The last few weeks have been a trying time for business owners in Canada. Many brick-and-mortar retailers have been forced to close their doors for the foreseeable future, while others have been able to focus on digital offerings.
During these unprecedented times, while we self-isolate at home, our needs and behaviours as consumers are changing. This, naturally, leads to an increase in business for select industries.
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With that in mind, we’re shining a light on some of the companies that are seeing a boost in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, or because they pivoted their operations to best assist customers during this time.
Willful, a digital tool that helps people create a legal will in under 20 minutes (without having to hire a notary or lawyer), has seen sales double in one week.
Erin Bury, CEO at Willful, told Daily Hive that website traffic increased by 60% with a big influx of customers who are seniors. Willful is now offering free printing and shipping to customers across Canada in case people have lost access to a printer, and the firm has put together a guide addressing how to get your will witnessed/signed during the coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic has highlighted the fact that the unexpected can happen anytime, and I think it’s caused Canadians to think about the importance of having conversations with their family about medical wishes and end-of-life planning,” said Bury.
Grocery delivery subscription service Goodfood operates in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC, and the Maritimes. Since the coronavirus crisis hit, the company has experienced a rise in demand for its grocery products and home meal solutions.
It has also implemented an Essential Canadian Pay Program, raising all production employees’ salaries by a minimum of $2 as a reward for their dedication and hard work during this time.
HelloFresh is another Canadian meal kit service that operates across the country, delivering pre-portioned ingredients and recipes weekly. The company’s CEO and founder, Ian Brooks, told Daily Hive they have been seeing an increase in demand.
Brooks said they are working closely with their network of suppliers and partners to ensure they can continue to deliver HelloFresh meals directly to their customers. “The health and well-being of our customers and employees is our top priority,” he added. On March 27, the company donated $40,000 to help ease the strain the coronavirus is having on Canadian food banks.
Mine and Yours
Vancouver-based luxury fashion resale store Mine and Yours has closed its doors temporarily. However, owner Courtney Watkins reported that online sales have almost doubled since the coronavirus outbreak.
Mine and Yours has introduced one-on-one virtual shopping experiences, a #WerkFromHomeChallenge, a ‘Virtual Shopping Spree’ contest, and a “Get 10, Give 10” sale where they are donating 10% of all profits to a Vancouver nonprofit supporting frontline healthcare workers.
“Typically, the majority of our business is all in-store, so we’re really excited to see that we can continue to help our community and clients find amazing pieces from the comfort of home,” Watkins told Daily Hive.
HomePro Pest Control
HomePro Pest Control is based in Markham, Ontario and specializes in pest control services. President of the company, Simon Leith, told Daily Hive that when his team saw what was going on around the world, they decided to launch a new service.
They are now offering hospital-grade disinfecting services to help protect clients from the spread of the coronavirus throughout their homes and businesses. Leith explained that many apartment buildings are short-staffed and don’t have the proper resources or protective equipment to carry out this type of work on high-touch surfaces.
“We are seeing a great deal of interest in our disinfecting services especially as this situation unfolds,” Leith added. “We want to be there to help our clients by delivering this essential service.”
Live, on-demand platform Obé fitness virtually brings NYC-based instructors to a user’s living room. It offers options for all levels on the web or via the App Store, steaming 100 live classes per week.
Obé fitness is seeing 10 times the number of signups as this time last month. The company has also launched kids programming since so many members are home with their children all day, and also launched programming for senior citizens and runners.
P.volve, a fitness program developed by trainer Stephen Pastorino, is another brand seeing a boost during the coronavirus outbreak. The company is offering its community a free 30-day streaming trial and posting live workouts on Instagram Live and YouTube.
“Our current trial subscribers have grown four times since the beginning of March,” Rachel Katzman, co-founder and CEO of P.volve told Daily Hive. “As people work to practice social distancing, it’s important that they are still able to focus on their mental and physical health.”
Vancouver-based fintech company Ready provides restaurants with mobile ordering and contactless payment solutions — without the need to download a third-party app.
The company is seeing an increase in demand since pivoting its pay-at-the table tech to offer eateries virtual ordering kiosks during the coronavirus outbreak. This allows a customer to connect to restaurants on their phone, view menus, and pay on their device without any additional fees.
“We’ve adapted our technology to the shifting landscape, and hope we can continue to support the businesses that keep our community alive,” said Laurent May, head of Ready.