With COVID-19 hitting local businesses hard, it's become vital for Kiwi entrepreneurs to adapt and adopt new tactics to survive the changing times.
For one Auckland clothing label, that's meant honing in on any tools they can use to help maintain sales against COVID-19 restrictions put in place throughout alert levels 3 and 4.
Fashion designer Jordan Gibson is among the many business owners who have faced uncertainty as his physical store was put out of action, and grew unsure of how the brand would stay afloat without their main income stream open.
To ensure as little operational impact as possible, Gibson decided from the outset he and his two employees weren't going to treat the time at home as a break, but a chance to be more engaged and relevant with their digital community as possible.
Checks Downtown has built a strong social media presence since Gibson launched the shop three years ago.
"We probably put as much energy into the product and retail as we do to the social platforms," he told Newshub.
Gibson launched his brand in the "old-school" way with a retail store in 2017, setting out on a mission to create a brand that served a local community but could be internationally-relevant.
"We wanted to tell a unique story and felt having a physical space was the best way to do that so people could come in and experience it, it's a bit easier to spread that message and engage with people."
He carved out his own space in the New Zealand industry that he felt was lacking and created a brand that was willing to take risks and be unique.
"There can be fear within this type of industry around daring to be different and putting yourself there," he says. "I think doing that limits you from being at a global level."
From the beginning, he and his team harnessed Facebook and Instagram to amplify their reach, pushing the Checks brand even further and staying connected with customers.
Gibson says social media platforms have been "beyond critical" and essential to boosting business through lockdown.
Ahead of the restrictions, Gibson was worried about losing essential cash flow and taking a hit but decided to focus on growing by keeping their community engaged using social media by thinking outside the box.
They started a series of video diaries, checking in with some of the well-known names who support the brand and showcasing samples from home on IGTV.
Gibson saw their fanbase liked the behind the scenes so they opened up the access even further, creating content with a personal touch.
"People were really interested to see what we were doing at home, what TV we were watching, what we were cooking, how we were exercising.
"We identified that people enjoyed that non-product-related content and having a bit more access to us as individuals and what we're about and what's going on on a day-to-day basis, so the things we learned over that time, we thought 'we need to maintain this'."
Through this strategy, despite level 4 lockdown, April was their best month of online sales ever, irrespective of Christmas, Black Friday and other typical sales dates.
"We saw the community that we had spent a lot of energy and resources building and committing to really came out for us, and they wanted to stand up for us and help in whatever way they could, whether that was connecting with us or placing an order for a sweatshirt, it seemed to resonate."
Gibson says the work put into that was vital to making it out the other side and bouncing back, giving them a foundation to work with through the recent level 3 restrictions.
"If you're looking to build a community online, for me it's about being genuine and authentic."
He says consumers these days expect brands to have a voice and have an opinion and show up about issues that are going on in the world.
Simple strategies include posting every day, trying new things and not being afraid to jump into a new platform or a new part of that platform.
"You have to figure out whatever that new tool is to fit your audience, there are many ways you can increase connection with your audience whether it's in person or online, that's what people want - they want to be engaged with the brands and with the people they follow online."