In the aftermath of COVID-19, retailers in Ireland and across the world are scrambling to adapt their strategies and navigate unchartered territory of selling better online. Some of these shifts will be here to stay even after recovery efforts from Governments set in. Let us explore some of the changes and trends in business and retail as a result of such an ‘online’ pandemic.
It has become easier for businesses to stay ahead of the competition with digital marketing as an effective tool. While digital marketing goes through drastic changes daily, there are some trends that have been constant for decades such as social media usage and search engine optimization to name a few. The digital shift in eCommerce has been happening for a while now, but it’s still not fully realized. Brands need to adapt and change their marketing strategies to suit the new digital marketing trends. Digital marketing is constantly changing and adapting to new technologies. The digital shift in eCommerce has been happening for the last few years and it’s only going to continue to rapidly evolve.
5 Quick Tips For Creating The New Retail Digital Experience
1. Embrace the digital revolution and make a plan of action.
2. Be different from your competitors by creating a unique online presence.
3. Be consistent with your brand voice and tone of voice when communicating your brand.
4. Make sure that you have a clear call-to-action at the end of every page and product description in order to convert interest into business.
5. Create an interactive experience through touchpoints like chatbots, live chat, social media, and email marketing campaigns whenever possible (don’t make it too intrusive).
Bonus: Let customers know what to expect on each page by providing a clear navigation path – layout, colour scheme, imagery quality, etc. Use predictive analytics to make sure that you are making the right choices in terms of pricing and inventory levels Use data to understand how customers actually engage with your site.
Digital Transformation For Businesses Is Happening!
For the last few years, the term “digital transformation” has been the focus of many businesses. Throughout this digital transformation, businesses have focused on how to move from analog to digital and with all consumer touchpoints having a digital fingerprint online and offline. From creating a better in-store checkout experience to a website designed with the consumer experience in mind. Businesses quickly realized that this task wasn’t so simple.
One particular category which has faced tremendous hardship is retail. With storefronts closing across the globe, retail brands have had to quickly pivot in order to survive the new marketplace. In this quest, many retail brands faced a difficult question when approaching the challenge brought forward by the crisis: Is our organizational infrastructure ready to handle new consumer consumption habits? Are companies willing to invest in a cohesive plan to explore online retailing?
Online sales are still just a fraction of their in-store counterparts. However, there has been steady annual growth and in fact, it outpaces the gains made by store-based sales as well. When the global pandemic hit, businesses were forced to refocus their sales strategy, knowing that they had to somehow convert 84 percent of in-store sales to online sales. Some brands were able to decide how to adjust with the times as they were needed, but others struggled to pivot.
There’s no doubt that this global pandemic has altered the retail ecosystem’s ratio of offline-to-online sales and will continue to do so even after traditional brick-and-mortar stores reopen. Brands that are able to build digital experiences and an online community will surely win consumers’ share of spend in the retail space today and tomorrow. Covid has had such a significant impact on changing business culture, such that most CEOs couldn’t have anticipated. It’s clear that the spike in e-commerce is likely here to stay, even post-pandemic.
How Should Retailers Adapt And Plan For This New Digital Environment?
Align around the value that you can create as a business. Establish a customer-centric, value-driven process to create a new digital environment. Everyone needs to be aligned around common, strategic goals within your business. If this can be implemented online for your customers, then it is worth exploring and implementing.
Get the team involved with the transition to online. Bring people within your organization into the digital transformation process as early as possible. Talk to your employees about the company and its goals in a way that is attractive. Once everyone has a strategic view of the business objective, decision-making can spread throughout the organization. Ask them what ideas they have for how to accomplish these goals and get their feedback. With some extra context and visibility into their concerns, Staff is more likely to be receptive, engaged, and bring even better ideas than before. Giving your teams power ensures that they can do meaningful work, make decisions, and solve problems all along the way.
Take a person-by-person, team-by-team, program-by-program approach. In the real world, digital transformation of your customer experience isn’t something you create and roll out in one grand gesture. Create an environment of trust. Lack of trust between individuals, teams, and levels within the organization is one of the biggest challenges to overcome in a digital transformation.
Be a catalyst for communication and collaboration. During your digital transformation journey, you’ll run numerous workshops, present in an untold number of meetings, and meet people in your organization you never knew existed. . Bring them together with other motivated teams and individuals, and give them the means to form relationships.
What Does This All Mean To My Business?
The post-pandemic future of eCommerce will be a time when retailers and even marketers have to adjust to new business models and technologies. There are many factors influencing the post-pandemic future, such as the rise of Amazon, the mass adoption of social media channels, the use of new technologies in marketing, and many more trending topics.
With these changes in mind, it is important for retailers and marketers to adapt their strategies accordingly. If you would like to talk to a small business marketing strategist, give our team at VIMAR a call.
No matter what your organization is selling, a proper digital experience will no doubt be the key to success in the coming years. This article is part of our eCommerce series as we aim to give business owners some expert tips and advice.