The coronavirus pandemic has not spared anyone, be it small startups or large corporations. Entire industries have almost been closed down due to this worldwide crisis. Companies of all sizes had no choice but to adjust and advance. The one good thing about it can be that the lives of customers as well as employees are getting easier and better as businesses had to accelerate their use of technology. Companies are now beginning to believe that those businesses with *no* retail location can no longer survive.
In addition to influencing the flow and accessibility of money, the COVID-19 pandemic is also influencing the mobility, availability, and activities of people. Comforts that once went unappreciated are not even available today as supply chains are disrupted. The issue is not of the ‘markets’ but the marketplace. Where and how to sell things has become an issue.
Technology can significantly help all types of businesses that are unprepared for a progressively more digital future. However, at present, all transformations do not completely depend on technology. Many companies have taken with innovative turns that drove them into new markets. Rather than closing down or slowing down, these businesses are making huge transformations to stay active and relevant.
The following are the 10 big corporate transformations after COVID-19.
1. Commercial Airlines Offer Cargo Flights
About 90% of scheduled flights have been canceled by airlines due to heavy decline in commercial passengers. However big airlines like Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, United and American Airlines, and many others are converting to cargo-only flights. The empty passenger cabins are used by the airlines to carry essential items, such as grocery items and healthcare supplies.
2. Grocery Stores Become Dark Fulfillment Centers
In order to protect employees as well as customers, the entry of customers in many grocery stores is not allowed. The stores are turned into dark stores, or order fulfillment centers. Whole Foods transformed stores in Los Angeles and the same has been done with many locations by New York, and Kroger and Giant Eagle. Dark stores permit grocers to fill pickup and delivery orders faster than using fulfillment centers further from customers.
3. Hotels Offer Day Rates For WFH Employees
Hotels are almost vacant, and lots of employees who are remote working have run out of space (and patience). Red Roof hotels are creating one solution that deals with both problems, as it began offering day rates for those working from home. For very low wages, remote workers can have private access to a hotel room that has been turned into an office suite with fast internet and a quiet atmosphere.
4. Restaurants Enter Grocery Market
Nowadays, visiting a grocery store is more difficult than it ever was but restaurants have access to fresh produce. Since they need a revenue stream, which is why numerous restaurant chains, including Panera, California Pizza Kitchen, and Subway, have entered the grocery market by selling fresh groceries. Customers can order fresh vegetables, meat, eggs, and more. The services provide customers the needed grocery items and also provide restaurants a much-needed lifeline.
5. Mattel Toys Honor Essential Workers
Essential workers turned out to be new superheroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mattel just introduced a new line of Fisher-Price action figures featuring delivery drivers, grocery store workers, and healthcare professionals. The twist shows that Mattel appreciates people who are actually assisting and honoring these days.
6. Patagonia Provisions Expands To Include More Shelf-Stable Items
Patagonia- the outdoor clothing retailer has a line of self-stable food items that are designed to fuel consumers on their outdoor ventures. Recently the company expanded Patagonia Provisions to take in a complete marketplace of food from other companies – all having long shelf lives. The new marketplace aims to offer long-lasting food and uphold the global food supply chain.
7. GM Self-Driving Cars Make Food Deliveries
Under existing guidelines, self-driving cars are considered non-essential and can’t move on the roads. But the autonomous car division of General Motors, Cruise, recently introduced its self-driving cars for food deliveries in the vicinity of San Francisco for two local food banks. Aiding the organizations frees up food bank workers so that they can better serve clients and has also made possible for the Cruise cars to be on the roads.
8. Retailers Pivot To Curbside Pickup
Customers are not allowed to enter lots of stores which is why brands have started to offer curbside pickup for online as well as phone orders. Numerous retailers, such as DSW, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Michaels, and Best Buy, have arranged pickup stations outside of stores due to which employees can deliver products without any interaction with customers. Due to curbside pickup, employees can also work and customers also get their needed items.
9. Stores Expand Digital Ordering
Several stores and restaurants have collaborated with tech companies to grow their mobile ordering abilities. Customers can now order more easily using the Facebook Instant Ordering offered by Papa John. Walgreens collaborated with Postmates to deliver a list of grocery items and personal care products. Brands can serve customers more quickly and efficiently with these collaborations.
10. Fitness Companies Move Workouts Online
Physical locations of gyms and fitness companies are closed which means they need to get creative if they have to survive. Exercise classes are live-streamed and at-home workout plans are released by Orange Theory, Planet Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness. To encourage customers to stay active, a 30-day Healthy at Home fitness challenge is being hosted by the fitness apparel company Under Armour. Since everybody is exercising at home, it is the technology that is keeping the gyms connected to customers.
The way businesses function all over the world has been changed the COVID-19 pandemic. Implementing huge transformation and adapting to a new direction seems to be the only way for the survival and relevance of many companies.