The Retail and Food & Beverage categories were particularly hard-hit by actions taken to contain the coronavirus, but as China emerges from lockdown R3’s Greg Paull notes that some companies fared better than others – and it’s not all about digital capabilities.

The ability to innovate quickly and having a clear marketing process and accountability have also been important factors in success.

“Speed and agility in offering products and services which are relevant and helpful to consumers have contributed to revenue during difficult times,” says Paull in his exclusive WARC article (For more, read the article in full: Four factors in China that contributed to faster mobilisation and recovery against COVID-19.).

“From customized menus to corporate services and contactless solutions, brands that act quickly to fill gaps in the market have gained new customers and strengthened existing relationships.”

But that’s only the beginning: these innovations have to be successfully communicated to consumers living in a very different environment to the one that prevailed just a few months ago. And for brands and businesses, that requires clarity of internal procedures so that speed of innovation can be carried through.

“Communicating key messages and tactical responses to thousands of employees and millions of customers requires streamlined creative, production, and approval processes,” says Paull.

“Brands that are earning loyalty have put in place clear process and accountability measures.”

The digital element is, of course, vital too: from January 26 to March 10, for example, more than 200,000 business owners opened accounts on Alibaba’s food delivery service,

According to numbers by Alipay, ten of the most popular fresh delivery online programs on its platform received three times the revenue compared to the period just before the outbreak.

Reflecting the demand for delivery services, e-commerce platform Meituan reported that nearly 30% of surveyed restaurants have begun delivery services as a response to the pandemic and nearly half of the surveyed restaurants say they’re getting more than 70% of their revenues from delivery.

Incorporating delivery capability through third-party logistics partners has helped many businesses mitigate some loss of revenue.

Sourced from WARC