The coronavirus pandemic has overturned normal commerce, and businesses are working to quickly find new ways to offer services during shutdown orders and to prepare for safe re-openings.
Gyms have turned to offering virtual classes, while restaurants are doubling down on delivery services, for example. Even healthcare providers have been exploring ways to deliver care remotely to non-COVID-19 patients who feel safest receiving treatment or consultation via telehealth appointments.
The right payments solutions are key to supporting these service model transitions. Fitness centers are turning to payments facilitators that can help them accept payment for their online offerings, for example. Concerns that the virus could linger on dollar bills has also prompted restaurants to encourage customers to make online or contactless purchases instead of using cash. The COVID-19 Business Recovery Report, a PYMNTS and American Express collaboration, digs into these issues to examine how businesses are reinventing themselves and how payment solution providers can power these journeys.
Local retail stores that have had to close their doors are soliciting donations from loyal customers to help them stay in business and retain their staff. Crowdfunding payment facilitator GoFundMe is aiming to help encourage such donations via a collaboration with search engine Bing. Stores are now able to add GoFundMe donation buttons to the company profiles that users see when the businesses show up in their Bing search results.
Easy online payments are also key to ensuring fitness instructors can get paid for their exercise class livestreams. Digital class bookings software provider Punchpass is one company that has been working to help gym trainers manage and get paid for their virtual classes. Some fitness centers have even found that going digital has allowed them to expand their customer bases to workout enthusiasts who live too far away to take classes on site.
Some travel companies are also trying to encourage spending by offering more flexibility to wary customers. Business travelers are reluctant to schedule future trips out of concern that the journeys could become unsafe or impossible to make by the time the travel dates arrive, due to new outbreaks or government-imposed travel bans intended to curb the virus’s spread. One business travel bookings company, TravelPerk, therefore has been promoting a purchase protection product that enables customers to recover most of their funds if they cancel, something intended to encourage them to take the chance on planning trips.
Fitness Centers Stretch Their Business Models During The Pandemic
Gyms and fitness centers are struggling to stay afloat as members cancel subscriptions and on-premise retail sales become a thing of the past. These firms are getting creative with their revenue models by launching everything from digital classes to equipment rentals to keep money coming in, according to Ryon Packer, chief product officer at fitness industry-focused payment and club membership management software provider ABC Financial. In this month’s Feature Story, Packer explains how payments partners are helping support these new business models and why omnichannel will likely be the new norm once the fitness sector emerges from the pandemic.
Download the Report to get the full story.
Businesses are turning to many different approaches to keep the lights on or to at least prepare themselves to reopen once lockdown ends. Some restaurants are promoting gift card sales, which can entice customers to return once doors open and also often lead to diners spending more than the cards’ stored values. Eateries are also asking for donations and providing delivery of everything from the usual meals to toilet paper and flour. Food services is not the only sector getting creative, either; healthcare providers are using video conferencing tools to offer consultations on physical health conditions as well as therapy for mental health, and new health insurance rules are helping them get paid. The Deep Dive explores how restaurants and entertainment to healthcare and fitness sectors are adjusting their business models around new realities.
Read the Deep Dive in the Report.
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