- Cabinet, a new direct-to-consumer health company that specializes in over-the-counter medications, is quickly finding its niche amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The company — which went live in January 2020, just days before the onset of the pandemic — is seeing an increase in demand from consumers seeking alternative ways to get medication as name brand favorites sell out of drug stores and pharmacies.
- "The inertia of doing things the old way of going to a pharmacy and buying medicine and OTC medications from the same shop every day has been broken," Cabinet co-founder Achal Patel told Business Insider.
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2020欧洲杯小组赛When Russell Gong and Achal Patel launched Cabinet — a direct-to-consumer brand that sells affordable over-the-counter medications online — in January 2020, they hadn't anticipated starting a company at the onset of a global pandemic.
However, unlike other consumer goods industries like apparel that were hit with massive sales blows due to shuttered stores and dwindling demand, sales of pain and flu relievers started skyrocketing. According to the marketing and statistics firm Statista, sales of OTC medications in March 2020, while indicated they were likely to stock up on these products in advance of starting to self-isolate.
Just as quickly, name-brand favorites like Advil and Tylenol immediately started disappearing from drug store and pharmacy shelves. In response, consumers started to flood alternative sources, including the fledgling DTC, to get OTC medication.
2020欧洲杯小组赛"When we built Cabinet, the broader ethos was helping people be prepared for the inevitable, may it be allergy season, sending your kid to college, or going on a trip," Patel said on a recent call with Business Insider. "We, of course, weren't able to predict a global pandemic would strike."
Still, for a brand new company, a sudden influx of consumers isn't the worst problem to have.
The company took quick steps to react to market demand. Gong said one of the first things Cabinet did was adjust its product assortment to feature a "preparedness kit" — which includes daytime and nighttime cold and flu medicine, pain reliever and fever reducers, and two small bottles of hand sanitizer.
2020欧洲杯小组赛Cabinet has further benefited from being well-sourced on the supply chain side, through both professional and personal connections — Patel's family has long worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and his grandfather built and operated an acetaminophen factory in India.
"It's been a wild couple months in terms of growth and managing through a crisis, but it's an amazing opportunity to support our customers and from an overall business perspective," Gong said.
Cabinet has also started to experiment with dynamic pricing such as pay-what-you-can models, a program that was largely designed to help essential workers. To that end, the company recently formed partnerships with Uber and Showfields in New York City to help expedite last-mile delivery to those in need, after Gong and Patel first discovered renting a van of their own to personally make the deliveries wouldn't be sustainable.
2020欧洲杯小组赛"We got a customer inquiry from a doctor that pulled an overnight shift and was trying to get medicine for her family, and she went to CVS and was met with an entirely empty shelf," Gong said. "This was someone who spends her entire day helping others. We rented a van and began moving inventory to deliver it to customers."
Looking ahead, the business partners are confident that not only the way coronavirus is changing how consumers consider public spaces, but also changing sentiments toward physical pharmacies, will play to their advantage in building up its customer base.
"The inertia of doing things the old way of going to a pharmacy and buying medicine and OTC medications from the same shop every day has been broken," Patel said. "This is an opportunity to show our consumers and the larger consumer base this is a new way to do that."
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