Any Other Business: 3 April 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson
Discover content team
3 min read
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As the world goes into lockdown, this week’s AOB looks at how brands are responding to the crisis, and what you can do to navigate your business through this time.


Europeans raid the online aisles

With Europe in lockdown, it’s not surprising that consumers are switching to shopping via online supermarkets.

In France, start-up Ollca1, which helps local butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers to sell their products online, has had recent sales as high as during the Christmas period. In Italy, supermarket chain Carrefour’s2 online customer base has doubled to 110,000. And in Spain, the major online department store El Corte Inglés3 has seen a change in consumers’ buying habits as they prepare for time in lockdown, with an increase in online shopping sales of large freezers, children’s toys and smart TVs.

With a major shift to online shopping, have you done enough to prepare your e-commerce business? Our special E-commerce COVID-19 Guide has eight valuable tips to help you.  

SMEs face hurdles during remote working

Most of us have now switched to ‘Work from Home’ mode, but some companies are struggling with the change. A new survey, which questioned 200 British SME business owners, found that a third of them feel they lack the necessary online communications, or IT and technology infrastructure to run their businesses remotely in the long term. As a result, 41 percent said they plan to invest in these areas in the coming weeks.

Don’t be left behind: follow our tips to keep your business running efficiently from home.

Cheers! Virtual pubs keep up spirits of isolated Brits

With the world in lockdown, hospitality brands are having to think creatively to maintain a relationship with customers. British brewery and pub chain BrewDog4 is keeping the sense of community that draws people into its premises alive by hosting online sessions for each of its bars. Sessions will include live beer tastings, homebrew masterclasses, quizzes and live music.

Consumers expect brands to do their bit

As people pull together in this time of crisis, consumers are looking to brands to see what they’re doing to play their part. A study conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies5 found that 56% of people are pleased to hear about brands taking actions to help communities during the pandemic. Yet there’s a fine line of authenticity – 29% think that businesses only support social movements to earn money instead of genuine brand values. 

Some of the brands who have got it right include Lyft6, Starbucks7 and LMVH8, who have focused their efforts on genuinely helping the frontline rather than promoting their products.

Danish e-commerce market enjoys further growth

And finally, some positive news amongst the gloom: Denmark’s e-commerce market is forecast to be worth €21.45 billion by the end of 2020, an increase of 10 percent on last year. The data comes from the Denmark Ecommerce report by RetailX9, which also found that most shoppers (27%) order a few times a month, and 51% regularly shop cross-border.

Read our international guides for tips on how to connect your online store to such lucrative markets across the globe.