The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that people will find ways to adapt their routines, deepen their connections, participate in the economy, and explore new possibilities even in the most disruptive and serious of times.
Doctors and staff seeking inspiration right now can look to these trends as a sign that despite so many changes, people are open to virtual experiences—including exploring aesthetic procedures—when given the opportunity. Here’s a brief tour of the surprisingly varied day your next potential patient is having at home. Are you prepared to get space on their busy schedule?
They Head to Work.
Millions of adults in the U.S. have shifted to working from home due to current physical distancing strictures. It’s driven a surge in video conferencing, including the 535% increase in traffic to Zoom’s download page and a doubling of its stock price since early February (the app reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March).
We recently asked aesthetic doctors what they’re working on to build their businesses while their doors are closed, and their answers ranged from long-delayed marketing initiatives to standing up and scaling virtual consultations. Here’s more of what your peers told us they’re working on while they work from home.
They Take Breaks, Including Fitness Sessions at the “Gym” With Friends.
Companies like Peloton had already worked the concept of group at-home fitness into their exercise machines and apps. Now, many people are taking advantage of a plethora of fitness studios and gyms that offer live streaming for in-home exercising.
People seem to be into it, as sales of fitness-related equipment have jumped by 55% according to Adobe Analytics.
They Do A Little Shopping.
Forty-eight percent of U.S. grocery shoppers were already purchasing at least some of their groceries online. During the COVID-19 crisis, online shopping in general has jumped 25%, while grocery shopping “has seen a 100% boost in daily sales.”
While going out to shop for food is allowed amidst even the most strict shelter-in-place orders across the country, many families have fully adjusted to ordering their groceries via online delivery services, as well as home essentials through big-box stores like Target, Walmart and the ubiquitous Amazon.com.
They Take a Mental Health Break.
People are responding to these anxiety-inducing times by adopting the use of meditation and mindfulness apps, which have seen a dramatic increase in downloads.
In one week in March, one meditation app jumped 31 spots on the App Store, while another jumped an astounding 70 spots to 26th place. The Washington Post reported that Android users spent 85% more time than normal using mindfulness apps during the last week in March.
They Take a Hike.
As the San Francisco Chronicle put it, “Virtual tourism is suddenly everywhere.”
Between online tours of National Parks, e-visiting zoos and aquariums, bird-dogging random live animal cams, or exploring virtual reality applications like Google’s “Expeditions,” people are taking to multiple places on the internet that help bring the world into their homes, with some online-based outlets seeing a 100% increase in traffic during the pandemic.
They “Go” See a Movie With Friends.
While Americans were already fans of streaming services, they have become even more popular during the coronavirus crisis, with usage jumping a significant 36% since February.
And it’s more than just watching alone or with household members. People are taking advantage of cool apps like Netflix Party, a Chrome browser plugin which allows viewers in different locations to simultaneously watch a show or movie on the popular streaming platform, while engaging with each other at the same time.
They Read Stories With Extended Family Members.
Many people are using technology to compensate for a lack of in-person contact, as families are able to e-gather online thanks to free video conference solutions like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and the aforementioned Zoom. From grandparents, to libraries, to celebrities and children’s book authors, many are bringing a ‘round-the-campfire storytelling tradition into the digital space.
They Toast It Up at Virtual Happy Hours and Dance Parties.
Whether it’s a group of friends, a parent-pod, or an e-gathering of coworkers, humans love to socialize, and they’ve continued to despite these isolating times with the advent of “virtual happy hours.”
Even the nightclub has migrated online, with myriad online dance parties cropping up from celebrities and DJs entertaining millions. Take it from the New York Times: “The hottest parties in town are now online.”
And Yes, They Evaluate Surgeons With Online Appointments.
People are willing and able to create personal havens of normalcy and connection however they can. The lesson? The future belongs to those businesses that are ready and willing to adapt.
According to a recent RealSelf survey, 98% of people who were considering a procedure before the crisis still are. (Statistically, that’s everybody.) And nearly 60% of them were interested in virtual consultations—and that was before we shifted the RealSelf experience to highlight virtual appointment availability for the growing number of doctors who are offering them.
Communicating, connecting, and consulting with current and potential clients is still very much possible. The adjustments you make today could eventually become a larger part of normal practice operations in the future. And your next great patient might be more than happy to squeeze her consultation in between her late-afternoon nature walk and after-hours virtual danceoff.
How are you responding?
We’re in this together. Tell us how your practice is adapting in the wake of COVID-19 so that we can share best practices with everyone.