2020 has not been an easy year for most of us. This period in time is what we all remember as the year of corona, whether we like it or not. With all the enforced restrictions and isolations, many individuals, freelancers, and businesses owners have been struggling to make ends meet. 

And while many of us are doing what we can to distract ourselves at home, cope with remote working, and distance learning for our children, we often are still worried about our business income and our job security. The pandemic is impacting all of us in one way or another, whether in our jobs or as consumers.

As consumers our buying habits have changed too. We’re often focusing on spending on our basic needs like toilet paper and household essentials while other expenses of our chosen habits are falling to the wayside.

We’re eating out less but ordering takeout and delivery more frequently. Many of us are shopping locally and consciously to support smaller businesses. Many people are also focusing more on their health when it comes to the products they purchase.

In 2019, when two tobacco companies, Northerner and Snusbolaget, merged to form the Haypp Group, they could never have foreseen what the following year would bring. In the wake of the novel coronavirus spreading across the globe, the Haypp Group, as a provider of smokeless tobacco products, were aware that their products could fall low on the list of “essentials” on peoples’ cut-back shopping lists.

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We were able to speak with Markus Lindblad, the Haypp Group’s Head of External Affairs on how such a large company is adapting. He feels that the Group’s approach to customer relations is the main reason it is still feeling some success. From handling the merger and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, here are a few of his guidelines on how to pivot business during these difficult times:

3 Ways To Pivot Your Online Business During The Pandemic 

1. Give the customers what they want – and start by understanding them.

Lindblad states that “the closer we become with our customers, the more we will understand their needs across different markets and customer segments. Only then can we be on the customers’ side and create proper change.”

Although budgets are tight during this time, people are always seeking ways to cope with the stress and uncertainty that covid has brought. They are treating themselves and also doing so more strategically. This is where luxury items fill the void and become extra important, as they are able add some “me-time” to the hard times. Pampering, self-care, and an extra indulgent item can be a powerful way for consumers to rest their minds from the current chaos of the world.

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As consumers, we’re likely to feel more loyalty to brands that were transparent and adapted with us during this time. Brand responses to what’s going on in the world are more important than ever, especially to millennial and Gen Z consumers.

2. Sell online.

Customers are shopping online now more than ever — even more than during peak holiday times in past years. The system is adapting and customers are understanding in terms of shipping and handling delays but it is important to be transparent about what is going on behind the scenes. With the focus on health and safety measures, customers are okay with knowing that orders are delayed a few days because you are stringently following social distancing measures.

Not having to shop in store is most convenient for people during this time. If your business isn’t online yet, now is the time!

3. Create job opportunities if you can.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has put financial strain on many individuals and companies, there are also many companies that are growing and thriving during this pivotal time. 

If you listen to your customers, thus keeping the chain of supply and demand going, your company will continue to grow despite the current financial setbacks. For example, the Haypp Group’s sales have not been negatively affected by Covid-19, and have instead seen a slight surge within certain countries.

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This is true for many other businesses as well. Companies that focus on self-care products, pampering products, and digital services to name a few have also seen a bump in sales and are growing to maintain those trajectories.

Lindberg’s piece of wisdom here is that, “in response to this high demand [for our products], we’re creating new…jobs at our distribution centers and commercial offices while continuing to focus on providing a convenient, secure, and high-quality experience…”

Not only will be you aiding your own financial success, but also be providing job creation in this ailing economy. Even as a small business, consider how you can outsource tasks to help support freelancers while giving yourself more time to create products or scale your business to support your customer’s needs.

Although the Haypp Group’s advice may seem ambitious, their consumer-centric strategy seems to be working for them, as the company’s sales trajectory has continued to rise, even during this pandemic. No matter the size of your business, there are ways to pivot during this time. 2020 might not look like what you thought it might, but all is not lost.


This guest post is featured on behalf of Anna Svensson.