With the outbreak of COVID-19 a few months ago, our daily life has become quite restricted. During this phase, digital commerce has become a vital lifeline for consumers to access services and goods. It's now among the priorities for enterprises to adapt to these business models. In these testing times, creating a win-win situation for e-commerce business and its customers involves assessing the service strengths and limitations, then positively applying those insights to where they are most needed.
As per the survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), here are some fundamental consumer behavioral changes that have been seen in the past few months,
- 9 out of 10 consumers have changed their conventional shopping habits due to COVID-19
- More than 50% of the consumers have ordered products online that they used to purchase at the store usually
- Around 6 out of 10 consumers say they are afraid of going to the store due to the fear of being infected
What does it mean for businesses that are planning to go online?
Businesses need to be responsive in adapting to the changing circumstances – accepting the new normal is essential. You can't afford to miss any chance right now. In such a situation, you can redesign your business strategy by following some useful tips.
Do a Thorough Analysis
Creating a useful, progressive business strategy begins with a deeper understanding of your customers' needs. When possible, reach out to your key customers, read the feedback, and engage with your team members who are regular customer contact to understand their situations. Also, it's important to be aware of your industry's existing state, as some issues can affect your workflows and customer experience. This information can help you assign workflow resources effectively and reduce waste.
While you analyze the scenarios, ask yourself what difference can you make for your customers and industry members now as compared to a few months earlier. Emphasize on what might be your customers' new expectations and how you will fulfill those. Plan the whole process from goods manufacturing to delivery – for both your organization and contenders. It will help you identify areas where their needs may not be fulfilled in the new environment.
In this uncertain time, customer engagement is more critical than ever. Use your communication channels, such as email lists and digital commerce site, to create strong relationships with customers. Thoroughly prepared marketing resources can nurture these connections, keeping your business a priority for the communities you serve.
If you don't have a social media presence, it's a great time to invest in this space. With several people managing their work and personal lives digitally, social presence has become an essential channel for businesses and customers to find one another. If you have a well-established social presence, explore which activities are doing best in this environment to help you move faster.
Know the Trends
Consumers are switching to online channels for their daily routines and essential needs. So, the web traffic is rising in unexpected places across the digital commerce environment. You need to monitor your website metrics and sales trends, especially from new or unexpected audiences. If you observe a noticeable increase in an area, focus on the campaigns accordingly to engage a broader audience.
Be Available and Clear
Disruptions to daily life may result in the modification of your existing operations to successfully serve your customer base. You can add live chat features to your website so that your buyers have an easy point of contact for quick inquires. If a customer is looking for premium service, offer a range of accelerated shipping options, even door-to-door delivery, if it's viable for your business. Besides, consider turning your physical inventory location into shipping warehouses for online orders.
In addition, be clear about your policies for shipping, delivery, and returns. It's a vital piece of the sales journey for consumers. Ensure that the details are regularly updated and easy to find to help customers manage their order expectations, make proper plans, and order with trust.
In the time of the pandemic, digital commerce has become one of the safest and preferred ways to fulfill the needs of the customers. With the proper strategies, you can successfully shift your traditional services to a digital platform. Hopefully, the above points will help you gain insights into what the new normal might look like and what to expect.
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