One cannot even begin to summarise just how much we have lost during COVID-19, whether it’s lives, livelihoods and any semblance of our normal routine – times are a-changing. The business landscape is unrecognisable to what it once was, but there have been some who have turned this adversity into opportunity by leveraging online channels and DreamWalk Apps. In an effort to focus on the brighter albeit circumstantial outlook, let’s highlight some problem solvers who have adapted to these new unprecedented impacts, and have retained their audience, revenue and market share.
Gyms and fitness studios
Who would have thought in January of 2020 that we would be doing HIT classes in our living room with wine bottles as hand weights, and making peace with not going to our gyms? The fitness space has adapted remarkably well to absolute setbacks, especially when other hard-hit industries like retail and hospitality still have delivery and take-away options, but no such luck for working out.
Live streaming has been the solution for many gyms and studios around the world, bringing movement to their community with basically no barriers to entry. In fact, live stream gyms been so successful of a movement that now many gyms who started out live streaming for free, have built subscription models because it really is a great solution and the technology has it nearly on par with the real thing.
Restaurants and hospitality
You can’t understate the enormous pivot that the hospitality scene has had to make, with restaurants of all calibres seeming to throw an eCommerce presence together overnight. The staff that aren’t working the take-away windows have been deployed to the roads delivering their food, with many believing they can champion their own business without having to engage UberEats and its derivatives. With the tracking technology accompanying these services, restaurants can make deliveries entirely contactless with their arrival anticipated and no chance of your food sitting on your welcome mat for long.
What’s been even more exciting to see is the leading names in the culinary world standing in front of a camera and showing their audience how to make their most treasured dishes. Those that aren’t making these dishes themselves are issuing their recipes and even delivering a deconstructed version of their dishes so diners can put together the final touches at home. When COVID-19 is over, I think it is safe to say that a curated online presence will be the hangover effect that will continue to yield long term benefits.
You have to experience it to believe it, but the real estate market is surviving well in a new, online world. House inspections are still facilitated by appointment only, with the agent and viewer needing to respect social distancing. Although what has been more interesting is to see that live online auctions are still performing well, and so are the inspections themselves that are being experienced online by those who are remote anyway.
Unlike the hospitality and gym industry, this real estate trend might not kick on after COVID-19, as it cannot be sustainable and many will not want to invest upwards of a million dollars on a site unseen or one that is dependent on a great internet connection to put in an offer. That said, the inspiration can still be admired and marvelled, with the industry already utilising high-quality photography and video – which probably had them in a great position to start with.
It has certainly taken a village to establish and maintain these new standards and achieve the almost impossible. Fortunately, the uptake has been so encouraging, that this hard work has not gone on in a vacuum and efforts have been rewarded.