We know it now: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decade of disruption in the retail industry – and that, in just a few months. For consumers, this crisis has made basic necessities even more important, and the notion of choice has become secondary, especially for those who have lost their jobs. This has led to digital purchasing behaviors but also to expectations that are more sophisticated than ever. And business leaders and retailers should expect these new behaviors to be sustainable.
As an example, it was noticed that in May 2020, more than 80% of American consumers said that the pandemic had changed the way they shop, and more than 50% said they wanted to continue. to take advantage of curbside pickup services, even though the restrictions are now lifted. Remember that the “curbside pickup” is a risk-free way to collect your order in certain restaurants and stores. Thanks to this method, the customer can quietly wait in his vehicle for an employee of the restaurant or store in which he ordered brings him his dish or his purchase. This allows you – even more than Click and Collect – to stay away from other customers or employees during a purchase. In addition,
These figures highlight why it is essential for brands and companies that base their business on selling online to consider the changes that have been taking place in the retail industry for almost a year now.
In this article, we propose four steps that retailers would be well advised to take to provide better shopping experiences for their customers and to sustain their businesses, in an economic climate filled with uncertainties regarding the retail industry. So if you want to benefit from sound advice, read on.
1- Adopt an omnichannel strategy
When the world rocked in a few months in the course of 2020, retailers who already had an omnichannel business strategy were one step ahead of the competition. And as the world of retail evolves and rebuilds itself, developing and implementing an omnichannel approach becomes a priority.
Brands and Spain Phone Number List businesses may face some logistical challenges or some risks when setting up an omnichannel management system, but the long-term benefits are well worth it.
For example, the adoption of contactless payment systems will undoubtedly speed up payment processes, and managing a synchronized inventory allows retailers to ensure that the stock of products and items displayed on their site web is what is actually available in stores. In addition, chatbots that are powered by Artificial Intelligence can provide invaluable help when customer service is not possible, for example due to the closure of the store.
2- Break down the walls between physical sales and e-commerce
Creating a comprehensive customer experience is about implementing an omnichannel sales process flexibly, both in physical and digital environments. By reorganizing their marketing and sales teams, and prioritizing new tactics, retailers can break down the barriers that once separated physical and digital retail operations and operate holistic marketing and sales efforts.
To get started, consider reconfiguring your customer relationship management ( CRM ) systems and processes and point-of-sale systems, consolidating customer data, and rejecting siled media buying habits. Brands and businesses that are able to revamp their overall strategy to ensure a smooth shopping experience across both online and offline channels will necessarily have a leg up on their competition and therefore experience superior growth.
3- Reduce retail friction with mobile integration
In the short term, adopting mobile innovations can help brands solve today’s challenges faced by retail professionals. Advanced orders, contactless payments, and in-store customer orientation are all important parts of the shopping journey that require mobile integration.
At the start of 2021, retailers would do well to make sure they’re mobile-ready, as Google research shows that more than half of consumers now prefer to shop in stores offering contactless payment. And more and more people say they want to use sales practices and options to buy online, like BOPIS (Buy Online Pick up In Store), or the curbside pickup we talked about above. . Thus, merchants must take their responsibility and consider setting up a mobile checkout with a “scan-and-go” system, or use mobile devices to allow their customers to make their purchases online, and that BOPIS and curbside pickup become realities.
4- Double your commitment to development
A relentless evolution of the medium-term strategy and vision of large groups and retail companies is the only way to keep pace with changing consumer and market behavior. Soon, the services we once thought of as assets will become essential. Same day delivery will quickly become an expectation, and click-and-collect will become a more synchronous service to meet consumer demand.
Likewise, so-called “social” commerce offers brands another opportunity to develop their relationship with consumers. Many retailers are already using social media to engage their audiences in depth, but it is possible to unlock additional value by owning the entire customer journey on social channels. This creation of added value along the entire length of the purchasing journey must now be a priority for companies at the forefront of digital marketing.
As a reminder, what is called “social commerce” consists of using websites or networking applications, such as Facebook , Instagram and Twitter as vehicles to promote and sell products and services. The success of a social commerce campaign is measured by the degree to which consumers interact with a company’s marketing through retweets, likes and shares.