Just because you’ve always done things a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s best to continue doing so. The pandemic has forced everyone to go digital in a massive way and as a result, we’ve seen a huge shift in how people are spending their money.
Consumers want to see reassuring messages from their favourite brands and are looking at how the retailers they shop with are taking precautions to keep them safe.
So, how can your business reach and continue to support your customers in the first place? Check out these digital trends which have exploded in popularity over the past year.
According to McKinsey, more than three-quarters of consumers prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions which means it’s time to review how your business can connect with customers digitally.
Due to COVID-19 and a continuing rise in retail technology, e-commerce has become shoppers preferred choice as it’s often more efficient, less expensive and safer for customers than visiting physical outlets. According to Mckinsey, fitness companies are deploying this strategy through extended free trials for their online and app-based classes, where app downloads and new sign ups have grown more than 80% in recent months.
Offer services that make life easier for your customers, such as online pick up, flexible payments and free shipping., It’s likely that many customers who have converted to e-commerce services will stick to them after the health crisis is over.
Live chat has become a popular customer service option for interacting with customers and closing sales. This type of support makes it easier for customers to get information immediately, encouraging them to place orders and arrange services while enjoying the speed and convenience of the digital experience.
Research by Super Office shows that live chat is expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next year and a half and we can see why with COVID-19. There has been an influx of incoming inquiries and calls which has heightened the need for live chat as people need additional information and support to navigate new challenges.
Customer support is a major driver of satisfaction and can have a lingering effect on your customers sense of trust and loyalty. Super Office’s statistics also show that live chat leads to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in conversion rates, so it pays to come across warm, sensitive and helpful!
As you reconsider how consumers will be searching for business information during and after the pandemic, going hyperlocal will be integral to your marketing success if you’re a small business.
Creating localised and personalised content is more important than ever with people spending more time at home, whether that’s due to restrictions or because they’re working. Either way, this will see consumer spending trends potentially shift from major shopping centres into the neighbourhoods where people actually live.
We love this example of Seattle based brewery, Optimism Brewing Company, who started noticing customers coming to their brewery earlier than normal as they were working from home. They responded by giving patrons the option to reserve a desk and enjoy a free beer, allowing people who were working from home to get a change of scenery while providing the brewery with a steady stream of customers!
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Phygital, considered the next evolution of omni-channel, combines the best of our online and offline worlds through a hybrid of physical and digital experiences. You might have experienced this by click and collecting your groceries, ordering Uber Eats or using contactless payments with your mobile in-store.
New technology solutions have reduced physical human interactions and the number of touchpoints while allowing businesses to reduce uncertainty and better manage operations with the constant changes of COVID-19. Ultimately, this takes the best of each physical and digital elements to enhance the customer experience.
While there are still a lot of “what ifs” in this current environment, it’s important to strategically consider which services you can offer that will deliver your business goals. If this is something you need help with, reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free digital strategy health check.