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COVID-19 retail innovation round up #3

Another month of COVID-19 isolation, and a slightly more positive long-term picture seems to be emerging – in Australia at least. For now, we appear to be fairly on top of the virus, and everyone is talking about what things will be like ‘when we return to normal’. But whether things actually will return to normal or not remains to be seen, with the WHO saying  that ‘This virus may never go away.’ If that were to be the case, what could that mean for retail long-term? No one knows for sure, but one thing’s for certain – the innovations retailers have implemented to deal with the pandemic are likely to come in handy, and be appreciated by customers, for a long time yet. Let’s take a look at some of the best we’ve seen in the last month.

Deliveroo Deli and Essentials by Deliveroo

In a move destined to delight gastronomers in lockdown, Deliveroo Deli is now offering fancy-pants delicatessen ingredients like artisan bread, aged steaks, imported cheeses and specialty flours delivered in under 30 minutes to customers in metro areas.

But if you’re only in need of a few staples like breakfast cereal, hand sanitiser, tea bags or butter, that can all be dropped off in under 15 minutes (on average) thanks to the new Essentials by Deliveroo range. Not too shabby at all.

Food Lovers Direct

When coronavirus restrictions first hit, people were wondering what it would mean for local businesses like butchers and greengrocers, and what it would mean for fresh food markets as well. The government was quick to clarify that these were all deemed essential services and would be allowed to continue serving the community. But while supermarket trading was up big-time, fresh food markets saw their foot traffic drop significantly.

To address this, Prahran Market’s vendors came together to form Food Lovers Direct, an online platform where customers can order exactly what they want from multiple traders and have it all delivered before 4pm on the next market day, making for market fresh food straight to customers’ doors. Bravo.

Free Qatar flights for healthcare heroes

To say thank you to the healthcare workers tirelessly battling the pandemic all across the world, Qatar Airways is giving away 100,000 free flights to anywhere on their global network. Travel is valid until December 10, 2020, so fingers crossed the travel bans can be safely lifted by then, because we all know the healthcare heroes deserve a holiday.

Free AAMI roadside assist for health workers

Until the end of the year, AAMI is offering all doctors, nurses, hospital staff and first responders free access to their nationwide roadside assist network. It’s a great gesture of support, and sure to garner plenty of goodwill to the insurer brand. A nice win-win for everyone.

Live video exercise classes

Ok, we know this isn’t really new anymore, but when we first heard of gyms and yoga/Pilates studios offering online classes, we weren’t really convinced many people would go for it. But, from what we’ve read online and heard from friends, video exercise classes have been more successful than perhaps anyone anticipated.

Whether it’s KX Pilates, Fitness First, Om Yoga or pretty much any other big health club, fitness enthusiasts are sweating up a storm in their lounge rooms, backyards and garages and supporting each other from afar.

It goes to show that where there’s a will there’s a way, and customers are more likely to be loyal to businesses that can show they’re doing everything in their power to provide a great offering in the face of tough challenges.


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