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In the midst of the coronavirus-induced turbulence that rocked the global economy in 2020, businesses large and small are at a tipping point.
Before the pandemic, many companies not only realized the long-term need to streamline operations and improve their digital skills, but began to adapt their operations to cope with the larger shift toward e-commerce, the greater reliance on online touchpoints and adapt the internal digital transformation. But even companies that were ahead of the curve were thrown into a loop when the Covid outbreak forced them to go almost entirely online within weeks.
Related: Preparing E-Commerce for the "New" Holidays
A few months later, it is clear that this postponement was more than a workaround in dealing with the pandemic. There will be no return to normal before companies start planning an increasingly digital future again. The future is now. Look no further than consumers' vacation shopping plans: According to a recent consumer survey, 70 percent of shoppers plan to do most of their Christmas gift purchases online this year. How can your business not just survive this new normal but actually thrive this holiday season? Here are four essential tactics for navigating in the coming weeks.
1. Get the entire company on the same page
Regardless of the size of your business, effective internal communication, collaboration, and workflows are critical – especially in fast-paced, high-pressure times like these.
A high-quality workflow platform such as monday.com or Asana can promote the much-needed feeling for order and choreography even in the most hectic times and offers a central system for tracking various projects. Create clear communication channels and delegate core tasks and initiatives – from marketing to inventory – so that every important aspect of your vacation planning has a responsible “owner” who takes it through to execution.
Simply put, the only way to ensure that your customer-facing operations are running smoothly is to first make sure that your internal operations are up to date.
2. Make digital analytics your friend
In order for every company to really understand its strengths and weaknesses, it is crucial to understand every step of the customer journey. Take it from the customers themselves: 83 percent say having a responsive online shopping experience is a major factor influencing brand loyalty.
Some tools offer brands a 360-degree view of the customer experience both on the web and on mobile devices, so that companies can locate problems and weaknesses in real time and react with agility.
Are you running out of resources? Focus your optimization efforts on mobile devices, which are increasingly dominating e-commerce sales. eMarketer expects mobile to reach $ 3.56 trillion in revenue in 2021 – 72.9 percent of all e-commerce sales, compared to $ 970 billion and 52.4 percent of e- Commerce sales in 2016.
As more and more buyers turn to their mobile devices, their patience for mistakes wanes. In fact, 50 percent of consumers say an app crash would damage their relationship with a brand, with 24 percent likely to switch to a competitor and 25 percent say they would think less about the brand's products.
A window into the customer journey forms a solid foundation for your online CX operation and makes it easier to integrate additional functions such as chatbots, alternative payment options and more without having to worry about not being able to manage every aspect.
Related: 4 Tips On How To Bring Your Stationary Store To The Online Realm
3. Attract customers with creative incentives
In the current economic climate, customers are uniquely price sensitive, which makes well implemented ideas for coupons, discounts and promotions all the more important.
Around 42 percent of consumers say that a 10 percent discount increases the likelihood that they will make an additional purchase in an ecommerce session. However, it is not enough to attract buyers with coupons and discounts. It is important to understand when they are most effective. This is only possible when brands invest in a deep understanding of every step of their customers' digital journeys. With extensive end-to-end customer experience insights, you can keep customers from leaving the funnel and know exactly when and how to target a buyer with an offer that's too good to resist.
4. Make it personal
Personalization has become one of the biggest buzzwords in e-commerce for good reason. Customers want to feel welcome, wanted and understood – not like numbers in a company's database.
Even casual buyers can become loyal customers for life with a relevant, engaging e-commerce experience. And since many customers are restricting their stationary purchases this year, it is more important than ever to offer customers the individual attention and service that they expect from their friendly shop staff.
Related Topics: How an Ecommerce Insights Company Uses AI to Understand Customer Sentiment
AI-powered platforms can help brands target the right products to the right customers, delivering an experience that is as effective and rational as possible.
There's no way around it. This is going to be a holiday season like no other. But while the pandemic that changed our lives is finally defeated at some point, digital is here to stay. Now is the time for brands to adapt accordingly.