Ongoing global crises offers the opportunity to prioritize our journey towards the digital paradise. A timely occasion to swiftly test, learn, and optimize digital capabilities and evaluate roadmaps.
As COVID-19 pandemic introduces a New Normal, digitally savvy consumers have gravitated to applications that meet the needs of their temporary indoor lifestyles while altering their behavior permanently. Today, the fastest or safest way for a customer to interact with a brand is via digital channels, and the habit of this convivence is here to stay. However, the nature of growing digital engagement surpasses marketing, encompassing end-to-end customer experience, both pre- and post-post sale, blurring the lines between marketing and servicing the customer.
Currently, 70% of millennials globally are spending more time on their smartphone, climbing above 80% for Gen Z. While video and gaming apps have topped the entertainment options, consumers have embraced e-commerce for an array of needs: at-home delivery of goods and services, food delivery, and online education.
A growth-focused marketer could leverage this opportunity for expanding the overall digital strategy covering – customer service, customer experience, digital touchpoints, feedback, customer acquisition, and eCommerce. In this process, a combination of function and emotion will together drive the new behavior, giving purpose and avenues to adopt digital solutions.
Here are the top recommendations for elevating your Digital Strategy during COVID-19 Pandemic:
1. Deliver Seamless, Consistent Digital Experiences
Customers are multi-tasking between ordering online, watching Tiger King, reading emails, and handling a toddler. Ensure your platforms have an omni-channel strategy that is intuitional and is delivering an engaging experience throughout the purchasing process.
2. Promote Unique Digital Experiences
Create unique experiences and promote specific benefits of features. Let your customers experience the value of using your owned channels. Attach enticing offers like early access to products, secret menus, quick feedback options, socially sharable experiences, and privileges like design-your-own.
3. Build New Digital Habits
Customers are acquainting themselves with the convenience, control, and transparency of the new ways of receiving services. Incentivize customer for continuing this new behavior by learning their preferences. Some initial spurs could be direct (hassle free) communication with the brand, stepwise order tracking, convenient delivery alternatives, one-tap order placing, customized subscriptions models, flexible payment options, and occasional exceptions made for better customer service.
4. Learn about the New Consumer Behavior
The in-person buying behavior doesn’t directly duplicate during digital interactions, in fact, 49% of buyers have made additional impulse purchases after receiving a great digital experience. Identify underlying buying patterns and design additional experiences around it. If customers are over buying then offer additional resources like leftover recipes or effectively reheat, popular combinations, how to ‘at-home’ the missing experiences. Ease the decision-making process at all stages and cross-sell efficiently.
5. Acquire new Customers via Digital Offerings
Leverage a competitive edge as a leader in the digital journey. Unique digital offers can lure new customers and increase your market share. Driving new audiences from aggregator platforms to your owned platforms by offering freebies, loyalty points, securing offers for future, and digital wallets. Leading to engagement that is building relationships with new customers for long-term retention and future business.
6. Establish Infrastructure for furthering Digital Capabilities
Results demonstrating the direct impact of digital improvements on sales and the volume of transactions are critical. Current situations ensure an incremental growth of channel-sales, providing data and evidence for the growth potential of digital channels. Strive to get buy-in from leadership for investing time and effort in essential technology, tools, and talent required for a continued evolution of digital platforms.
7. Learn from Other Industries
Various industries are in different stages of digitalization; study industries where the bar is set higher and identify the potential for growth. Ecommerce and travel industries are a great example of how to automate content, leverage machine learning for delivering personal experiences, balancing owned plus shared platforms, and dynamic content change.
Now is the time to lay the groundwork for where you want to be as an organization and establish cross-functional KPIs across departments. This nature of collaboration will help customers recognize the value of digital channels at every step of their customer journey with your brand. The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst in our journey towards digitalization, enabling us to have a relationship beyond point-of-sales with our valued customer. We are in the future, let’s embrace it.