This holiday season will fall during a second wave of COVID-19 for much of the world and retailers will have to continue to endure the challenges this global pandemic has brought. Some stores are closing due to government restrictions and others will be mandated to reduce hours or capacity limits, steering consumers more and more to online channels for their holiday shopping.
There has been a shift toward eCommerce that no business could have predicted. Retailers worldwide have been forced to review their current strategies and shift their focus to eCommerce. Most brick and mortar businesses have now made the shift to click and mortar, or simply click-only. The shift to click has at the same time leveled the playing field allowing retailers of all sizes to reach a broader consumer base.
The move to an online-only consumer experience has heavily impacted all retailers who have previously been reliant on relationship selling, enhanced in-store experiences, and consumers touching, feeling, and in some cases, test-driving the products ultimately equating to consumer loyalty and revenue through a brand experience at a deeper level.
Retailers who have been previously reliant on in-store shopping with minimal to no emphasis on their online channels or eCommerce logistics will need to be ready to respond to consumer demand with an omni-channel experience in order to compete. Other retailers need to address customer service and delivery issues as almost a third of online shoppers have experienced shopping issues since the pandemic began.
In addressing this challenge, these retailers must now find a way to deliver that in-store shopping experience online or risk losing valuable sales to competitors. Keep in mind, your competitors may have already learned that the right strategy in combination with remaining agile is integral to consumer delivery, demand, and satisfaction.
There are several tactics employed by successful retailers that have allowed them to hit peaks in online sales, ultimately soaring above their competition. In developing these tactics, these retailers have made many considerations before swiftly adjusting their strategy to capitalize on the digital demand and enhance the digital customer journey.
Here are the top 4 challenges you need to consider when building your strategy:
- How do you promote brand loyalty and customer retention in a world-wide-web of choice?
Consumer loyalty can be capricious when “77% of brands could disappear, and no one would care” according to a study conducted by Vivendi. Consumers have a choice and since the playing field has been levelled, retailers need to step up their game by crafting a personalized experience. At the same time, consumer demand must be met with the products and services promised for delivery to avoid frustration and secure loyalty.
- How do you solve the “just browsing” in-store mentality to secure the sale?
The increase in online shopping doesn’t mean the physical store is dead. On the flip side, there has been an increase in “browsing” where shoppers are looking for interaction with the product. The browsing mentality becomes a challenge in securing the sale to avoid having your potential customers buy online from a competitor. Retailers are responding to this challenge by adopting an omnichannel strategy where there is a seamless experience between their physical and digital channels. One option for your physical store is to transform your space to a showroom.
- How do you solve the “Amazon Challenge” to meet the increasing customer expectation for delivery?
We all love Amazon Prime and their guarantee of next day delivery that the world has gotten accustomed to and now expects from all their favourite brands. Next day delivery is not very realistic for many retailers since not everyone has the infrastructure that Amazon has built – or can afford to build. One way out of this bind is to create additional value. The value-add can be built through loyalty programs, free additional content that aligns with the brand, enhanced customer service, or customizing/personalizing your products based on your consumer data. It is also important to conduct a review of your supply chain to help you meet the delivery demands.
- How does my company stand out from the crowd and online noise?
The truth? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. There needs to be a deep level of understanding of who your customers are, what they want, and the value your business can provide them. The answers will guide you to the right platforms, social channels, and content that you need to participate in or develop to build the right strategy for your business. Perhaps your customers would benefit from building a community of like-minded individuals? Maybe you should be using influencers to amplify your brand?
Ask yourself, are you a part of the conversation, leading the conversation, or currently just an active listener?
We now live in a world where the “new normal” is an overused term but a valid one as the world is constantly evolving. Retailers have felt the impact of this over the last year and cannot afford to continue with the strategies and tactics of last week or even yesterday.
To see how you can create a roadmap for success and become more agile, a critical review of your processes and procedures would be the first step. Connect with us today for a consultation to find ways to plan your eCommerce logistics and stay ahead in the shift to click journey.