COVID-19: What are people buying during this pandemic?

April 24, 2020
Roberto Rivero

Predictions from our marketing expert, which was first published on LinkedIn

In my last two blog posts have (a) looked at academic evidence that marketing during a recession pays off – during and after recessions and (b) provided six tips about marketing during recessions. One of the tips was to focus your marketing on products you think will do well in this new environment.

Another suggested that “if you determine that none of your products are likely to do well in this environment, change your perspective. Think of your company as a collection of assets, skills and capabilities. Can you mix these up in different ways to come up with new products and services that will be useful to customers in this new world?”

What is selling well?

To help business owners and entrepreneurs with these two points, I have been reading the business press, my current awareness alerts, and using Google to see what products and services are doing well during these strange times.

I know it’s unrealistic for most of you to develop a competitor to Netflix in the short-term but, hopefully, the list will inspire you to come up with your own ideas.

We’ve all heard about:

  • Streaming services;
  • PPE;
  • Medicines;
  • Alcoholic drinks;
  • Frozen foods and freezers;
  • Home exercise equipment;
  • Online training;
  • Electronic games.

Less well covered by the press:

  • Hair clippers;
  • Luggage shipping services;
  • Home delivery of gourmet food (e.g. Patty & Bun’s example from last week);
  • Complex cooking related items like pasta making and home-baking equipment;
  • Indoor games like pool and table tennis;
  • Board games;
  • Garden-related items;
  • Fridges;
  • Laptops and computer equipment;
  • Bicycles for exercise and for commuting (e.g. Brompton);
  • Subscriptions for deliveries of exotic coffee;
  • Online language courses (Duolingo’s volumes are up 300%);
  • Office equipment for the home.

My expectations of what will sell well in the future:

  • Money, in the form of secured lending;
  • Training, support and installation of IT equipment;
  • Air conditioning/filtering systems;
  • Cleaning services;
  • Health foods;
  • Alternative medicines;
  • Credit control services;
  • On-line or on-phone counselling/advice services;
  • Financial planning services (personal and business).

join the conversation on linkedinThis topic (what will sell well in the short and medium-term) is fascinating and I would love to hear your own observations and ideas.