Temporarily changing your product line
When situations happen that affect your ability to sell, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, consider adapting your product line to meet the new needs and realities of the situation.
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Fulfill new needs
Many people are in a very different situation than they are used to, and are experiencing new challenges. Consider how your products could be adapted to new needs of customers.
- Can any of your products be adapted to help develop skills or provide entertainment?
- Can access to your products be made cheaper, such as through rentals or cheaper shipping rates?
- Can your products be adapted for family activities or provide entertainment for children?
- Can your products be used to create a home office or make working from home more enjoyable?
- Can your products be used to create a connection between people?
Make a new product line aimed at solving a new need
Consider creating entirely new products that aim to solve new needs from customers. Review the following examples to check if any could be adapted to your business:
If you're a clothing business, then you could create a new line for people staying at home. For example, create a new clothing line for people who need to look professional for video meetings, but want to stay comfortable.
If you're a garden centre, then consider creating new product lines aimed at any of the following:
- plants that are good for kids to grow or help maintain
- plants that are good for home offices and are pet friendly
- plants that can be used to help with a home kitchen, such as easy-to-grow herbs or vegetables
If you sell a home entertainment product, then you could offer a line of two-for-one products where customers can choose a friend or family member to receive the second product. For example, if you sell puzzles, then let a customer buy one for themselves and send one to a friend so they can both do the puzzle for a friendly competition.
Offer rentals of your products or services
If possible, let you customers rent some of your equipment or products. Review the following examples to check if any could be adapted to your business:
If you're a leisure goods shop owner, then you could rent some of your equipment on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, if you sell bicycles, then you could rent bicycles to people who temporarily have more time for leisure activities, but limited funds to purchase a new bicycle.
If you're a furniture store, then consider renting products for customers to try out new pieces or temporarily create new spaces. For example, if you sell office furniture, then consider renting home office sets for those who need to work from home temporarily.
If you're a business that attracts customers with access to unique products as a service, then you could let customers rent the products. For example, if you're a board games cafe, then you can let people rent your board games, and also offer beverages or food upon pick up or delivery of a board game.
Offer kits to build or recreate some of your products
Offer product kits and tutorials so that customers can recreate some of your products at home. Review the following examples to check if any could be adapted to your business:
If you are a restaurant or food business owner, then you could provide free or cheap recipes for unique drinks, desserts, appetizers, or main courses that customers can make at home while they're unable to visit your brick-and-mortar location. For example, if you have a popular pasta dish, then you could deliver the pasta sauce along with a recipe for how to make the dish at home, with optional steps for what children might be able to do to help.
If you are an artist, then you could sell kits for customers to make their own pieces of art with videos or step-by-step tutorials. For example, if you sell paintings, then sell a kit that contains small containers of paint, a paintbrush or two, and a video tutorial about painting something in your style.
If you have a business that offers a unique experience, then you could sell a kit where people could recreate that experience at home. For example, if you run a miniature golf business, then design some courses people could make at home and sell a kit with some fun obstacles, cheap golf balls, and cheap golf clubs for indoor or outdoor play.