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The world is changing faster than ever before and businesses must adapt if they are to thrive in the ‘new normal’.
Habits are changing, with consumers carefully re-considering how and where they buy. Public distancing measures and changing restrictions are pushing consumers even more toward purchasing online, and some even for the first time. They are also reconsidering what is truly essential compared to what is discretionary, and are looking at brand signals to classify where purchases sit within their new set of needs and wants. Amidst these shifts, the value of eCommerce has accelerated, and the businesses that prioritise strong capabilities that are fit for purpose through their digital channels, will win in the long term.
For retailers looking to improve their eCommerce approach, here are a few ways to get fit faster:
1. Really understand your consumers’ needs and wants
Businesses will need to be closer to their customers than ever before – and retailers will need to even better understand shifts in consumer behavior, and personalise their brand messaging accordingly. Examples of ways to increase your understanding of consumer behaviour include customer sentiment analysis, brand tracking studies and driver analysis research. Deloitte’s Global State of Consumer Tracker is also an example of how to measure shifting consumer sentiment and purchase intent. In a similar way, businesses need to understand how their brands are being perceived to ensure their messages resonate with consumers. Social listening, search market analyses, reports and trend forecasts are critical tools to understand consumer sentiment.
2. Show a strong brand proposition with your content
Consumer attention spans are short, and the competition online is strong and only one click away. So, when consumers are on your digital channels, your brand proposition needs to be clear. Demonstrate through content how your products are solving their needs and wants. Give them a sense that their ‘search is over’ by having informative and inspiring content that converts. Having your brand proposition clear through content will also ensure you will rank higher on search engines for the right reasons, organically attracting new users to your digital channels.
3. Build an enduring digital marketing approach
In addition to understanding those changing consumer needs and wants, a strong digital marketing approach requires that the entire customer journey be mapped out. Having a clear idea of the ideal digital customer experience enables you to capture data and analyse consumer behaviour. This approach also helps you build a relationship with consumers over time and even create targeted campaigns for specific segments. You can also leverage data analytics to understand what works, what doesn’t, and optimise your efforts to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.
4. Evolve your eCommerce platform in line with your customer expectations
In order to evolve and elevate the customer experience, your eCommerce platform will need to facilitate agile updates and additional features in an iterative way over time. A lack of customisation in your platform may compromise the evolution of your digital channels and, ultimately, the user experience. So, the ability to adapt in response to changing market dynamics, shifting consumer behaviour and even new business models or partnerships are key when choosing a platform or evolving an existing system. Capturing experience data over time through operational web, mobile and even non-invasive survey data throughout the consumer journey will enable you to quickly identify and address experience gaps in your platform.
5. Create trust with transparency through the customer journey
COVID-19 has shown that businesses need to build resilience into their fulfilment and supply chain capabilities to address future disruptions. However, they also need to ensure transparency throughout the supply chain as consumers want real-time information on the status of their purchases. Providing greater clarity on the origin and the delivery of your products allows consumers to buy with confidence. It also creates an opportunity for your brand to build trust if you deliver on what you promise. For retailers who are further along their eCommerce journey, there are capabilities available to automate the tracking of products along the supply chain. There is a great opportunity here, as typically 30% of customer service queries are related to checking order status and changing delivery details.
Having a well-setup eCommerce platform is key to thriving in the new world. Brands need to be agile in their understanding of consumers’ new wants and needs, be clear in their brand promises and deliver on those promises to strengthen the relationship with consumers.
These initiatives will set the foundation for strong growth and leveraging the power of data will be key to ensure that you deliver on your brand promises, regardless of ongoing market changes.
Marcelo is a Principal at the Marketing, Commerce and Digital Experiences practice. He has over 20 years experience in defining, implementing and managing eCommerce and Digital platforms with large geographically distributed teams. He is also highly skilled in Digital Marketing and how to take products and brands into the market, increasing brand recognition and conversion. Software Engineer and Architect at it's core, he is part of the technical leadership and supports the capability with software architecture, code optimization, performance, and platform scalability. Marcelo holds an MBA in Digital Marketing from the Illinois State University, a Bachelor in Computer Science, and over 20 technical certifications, including PMI-ACP and TOGAF.