There’s no other way to say it – retail is a mixed bag right now, but overall, we are seeing an increase in online activity as physical stores begin to shut their doors. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that you examine your online offering to acknowledge the world around you and shape the experience to focus on the customer. With no foreseeable end in sight, it’s likely that this will shape future behaviour of shoppers and the ways that they interact with your brand moving forward. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks from our team on how you can enrich the experience and show customers that they come first.
Make your brand positioning clear and show empathy
Make sure you communicate with your customers, on-site to let them know that you are taking the situation seriously and thinking about what you can do to help them as a customer. This can include messaging around warehouse and picking hygiene, guaranteeing delivery of stock with no substitutions where possible and having an isolation tick box on the delivery page so that the driver knows to take special precautions. We would also suggest offering free delivery during this testing time for those who mark that they are in isolation, to go the extra mile. It’s also important to consider returns – if you operate stores, but they are closed, should you consider extending your returns policy?
Morale is low – give them a boost!
Now is the perfect time to show customers that you care and want to go the extra mile by offering a gift with purchase or special treat. A lot of customers will be shopping now to boost their mood as well as buy necessities, so showing that you are thinking of them and relating in the same way is a big plus. There should also be an emphasis on site to send gifts to others to brighten up their day, so features such as gift finders should be leveraged where available.
Above all, make sure that your site is reliable, accessible and stable
Customers are experiencing so much frustration with online experiences because they aren’t receiving reliable service. Having a website that is slow, unintuitive to use or doesn’t guarantee their security will increase the likelihood that they move on to a competitor who can. We have seen clients like Annoushka shift to use tools such as online clientelling where they can have a video chat with an in-store consultant to show pieces and talk through options. Small details like this make the online experience smoother and remove friction. It’s equally as important to ensure that the hygiene factors are taken care of such as security, site speed, regulatory compliance and trade monitoring, because these form the base that allow your team to focus on innovation.
Our team is dedicated to helping clients thrive in these uncertain times and have jumped into action to create immediately implementable roadmaps with quick wins to enrich the online experience and drive loyalty.