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The rapid, massive acceleration to more online shopping has exposed cracks that already exist, such as how to quickly scale up and keep consumers engaged, along with new obstacles, such as how to care for socially distanced customers.
FREMONT, CA: The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the retail sector has varied widely. Although demand for some items, such as apparel and luxury brands, has fallen significantly, retailers elsewhere have been able to tap into stable revenue streams. However, the big obstacle for many was the burden imposed on e-commerce functions and the expansion of their supply chains.
Staying Connected when Customers aren’t Shopping
There are notable examples of customer engagement that could be sustained during the initial crisis of the Covid-19. For instance, while restaurants were closed, a large fast-service restaurant player used its digital platform to allow customers to play games online and win prizes while educating them on the safe options to get their favorite food and drinks. Now that restaurants are reopening, the same platform and strategy play a key role in bringing customers back through the doors.
Creating Cases for Investment
The path to this digital future begins with building up and cultivating the digital customer base. By segmenting this consumer base, a detailed image of who your customers are, what they want, what they need, what they need, and what they expect from you as a brand can emerge.
These perspectives provide retailers with options, and through working through various business case scenarios, it will become clear where to invest. The next step is to ensure that insight are leveraged, match digital and traditional in-store experience to build a seamless customer journey through all touchpoints such as mobile apps, email, social media, physical stores, and a consistent customer experience and voice tone.
The rapid, massive acceleration to more online shopping has exposed cracks that already exist, such as how to quickly scale up and keep consumers engaged, along with new obstacles, such as how to care for socially distanced customers. While access to technology is ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive, it is what retailers choose to do with it that matters. Today’s consumer has more options than ever before, and when Covid-19 made physical shopping difficult, retailers were met with the question of how to keep consumers satisfied and linked to their brand.