancing regulations. Whilst you can’t quite buy an e-drink, an online ecommerce store has meant that these businesses have managed to survive the pandemic
- Cocktail courses and instructional videos have allowed some people to “bring the bar home” – some bars have been able to capitalise on this by selling bundles of equipment and specialist ingredients, making life easier for the customer and keeping revenues up for the bars
- Some pubs have managed to use their partnerships with breweries to strike up creation deals, brewing, bottling and selling packs of their own beers on both websites in order to sustain their symbiotic relationships.
- Lots of these businesses have sold takeaway pints and drinks, allowing people to still enjoy a drink with their friends.
Barbers & Beauticians
Environments in which users are necessarily in close contact with staff are going to be difficult to re-open – and places like nail salons are still not allowed to open their doors. Nevertheless, these industries have adapted in the last four months and an online ecommerce store has been crucial to the success of many in this time.
- Some of these businesses have gone mobile, visiting loyal customers in their own homes and gardens. Having an online system by which appointments can be made & paid for is crucial to ensuring the success of this model.
- Some barbers & beauticians have taken to selling individual products or full DIY kits – coupled with instructional videos, this has led to some lucrative returns for some businesses.
If your business revenues have been affected by COVID, it’s easy to feel like it’s an impossible road to recovery. Traditionally, you may have baulked at the idea of selling online, rightly believing your service or product was one that required the personal touch of your staff to be enjoyed. And whilst, for many businesses, this will still be true post-pandemic, it may still be years until customers freely return to public, shared spaces. In that time, an online ecommerce store could propel your business to new heights – and indeed, there may be some customers whose behaviour changes forever, and by adding an online ecommerce store, you can continue to reach them.
We love innovation at AsOne, and as a consultative digital agency, we not only bring the technical expertise to bring ideas to life, but we also seek out ideas to help your business in times of need, drawing on 20 years of experience with countless clients. To tap into our knowledge, call us today.