The pandemic hit many businesses hard and more might still fail because of the crisis it triggered. It’s essential to understand that it has also changed consumer behavior and it’s imperative for businesses to adapt to this new “normal”. Migrating your business online might be the most effective route that will allow you to not only reduce costs but also increase your target audience and therefore sales. The preference for online shopping, which has risen extremely fast due to lockdowns, is here to stay. That’s for sure.
If you aren’t there yet or are just transitioning into an online-first company, the following tips from experts might help.
Move Fast or It Will Be Too Late
Jennifer Samuel, Director of Global Communications in KMPG International refers to a global survey conducted by KMPG. According to it, Consumer behavior will keep changing rapidly even after the vaccine becomes widely available. Therefore, businesses that don’t adapt to these new realities might fail. There will be no going back to how it was before, at least not for a while.
The most important change is the uncertainty consumers have in their financial security. Already spending has decreased and people will continue to prioritize savings before spending. Meanwhile, the demand for “value for money” has increased. Therefore, any brand migrating online must prioritize delivering the best customer experience.
Online-based businesses with more experience will have established that already and will need less work to improve. However, a business that’s only starting online has a chance to build the optimal customer-oriented framework right from the start.
This means using data and specialized solutions to deliver the highest level of personalization. It must be your main goal when developing your marketing strategy.
You also need to focus on building trust with your customers right away. The goal is not to attract as many people as possible fast but to make sure that people come to trust your brand. Value every relationship and prioritize retention compared to new customer acquisition.
Moving Online Doesn’t Mean You Are No Longer Part of the Community
Transitioning to doing business online has challenges, but it’s essential to remember that your strength lies in the local community. Brands that already have a local following must capitalize on that.
This means getting listed as a local business not only on Google My Business but also directories like Angie’s List, etc. You also need to make sure your current customers know that you are now moving online. Social media will be a great help in this as they allow you to connect with your customers directly.
Remember that you are a part of your community and keep your brand visible through digital events as well. Establishing a loyalty program for your “old” customers will also be a good plan.
Be Aware of the Consumers’ Changing Priorities
Malesh H Puttaiah, Senior Economist of Swiss Re Institute offers a different insight that business owners transitioning online might find useful. In the report from Swiss Re Institute, experts highlight how this pandemic has impacted consumer perceptions and priorities.
In particular, the increased focus on health consciousness might matter for a business changing its model to online. Remember that consumers today want to get value for money. They also consider health and safety precautions to be a big part of that value. Therefore, your business might consider how to include this aspect into your adjusted marketing as well as production and delivery models.
Show customers that your brand can be trusted because you are concerned about their wellbeing. This can be an effective addition to your marketing strategy that will help you grow traffic faster.