It hasn’t been a good series of weeks for many of us. It will be a few months for many more of us. This year is going to change a lot of companies and people’s lives both privately and professionally.

Rare are the moments we witness an issue affecting the entire globe. We may speak different languages and own different passports, but we’re all in this situation together. None can act alone and win.

Mixed in these troubling times, you hear about the positives of the human spirit. Individual acts of kindness are relatable and sincere news stories we share and appreciate, reminding us good people are out there helping strangers who need it most.

However we often consider a company’s actions cynical with marketing motif in mind when they make a supportive announcement. Indeed, right now, LinkedIn, social media and news outlets are a buzz of special promotions, discounts, offers for free help and more from companies all over the landscape. Suddenly, company’s everywhere are scrambling to find some way to offer help and support and ecommerce is no exception.

In our own network backyard…

…one of our clients, ethical skincare brand, Pai Skincare recently announced they had made a batch of hand sanitisers. They didn’t start the year thinking about hand sanitisers, yet here they are launching and distributing this line, because recent shortages aren’t just an inconvenience – they can cost lives.

IT’S HAPPENING 🙌

Our team have worked round the clock to produce our first hand sanitiser and this morning we have started to distribute it to local businesses, schools & community here in Acton

Pai Skincare (@PaiSkincare) March 19, 2020

Their channel system provider…

…Linnworks, a very different type of SaaS business, just launched an entire page dedicated to supporting their clients by collaborating with their partners to offer reduced rate services for clients desperate for operational support and strategic guidance. They know well that ecommerce doesn’t sleep, and weeks of no sales means a loss of revenue and jobs for its clients.

Marketplace Providers…

Mirakl, a marketplace provider, a company very much in the middle of these two entities in its industry landscape, just launched a new marketplace dedicated to the trade and distribution of urgent medical supplies. It saw how it could use its strengths to help facilitate the urgent trade of critical life saving equipment.

And Marketplaces…

Amazon (heard of them?) as we all heard has been prioritising household items over any other less critical product types. Albeit a controversial act by many due to its potential direct disruption to the economy, the message is still seemingly pure – ensure the foods and household consumables are prioritised because they are simply more critical than a person getting their new shoes.

eBay, Amazon’s direct global competitor have announced a deferral to their seller payments. They recognised early that this would impact their sellers greatly for the coming months, and took action before it was even asked.

Sincere or Cynical?

Our company is no exception. We are helping our clients and any in our network with reduced service costs, offering new channel and regional launches to increase revenue streams. We’ve come out with some new content to support the needs. We were always a very flexible agency with tailored services. We’re also offering free support, free advice and willing to help now and worry about fees later.

We tend to doubt these actions for their sincerity however, because they are not an individual. Instead they are a company, an entity needing to sell themselves wherever possible.

We can blind ourselves from these noble acts with a jaded thought – is it just good marketing? Are all these acts really sincere?

It’s hard to ever be sure of course. The truth is likely that many are genuine, and some are not.

A company is nothing more than a collective of people, and a company’s actions reflect at least some of the people within. Sincere or cynical, you cannot ignore how positive a company’s actions can be towards solving big issues using a collective of resources, talent, energy and expertise. A company throwing its full power towards helping others can dwarf what a single person could do.

We all fundamentally do want to help each other when it really counts. I believe it, because I know it’s true in me and will be in countless others. Not because everyone else is doing it or it’s a great marketing ploy, but because it’s the right thing to do.