By Joey Marcelo, CEO of Santé
Pasig City, Philippines—May 7, 2020—Aside from posing threats to human health, the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation also brings a massive impact on business. As the virus continues to spread, the global economy is projected to contract by 2.5 percent this year, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The basis of this effect lies in the much-needed worldwide responses to control the pandemic. Millions of people are advised to stay at home, there also travel restrictions and bans, schools are closed, events and conferences are postponed, supply chains are strained, and organizations worldwide are doing work-from-home setups.
One of the most affected by these factors is the service industries, including restaurants, hotels, among others, as employees need to be present to assist customers. Another response we have seen, which also affects businesses, is the changing shopping behavior across the globe.
People are now avoiding brick and mortars, especially luxury stores, to avoid contracting the virus. Shopping centers and malls have also shut down to ensure the safety of both buyers and their employees. Over the past few weeks, we have also seen people bulk buying, making grocery retail chains still get a strong increase in sales customers stock up grocery items and personal care products. In the United Kingdom (UK), for instance, supermarkets saw a 20.6% rise in sales in March, a new record for the sector. In the four weeks leading to March 31st, the public spent £10.8 billion on groceries.
Since most cities and communities across the globe are now under lockdowns and some restrictions, some customers now prefer using e-commerce sites to buy the products they need. Online sales have comparatively increased as customers are buying online rather than leaving the house to go shopping. A study released by Ipsos MORI in mid-March revealed that 50% of Chinese and 31% percent of Italian consumers are now using e-commerce ‘more frequently.’ This may also be the case in other countries, especially with the responses they are currently doing to prevent the spread of the virus.
New opportunities for direct selling marketers
As for direct sellers, this trend opens new opportunities. While we are facing this global challenge, business owners need to take a closer look at their marketing strategies, starting from the platform that most customers use—social media.
For instance, according to Facebook data, 70% more people are participating in group video calls using Facebook Messenger week-over-week. Similarly, in places hit hardest, voice and video calls have more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp. In Italy, for instance, Facebook has seen 70% more time spent across its apps. 
As we know it, direct selling is all about product presentations to let the customers learn all the necessary information about your products and services. These presentations and other marketing strategies, thus, should be realigned to using the Internet and social media. A simpler way of using the platform is by sharing content and other information about your product and services through personal messages or sharing them on personal accounts or pages.
It must be strategic, though. Nowadays, too much content that tends to oversell, will most likely get negative feedback from customers. And, of course, one of the factors you need to win the hearts of customers is by ensuring that your products and services are what they truly need.
What to sell? Think health and wellness
While we are facing this crisis, business owners must understand the value of promoting everyone’s health and safety. While in the flu season, everybody needs to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Aside from a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, it also pays to remind people to take vitamins and food supplements to boost their immune system.
As an active global player in the distribution and direct selling industry, this mindset is what Santé is all about by offering premier organic health and wellness products and services designed to help people live better lives.
With Santé Barley as our flagship product, the company has developed a comprehensive selection of everyday barley-based products. Barley grass is an effective antioxidant, rich in vitamins and minerals that not only detoxifies the body but also, aids in digestive health and boosts the immune system. Santé’s products are also made, specifically, with organic pure barley from farms, as certified by BioGro, New Zealand’s leading organic certification agency.
Among our products is Daily C, Santé’s non-acidic vitamin C that contains 568mg of Sodium Ascorbate. When taken daily, Daily C can aid in boosting your immune system. Its non-acidic form makes it gentler on the stomach and safer for everyday use. Without the acidic pain from your usual vitamin C, you get the most out of this vitamin source.
As a CEO of a direct selling company, I believe that we will soon see this crisis through and, as our contribution to helping not just the Filipinos but all the business-minded people around the world, Santé will always be dedicated and wide open to helping uplift lives by providing opportunities, as well as necessary insights and ideas on how to jumpstart their direct selling business.
To learn more about Santé, visit its website at santebarley.com.
Founded in 2007, Santé promotes, produces and distributes premier natural health and wellness products; as well as services, designed to help people live better lives. With Santé Barley as its flagship brand, Santé has dominated the local market with its certified* organic barley grass – grown and harvested in New Zealand. (More recently, Santé has become the Philippines’ first company to be certified organic by BioGro). With the proven health benefits of Santé Barley, Santé has developed a comprehensive selection of everyday barley-based products. Today, Santé has expanded its offerings to include a fitness and rehabilitation center with its Santé Fitness Lab; and an array of natural products that are true to the company’s thrust in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Headquartered in the Philippines, Santé has offices worldwide such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, UAE, Qatar, Nigeria, and Cyprus.