Five months after the coronavirus pandemic brought global activity to a screeching halt, we are still experiencing its effects and aftermath. With such a drastic change in everyday life that occurred at what seemed like the snap of a finger, businesses everywhere have been forced to adapt to extremely challenging conditions. As a result, several companies have come up with innovative ideas that have minimized risk and allowed their respective value chains to stay intact.
In recent news, the United Kingdom government paid half of restaurant patrons’ bills—up to 10 euros per person—when they chose to eat out from Monday through Wednesday during the month of August in an effort called “Eat Out to Help Out.” Over 64 million meals were ordered during this promotion and over 83 thousand businesses participated. This case demonstrated that, for businesses, a major key to recovery post-pandemic lies in the act of getting consumers out of their homes and back to participating in the public economy.
Other digital companies like Sweden’s Spotify were forced to reevaluate revenue strategies that relied highly on advertisements. Because of the coronavirus, many companies were forced to cut costs within their marketing departments and Spotify had to refocus their business into self-produced music and podcasts, partnering with high-profile influencers to bring more attention to the app. Conversely, some digital shopping apps like the United State’s Grubhub and Canada’s Shopify increased their marketing as a way to capitalize on the consumer preference toward home delivery.
Gyms and fitness centers have pivoted to offer, besides online classes, socially-distanced, outdoor classes. An interesting development has come in the form of outdoor fitness pods, which are essentially metal structures with plastic curtains that can be sanitized to offer clients the ability to utilize exercise equipment. Similarly, bars and movie theaters have turned to offer outdoor variations of their services. Outdoor bars, bars on wheels that mimic hotdog carts, and drive-in and boat-in movie theaters have appeared around the world.
Hundreds of other businesses have pivoted to produce products entirely outside of their traditional offerings in order to assist with COVID relief efforts and to support their communities. The pandemic projects to have a continued impact on the world and businesses around us and companies must stay vigilant in pivoting to new ideas.