The current global pandemic has caused many businesses to pivot. As regulations continue to be released and consumer behavior remains altered, previously successful companies are finding it nearly impossible to stay open without tailoring their business to the new norm. Many have failed to do so effectively, while others have implemented entirely new, innovative ways to remain afloat during the flood of business closures.
Here are 3 companies that have pivoted their business in fascinating ways to keep their doors open:
The highly popular, online vacation rental company, Airbnb, has been in a very difficult market during COVID as the hospitality industry has seen huge impacts. Upon realizing how detrimental this pandemic would be to their business, they saw a way to pivot and capitalize on the widespread adoption of online video calls.
Their new feature, Online Experiences, allows users to pay a small fee to attend a completely virtual experience offered by anyone in the world. These experiences range from magic shows to cooking lessons, to historic walks in the most famous cities. The implementation of this unique feature has enabled AirBnB to capture another segment of the market while the hospitality market still tries to recover.
Despite having worked with major companies such as Amazon, Nike and McDonald’s, this Seattle-based photo booth rental service noticed how the lack of in-person events would be catastrophic to their company. Snapbar took a quick pivot to help, not just their business, but the thousands of small and local businesses that risk having their doors permanently closed.
Convinced that there was a better way to give than the typical corporate giving method, they combined their extensive network with their brilliant minds to develop a more intentional giving strategy. They introduced Keep Your City Smiling, a gift box service that is exclusively sourced from small businesses to help local vendors in different cities in the US. Snapbar’s creative gift box service ranges from team care packages, local city boxes and virtual event boxes. This shift has earned them press with Forbes and CBS, along with working with companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
Uber is predominantly a vehicle for hire business, and has been greatly impacted by the decrease in people traveling and commuting around cities. With a vast majority of people staying home and having everything ordered to their doorstep, Uber found a way to capitalize on the increase in deliveries. In April, the company launched Uber Direct and Uber Connect.
Uber Direct is a service that enables consumers to order from retail stores and have their goods delivered directly to their door in a contactless manner. Uber Connect enables people to send items and packages to others (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) in just minutes, without the need to leave the house. Both of these new services have shown to be an effective pivot strategy for Uber and have expanded the range of services previously offered; giving them a cutting edge over other competitors such as DoorDash and other delivery services.
Bonus: Entrepreneur Seth Hill
Entrepreneurs have had an especially hard time keeping their small businesses afloat. Seth Hill, founder of SWAYY Hammocks shared on the There to Here Podcast with Ryan Dye how he pivoted his outdoor gear business into one that manufactures PPE. He used his connections and experience to manufacture, ship and sell his products to hospitals through his new company, Kinetic Sourcing. Seth successfully managed to tailor his business to meet current market needs given the global pandemic. Listen to Seth share more about his experience on pivoting his business.
All of these companies have found ways to pivot their business amongst the COVID-19 global pandemic. This situation has proven that having a strategic mindset and embracing change can be the only way to survive during difficult times. As this virus continues to impact the world as we know it, what are ways you can pivot your business to capitalize on new market trends and consumer behaviors?