The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted the bread and butter landscape worldwide. Many well-known organizations are coming together and innovating. The goal for everybody is to minimize the impact of Coronavirus on public, economic, and supply chain matters.
Brick-and-mortar stores continue to shift their focus to online sales. eCommerce platforms have started to reach out to retailers and advertisers to answer their current needs. The fashion industry has shifted its production into means of personal protection. The tech and automotive industries are in the process of manufacturing medical devices. From Amazon to Coca-Cola, big names in the world are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
Related: eCommerce vs Coronavirus (Latest Data Digest)
Let’s take a look at how giants have reacted to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. What steps have they taken in favor of the customers, the community, and their own business?
How big companies reacted to Coronavirus Pandemic:
Google’s reaction to COVID-19
Enforcement of Ads Policies
The platform enforced its events policy, by “blocking all ads capitalizing on the coronavirus.” This includes a ban on ads promoting medical face masks. Hundreds of thousands of ads have been banned by the company. They took it even a step further and started banning all kinds of masks advertises. Even scuba-diving masks ads are at risk, as Google doesn't allow anything to 'slip through the cracks'
Though Google is facilitating PSA ads for government agencies and WHO.
Ad Credits for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
To help small and medium-sized businesses Google is giving its SMB customers worldwide $340 million in ad credits. Those can be used towards future ad spend, until the end of 2020 across our Google Ads platforms. To find more detailed information on eligibility criteria and ad credit details check Google support resources.
In order for small businesses to adjust to the challenges, Google posted some tips. The aim of these tips is to ensure safety for all. They have included suggestions for updating business profiles to keep shoppers in the loop. Google has also recommended that businesses modify their ad campaigns, with reminders to customers about shipping capabilities.
You may also find interesting: Google Shopping CSS [up to 20% discount for clicks]
'Premature' roll-out of the free listings
As struggling businesses cannot afford Google Shopping listings at this time, the company faced declining ad revenue. Online retailers will be able to get their share of free advertising space regardless of whether they hold a Google Ads account or not. Rolling out this change is surely influenced by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Help & Resources for Communities
The company claims that Coronavirus has a devastating effect on life and communities. It has therefore made a commitment to deal with challenges presented by COVID-19 around the world. This is why Google created a website dedicated to COVID-19 help and resources.
Furthermore, the giant promised to roll out free access to “advanced” features for Hangouts, G Suite, and G Suite for Education customers globally. Access will be free until at least July 1st. Normally, Google charges $13 extra per user per month for these features in addition to G Suite access.
Facebook’s response to Coronavirus Outbreak
Enforced bans for taking advantage of buyers
The company has been quick to ban all ads that could allow sellers to take advantage of buyers. This includes ad’s for medical face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, and COVID-19 test kits. They will continue to enforce bans on medical products that violate policies, and also ads that make a pitch for limited stock to create a sense of urgency.
Fight against misinformation
In order to limit misleading and spreading false information Facebook has increased the number of partners working on fact-checking. It also started showing pop-ups that link to official health resources.
Thousands of pieces of Covid-19 misinformation that could lead to physical harm have been removed by Facebook. The company will start warning users if they liked, reacted, or commented on Covid-19 utilized misinformation.
“These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the World Health Organization including ones we’ve removed from our platform for leading to imminent physical harm,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in a blog post.
Additionally, Zuckerberg intends to roll out a Coronavirus information center feature to be placed at the top of users’ News Feeds. The aim is to encourage people to take social distancing orders more seriously.
No restrictions for drops in performance
Facebook Marketplace and Instagram are not penalizing sellers for drops in performance standards. To match the expectations of buyers and sellers, Facebook intends to add a caption stating possible shipping issues/delays.
Facebook responds Small Businesses in Need
To help businesses respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, Facebook enabled small businesses to announce temporary service changes. These charges are listed on a businesses Facebook page and in searches on the platform. Business owners can also create a personal fundraiser on Facebook and ask their loyal customers for support during this critical time.
The social media giant has kept up that tempo.
Facebook has been actively helping with the Coronavirus situation since Feb. 14 they have used Menlo Park headquarters to host the World Health Organization and, as well as other leaders from companies like Google, Amazon, and Salesforce. They have been discussing how the tech industry can act and work together on solutions to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Marketplaces vs. Coronavirus
Amazon on 21 March said it would stop shipping non-essential products to customers in Italy and France, where coronavirus cases have continued to soar. Amazon FBA is only accepting “household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products” to its fulfillment warehouses at this time.
Amazon has not completely banned selling items such as face masks and hand sanitizers but monitors listings for price gouging. Sellers flagged in violation of their rules are prevented from selling again. Amazon also does not accept new requests for offers in the same categories.
Due to a surge in online shopping, Amazon decided to hire 100,000 new full-time and part-time workers.
They have paused account suspensions for order performance and extended period for returns extended. Since the COVID-19 broke out, Amazon rolled out numerous updates for retailers.
International standard delivery has been added for all sellers. This is with the hope of making worldwide delivery cheaper and more consistent during COVID-19. It includes simplified pricing, the tracking of all deliveries, and shipping protection.
Sellers are now told the zip code of where missing items are located. The aim of this is to resolve issues for customers at a faster rate.
FedEx has collaborated with eBay to reduce the price of its 2 day delivery for sellers.
Preferred shipping companies are now required to protect the buyer from claims that the items were not received, as all these shippers go directly through eBay.
eBay now also reserves the right to refund customers’ claims after 3 days without a claim. Therefore tracking on products is highly recommended.
Increased time for returns will give the customer more time to return an item. Sellers can no longer request for returns to be closed early. eBay has stated this is to give buyers ‘sufficient time’ during the Coronavirus crisis. The previous returns period was between 30-60 days depending on the seller.
Fashion & Luxury Brands Against COVID-19
Fashion and beauty brands are shifting their production to tackle COVID-19. Many intend to make masks or disinfectants. Factories that usually produce fragrances are also shifting gears and joining the fight against COVID-19.
Inditex - the owner of Zara is looking into ways to turn part of its textile manufacturing capacity in Spain to make hospital gowns.
Athletic leviathan in collaboration with Carbon decided to produce its own personal protective equipment (PPE). They are using the same 3D-printing technology behind its 4D series of sneakers. Adidas is producing more than 18,000 face shields per week for healthcare professionals and front-line workers.
The mask structures printed in 3D reduce material consumption and speed up printing time, while ensuring comfort and efficiency.
At the same time, Nike repurposed part of its sneakers manufacturing to create face shields for health care workers. The company is creating full-face shields and air-purifying respirator lenses to help health professionals. Collar padding that was supposed to be used in shoes and cords that were originally going to be used for apparel is now going to be used in the fight against Coronavirus.
Balenciaga & YSL
Kering SA, the conglomerate behind luxury fashion labels Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, switched their factory operations to producing surgical masks for French hospitals. This was done with the approval of health authorities.
Louis Vuitton Moet Henessy
Luxury powerhouse LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Tiffany, Dom Pérignon, and many other high-end brands, has now ventured into the hand-sanitizer sector.
And the company is not stopping there. LVMH has also committed to working with a Chinese industrial supplier to secure 10 million surgical face masks that will be handed over to French health services.
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Automotive Technology Supports Medical Devices Production
Volkswagen Group is driving the response to the COVID-19 outbreak and is now distributing materials in Germany. These include breathing masks, disinfectants, gloves, thermometers, protective goggles, and suits.
The company also uses its own devices for the production of medical equipment for those in need - among others, 3D mounts for printing face shields.
The Spanish brand SEAT has transformed its montage line for the production of breathing aids.
Ferrari has continued its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and has started to produce respirator valves and fittings for protective masks. The department where car prototypes are usually built is now producing these thermoplastic components using additive manufacturing technology.
Spirits Manufacturers Shifts to Hand Sanitizers
Pernod Ricard owner of such brands as Champagne G.H Mumm, Absolut Vodka, and Jameson Irish Whiskey says it is converting its facilities to produce hand sanitizer that it will donate amid the shortage.
As the US faces a massive hand-sanitizer shortage, companies like Pernod Ricard are trying to help meet the demand. They have started to produce hand sanitizer at all its US distilleries.
Pernod Ricard said it worked with the US government to receive certification to produce hand sanitizer. The next steps included figuring out the distribution of the hand sanitizer, which will be donated.
Some are sending medical help, others are donating cash. The range of activities taken is wide and truly inspirational. Big brands answer these unprecedented times in many ways and have stepped up in the effort to cope with Coronavirus.
Our answer is still: let’s work through this together. As we all enter the uncharted waters of COVID-19 we find that continuous support is crucial in finding balance in the new situation.
If your business has taken a hit since covid-19 we would like to help reduce the impact. For DataFeedWatch users who decide to put their advertising on hold for the duration of the epidemic outbreak, we will offer: a free account suspension and pausing shops in your account for free.
When ready to renew your advertising operations - your feeds will be waiting unscathed and ready to conquer shoppers' hearts!
And for those of you who continue advertising or are looking to expand: DataFeedWatch Customer Success team is always ready to dive into the optimization process with you. Talk to us, we’re only pixels apart.
Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 and how to adjust your strategy:
- 5 Tips to Increase Sales After the COVID-19 Pandemic
- 4 ways to advertise for free during the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19: 7 Shopping Channels Offering Discounts to Retailers
- How to Move your Brick and Mortar to Online