The extended lockdown period due to Covid-19 has forced the closure of a large number of small and medium-sized businesses, leaving thousands of employees unemployed.
But for health and wellness company Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), the rapid adoption of the technology has helped them keep the business afloat amid the economic devastation triggered by the pandemic.
YBHPI operates more than 200 physical stores in malls in the Philippines, with more than 500 employees.
“We were caught off guard and not prepared. Many shopping centers where we have outlets have closed, ”recalled Rhecks Bolasoc, Yamang Bukid regional manager for Bulacan.
While they were forced to close some outlets, management embraced the digitalization of their business operations and employees were trained to manage the company’s Facebook page, to receive, facilitate and move orders, a said Bolasoc.
“We were afraid of losing our source of income. We were worried about our families, ”he said.
Yamang Bukid is known for his traditional way of doing business, with primitive sellers dressed in yellow giving a free taste of his flagship product, Yamang Bukid 10-in-1 Turmeric Tea, to shoppers and guiding them to his shop. product presentation in glass. shelves in points of sale or conspicuous booths in rented commercial spaces.
Along with building local pages, Bolasoc also had staff sell online themselves, with inventories coming either from closed outlets or from the company’s warehouse and distribution centers.
In a short time, the online sales operation gained momentum and attracted many buyers and inquiries, Bolasoc said.
Prior to the pandemic, Yamang Bukid’s online presence was minimal, consisting mostly of the company’s website which posted corporate social responsibility stories, and a Facebook page where they posted information on activities. point-of-sale sales and occasional calls to action to new customers.
“The business is slowly recovering and we are grateful that we have been able to retain most of our employees despite a huge drop in income,” said Katherine Guadiz of Tarlac.
She said Yamang Bukid needs to recoup lost revenue from non-operational outlets and stay afloat as an organization.
“We started our first promotion via FB Live. We have also created another Facebook page dedicated to online sales, order taking and deliveries, ”said Guadiz, who has been with the company for more than five years.
Guadiz said she also encouraged her staff to share her page with other online sales groups to gain more traction and attract potential customers.
As shopping malls return to normal, she added, small and medium-sized businesses still have a long way to go to recover.
Even as the economy picks up and the market normalizes, doing business online seems like part of the new normal, Guadiz said.
For companies like Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. to continue to thrive and stay relevant, they need to adapt and integrate digitalization as a way of doing business, experts say.
The health and wellness company has embraced the digital shift wholeheartedly.
“Connecting to the internet in the wake of the pandemic has presented us with many opportunities,” said Mordino Visitacion, Managing Director of YBHPI. “Our online business model has created new partnerships, with more resellers from businesses such as drug stores, merchandise stores, convenience stores and individual sellers. “
While the company has bolstered its distribution and delivery systems through established e-commerce giants like Lazada and Shoppe, its in-house delivery system through its partner courier service J&T Express has also relied heavily on orders placed through its social media accounts, said CEO Yamang Bukid. noted.
“Our online presence has also made our brand more widely available and more accessible. In addition to our usual shopping malls and supermarkets where our products are displayed, you can now easily buy Yamang Bukid Curcuma 10 in 1 tea from the comfort of your home through the various online platforms. he said.
Image courtesy of YBHPI