The global coronavirus pandemic has impacted so many aspects of life, including the products we buy, how we buy them, how businesses sell them and even who gets to go to work. While this time has been trying, many businesses have shown feats of agility, switching gears various ways to meet changing demands.
Recently at our virtual panel, “Increasing Your Business Resiliency During & After the Pandemic,” we spoke with eCommerce experts from BlueSnap, Google Pay and Acro Media to get their perspectives and advice to help businesses trying to survive and thrive during the pandemic and beyond. Here, they share innovative examples of how companies they work with have responded to these unusual times.
Leveraging Their Supply Chain to Help the Front Line
“I think one of my favorite pivots is a customer that worked in the corporate office construction vertical. They helped build out offices and did all of the construction soup to nuts for either new offices, office buildings or expansion globally, and obviously that all was put on hold. But they used their expertise and their supply chain to be able to deliver things like beds to the hospitals and health systems that needed beds during that critical time. And a big part of what they did with BlueSnap was they had to also shift and become a lot more nimble and flexible with how they accepted payments for those. They were a very traditional construction company. There was a purchase order and they got maybe a check written for them or a wire. But with the dispersed workforce, none of that was really available anymore. So they shifted to much more nimble online invoicing and mobile-friendly invoicing with a pay now link for things like ACH, corporate cards or purchasing cards.”
– Joe Twer, Director of Sales, BlueSnap
Taking a Non-Essential B2B Business to Essential eCommerce
“I have a friend who owns a mountaineering clothing business. They make really high-end down sleeping bags and jackets, and 99% of their business historically has been B2B, sell-through channels, etc. The moment the shelter-in-place orders went into effect, they were considered a non-essential business and just basically had to shut down. They have 50 employees, so they very quickly pivoted. I think the word ‘pivot’ is probably the super essential word at the moment. So they very quickly pivoted their capabilities and started making masks. All of a sudden, they became an essential business, and they set up to do eCommerce. I’ve seen a lot of creativity like that happen with a variety of businesses that I’m aware of. It’s been amazing, actually, to see how people have adapted so quickly.”
– Steve Klebe, Head of Google Pay Business Development – PSP Partnerships
Servicing a New Market Online Without Abandoning the Old
“The example that comes to mind right away is a B2B customer. They work in manufacturing and wholesaling luxury skin care products to spas. So spas are shut down and suddenly their business arm is closed down. The customer demand didn’t go away though – customer still wanted the product. So instead of building out the perfect solution for B2B2C, they quickly attached a B2C head to their B2B site – so stock and inventory could stay in sync and all that kind of good stuff – and they serve their customer. The part that I really liked about it was that in order to not alienate their distributors and their customers in the future, the spas, they paid 10% back automatically to the closest spa for any customer that purchased. So it’s a creative way to get the product out to the client as well as keep the spas happy and generating some revenue during this downtime.”
– Becky Parisotto, Director of Business Development, Acro Media
The coronavirus is requiring companies to overcome challenges as they pivot, whether digitizing, scaling, or facing other challenges. These stories all show that with some out-of-the-box thinking and the right technology, it is possible to maintain — and even grow — business in a pandemic.