How COVID-19 is affecting online businesses- From the eyes of a watch startup

The impact that COVID-19 has had on economies, businesses, and individuals alike has far surpassed what most had previously anticipated. Countries scramble to close their borders in the midst of rapidly increasing cases and companies have started to activate contingency plans - beginning from the implementation of work from home policies. On an individual level, It is also widely encouraged to practise “social distancing” in an attempt to reduce the chances of contact.

The number of COVID-19 cases seems bound to increase exponentially over the near future -  with figures doubling every 5-7 days. All forecasts of growth in 2020 have been revised to a 0% growth or even a recession for some cases. It is without saying that this pandemic has precipitously dropped financial markets, with the social impacts equally adverse to match.

The severity of diagnosed COVID19 cases in China

(The severity of diagnosed COVID19 cases in China, Credit:


The World Health Organization recently classified COVID 19 as a global health pandemic. You must be wondering, why are we writing about this? It is because we want to share with curious readers the impact of COVID 19 on our business and how we plan to use our channels to communicate confidence and calmness as we stay united in our shared fight.

In these recent weeks, retailers are amongst many who have taken a huge hit. Over the past 15 years, there has been a spike in Chinese consumer spending and they currently account for 38% of the global fashion industry. With many of China’s cities under lockdown or quarantine, companies like Addidas AG has reported that business in greater China dropped 85% in weeks since January 25. More than that, 31.3% of world apparel export by value comes from China and with many of their factories not running or running at a capacity way below usual, supply chains have been hit hard. In this COVID 19 pandemic, people aren’t buying as much and retailers are also facing difficulty in securing reliable, stable suppliers.

Larger cooperation such as Apple may have conducted scenario planning may have prepared for health situations like this to occur, but no one could have prepared enough for such a large scale impact on health, spending power, and travel restrictions. At Sekoni Original, we source our supplies from various countries. To piece together our watch, we need to partner with more than 15 factories to produce components relevant to our product. Our suppliers have been hit hard by this outbreak and their production capacity. This means that our supplies will be limited if restrictions persist.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 12, 2020

(Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 12, 2020, Credit:

Thankfully, our fulfilment centre is in Singapore and we can continue to keep our logistics setup running. We have not met any significant disruption to our online business despite the economic slowdown. We recognise the position we are in and want to make sure that we convey correct messages to our growing community and make sure that we all can do our part in fighting this virus by practising proper personal hygiene and limiting large social gathering. We want to play a part in this and we will be sending a bottle of hand sanitizer (a product that is in high demand now) with every watch ordered. 

To end of this article, we find it apt to share a video from the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. This video paints a realistic vision of what will happen over the remainder of 2020. As COVID-19 continue to spread and complete eradication of it seem challenging without a vaccine or antiviral drug, what we need to do is what WHO chief, Dr Tedros shared:

“The rule of the game is never give up.”

We have been through and gotten through pandemics. With each individual, entity, and government doing its part, we can beat this too.

1 comment

  • Joshua

    It’s nice to see businesses adapting to the challenges COVID-19 is posing. Thank you for this article, Sekoni! Well read.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.