How 5 Retailers Are Responding to COVID-19: Ecommerce Brands That Are Delivering Comfort to Inboxes

It seems like just another day in Minneapolis, Minnesota—home to one of Drip’s headquarters. A typical spring morning full of clouds and a constant drizzle. The garbage truck is outside picking up this week’s dumpster, like it does every week. Two kids think they know how to play Tetherball in the park across the street. (They don’t. No one does.) 

But this week, I’m watching all of this unfold from my chair tucked by a window in my apartment. In fact, everyone in my old 10-unit is working from their apartment. We’re all isolated, together, because of the COVID-19, or Coronavirus, global pandemic. 

Odds are good you’re reading this while experiencing some of your own self-isolation or social distancing to help slow the growth in your very city. 

The globe has been shook by COVID-19, impacting economies, politics, and your own daily life. On top of adapting how you conduct your day-to-day, something else has happened that you didn’t see coming: You’ve probably heard from every single company you ever slipped your email address to ever. 

Brands are coming out of the woodwork and landing by the dozens in your inbox to tell you their take on COVID-19. How are they handling the pandemic? Were they prepared? Will COVID affect shipping times? What precautions are they taking? Are they doing anything?!

The thing is, these emails are more than just inbox space-fillers. These emails are telling you a lot about the company you’ve been shopping with, the brands you’ve been supporting. It’s times like these that you get to see which stores genuinely care about you, the customer, and which stores are just around to make a buck. 

Over the past week, we’ve gotten our fair share of COVID-19 emails at Drip. As we’ve shuffled through them, some caught our eye for being examples of authentic brands focused on you—the people—while putting their own hardships second. 

A global pandemic with an unsure outlook causes unrest, panic even. But these five brands are taking the time to send along comfort, care, and a little bit of normalcy to inboxes everywhere. 

Five Ecommerce Brands That Are Staying Human and Putting People First

From a company’s detailed emergency plans, to notes about what it’s doing for its employees, to emails that are carrying on as if a pandemic is definitely not happening, almost every brand is sharing a bit of themselves through COVID-19 communications. (Including us now!)

These five brands stood out to us through the influx to our inboxes, and we wanna tell you why.

Bite Squad Delivers Comfort with a Side of Grub

So many brands have told us what they’re doing to combat the spread of Coronavirus. From elaborate hand-washing plans to how they’re sanitizing their brick-and-mortar locations, these are reassuring messages, but they also feel a bit robotic and like common sense tactics that everyone is talking about.

Bite Squad is one brand that’s breaking the COVID communications mold. Their messaging isn’t focused on sterilization, and instead it’s focused on making this time of unease as comfortable as possible for everyone. After all, we’re in this together. 

While Bite Squad is making “staying in” right now seem as normal as possible, they’re also making ordering from them easy while staying sensitive to social distancing. The option for a contactless delivery is empathetic and helpful, which speaks to the core of Bite Squad’s brand.

 

Bite Squad covid-19 email

 

Public Goods Stays Grounded with Empathy

This message from Public Goods stood out to us in a number of ways. It’s human, it’s real, it’s authenticity at its peak. Plus, it’s informational. Let’s go deeper:

  1. It’s offering up a rather personal message from the company as a whole. It’s not sugarcoating anything and directly calls out “uncertainty and isolation.” This raw confrontation with COVID-19, using words like “coping” and “facing challenges,” is relatable and real.

    Many big brands keep a wall up between their business and their customers. Public Goods not only doesn’t have a wall, but it’s inviting people to come into their space and share their very human experiences.

  2. What’s following the company message? It’s more personal messages from real people who work there. It’s further affirmation that Public Goods is full of people just like me and you—people who are worried, impacted, and doing the best they can.

  3. The email from Public Goods is wrapped up with information about their operations. The hierarchy here is clear and welcome: People come first. People are important. And Public Goods has rooted their stake in that belief. 

Public Goods covid-19 email

 

public goods covid-19 email ending

Chubbies Shows a Softer Side

If you’re a subscriber to Chubbies, you know their emails are fun, light, and full of dude-bro speak. It’s like a subsconscious stream of words from some shaggy-haired cool kid about to go surfing without a worry in the world. 

Now, Chubbies could have kept with that tone. “Everything is a bummer! Keep rad with these fun stretchy shorts!” But instead, Chubbies showed us a more tender side. And we liked it.

It strays from their conventional email format of models donning their products punctuated by big, bold, and sassy CTAs. Instead, they delivered a heartfelt reflection about their brand and their community. They’re saying they aren’t sure what the future holds, but you bet they’re going to stay connected to their community as we ride this wave.

 

chubbies covid-19 email

 

Dagne Dover Goes Inspirational

Dagne Dover served up an email that was pretty product-heavy (maybe the most salesy of the emails I’ve seen). But the email had a welcome intermission with the message below. 

It’s encouraging, uplifting, maybe even inspirational. Like the other brands we’re talking about, they’re enforcing a feeling of community and unity, which is something we all need more of right now.

 

dagne dover covid-19 email

 

Sakara Puts Community First, Offers Help The Best Way They Know How

Sakara stood out with its genuine concern for the customer. Their message goes as far to bluntly declare “this is no longer about business,” which makes me oddly emotional. Like many independent ecommerce retailers, their own future is uncertain. 

The fact that brands like Sakara, the brands that have the most to lose, are totally casting aside their business worries is heartwarming, comforting, and a message that will keep me as a customer far after COVID-19 is out of the headlines.

Sakara is doing its best to be as helpful as possible to its community at this time. The end of their email is stocked with information about their operations and how they’re working to adjust to the times.   

 

sakara covid-19 email

sakara covid-19 email ending

 

Keeping Human Is What Could Keep Brands Afloat

There are countless examples of entire communities banding together right now. People helping people is vital to how we all pull through this, and these five brands are doing their part to be a helping hand for the greater good. 

You might have forgotten about some of the brands you’re hearing from lately. You may not even remember that one thing you bought from them years ago. But as you see independent brand after brand make good on their core values, their missions beyond their storefronts, remember them.

The ecommerce retailers that keep human are the ones that will stay afloat for now and thrive when this chapter in time passes. 


We're all in this together. Whether you use Drip or not, we know that independent retailers are what help make this world interesting, and we're here to help how we can. 

For more of the latest information about COVID-19, turn to the people who know best. 

Stay informed. Stay safe.