Innovations That Matter

7 More Innovative Business Ideas in Response to Coronavirus

Innovation Snapshot

The following innovations reflect a diverse approach from businesses in dealing with the coronavirus-related disruption.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the globe earlier this year, many businesses have been forced to respond quickly to unprecedented disruption across sectors. All the while, Springwise has been spotting the most creative and purpose-driven innovations that have come as a result of the global health crisis.

The initial response to COVID-19 — which we captured in our first curated list of top business ideas — saw a mix of brand new approaches and increased use of emerging technologies like live-streaming commerce and virtual reality, in an attempt to reshape business models and engage with consumers in creative ways.

Whilst many innovations continue to centre around how to connect with remote consumers in new ways, there is also more attention being paid to dealing with the “new normal” of post-lockdown life in the physical shopping environment.

The following innovations reflect this diverse approach to dealing with the coronavirus, We will continue tracking which ideas gain traction with consumers, and will undoubtedly see many more bold experiments from all corners of the world emerging over the coming weeks and months.

Photo source Squadded

1. PLATFORM TURNS SHOPPING FROM HOME INTO A GROUP ACTIVITY

Squadded works by allowing users to connect with groups of friends and go online shopping together, chatting through the extension as they virtually try on different outfits or discuss items. Once installed, users can go to participating sites and browse. The platform allows users to add items to a wish list, poll friends for advice and see what other users are buying. 

Read more about Squadded.

Photo source Alex Holyoake on Unsplash

2. PERSONAL-SHOPPING APPOINTMENTS, HELD AFTER-HOURS OR VIA VIDEO

Many people come to Selfridges for the pampering of its beauty department and personal shopping services. These are both remaining closed, but the store has arranged to hold personal-shopping appointments for fashion and beauty via video calls or after-hours in the store, with social-distancing rules observed.

Read more about Selfridge’s efforts.

Photo source Lush

3. 30-SECOND SOAP MADE TO LAST JUST LONG ENOUGH TO BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST COVID-19

Lush’s self-timing bar of soap is designed to dissolve after 30 seconds of vigorous handwashing. It was developed in partnership with Deliveroo UAE, who plan to distribute the bars with each of their deliveries. Their hope is that the tiny soaps will build customer confidence, and help to associate the brand with hygiene. 

Read more about Lush’s 30-second soap.


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Anton Mislawsky on Unsplash

4. BEVERAGE BRANDS AND ECOMMERCE PLATFORM LAUNCH VIRTUAL CONCERT EXPERIENCE

Chinese eCommerce company Jingdong (JD.com) teamed up with Taihe Music Group to offer an online clubbing experience. JD is hosted weekly, three-hour live-streamed show. During the show, brands such as Budweiser, Rémy Martin, Carlsberg and Pernod Ricard promoted their beverages to an online audience. Viewers had the opportunity to order the advertised products from JD during the show.

Read more about this partnership.

Photo source Carlsberg

5. A VIRTUAL KEG THAT CAN BE EXCHANGED FOR PINTS POST-LOCKDOWN

Danish multinational brewer Carlsberg partnered up with Grey Europe to launch the “Adopt a Keg” campaign, which lets people fill up an adopted virtual keg online and exchange it for a real pint of beer in a bar or restaurant when they reopen.

Read more about the “Adopt a Keg” campaign.

Photo source Lost Stock

6. INITIATIVE SELLS UNSOLD STOCK TO SUPPORT UNEMPLOYED FACTORY WORKERS

Lost Stock allows consumers to order clothes directly from textile factories in Bangladesh, preventing cancelled orders from ending up in a landfill while also helping help 50,000 Bangladeshi families affected by Coronavirus-related unemployment.

Read more about Lost Stock.

Photo source VCG; Pixabay

7. TEA CHAIN USES LIVE STREAMING AND INFLUENCER TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCT

Naixue Tea collaborated with Alibaba local delivery service affiliates and e-Commerce live streamer, Zhang Dayi, to launch a new line of themed drinks for customers to enjoy at home. Zhang’s BigEve beauty brand worked with the chain to create a gift box shaped like a to-go cup, which they filled with a limited edition cleanser, facial scrub, body wash, and Naixue drink vouchers. Zhang then launched a live stream on Taobao, which sold nearly 3,000 sets within seconds.

Read more about this collaboration.