Action Step 2
Reconsider what your business now needs to be.
By reflecting on what “was” helps position retailers to now understand what “is”. From customer support to inventory management to packaging best practices and more, there are seemingly countless details for retailers to evaluate. To help move forward in your own efforts of reconsidering what retail looks like for your unique business, consider what lessons were gained and continue to be gained as a result of COVID-19. Among them include the need for being available to customers despite roadblocks along the way.
BigCommerce, a technology solution for retailers to reach consumers online, believes that people have approached this period of isolation and uncertainty with their shopping behaviors.
“Humans respond to crises in different ways. When faced with an uncertain, risky situation overwhich we have no control, we tend to try whatever we can to feel like we have some control,”Susan Meyers explains on behalf of BigCommerce.
Keeping this in mind, among the avenues in which customers have control is shopping online –which is available to consumers at their leisure 24|7 no matter what challenges, chaos or crises such as COVID-19 may be taking place in the world. Yet being online alone will not connect retailers to customers. Having an online strategy in place that meets your customer expectations,however, will help you accomplish retail success despite the challenges, chaos or crises going on in the world.
To help bring online recognition and customers to your store, ask yourself the following three questions.
- Are you actively managing your online review profiles? With a reported 57% of consumers saying they gain confidence in digitally native brands because of their online customer reviews and online brands also benefiting from reviews, making sure you have updated review site information is a must. Yelp, Facebook Reviews and Google Reviews are among the top review site destinations, but a quick Google search can help you identify anywhere reviews of your store might be available. Make sure you provide consistent store information – including contact details and store hours – on each site and update them as needed if these details change, such as they did during COVID-19
- Do you have a branded website? Incorporating a website that welcomes e-commeresales – whether through a custom made e-commerce site or through platforms that include BigCommerce, Shopify and Woo Commerce – can extend your brand visibility and sales. Plus, having an online store – even if you have a brick and mortar business –helps you move inventory faster and when put in times of crisis, such as COVID-19,allows you to keep inventory moving despite roadblocks to your physical environment.
- Are you active on social media? Leverage social media destinations to engage with existing customers and potential customers.From entertainment to news to communication to shopping, social media provides retailers countless reasons to actively be using it. Plus, it provides data that can help retailers be more precise and profitable in their future marketing efforts.
Retail requires more than just making transactions. It demands processes that help merchants make data-driven decisions that translate to stronger customer experiences. As commerce continues to re-open, evolve and adjust as a result of COVID-19, these processes will prove more important than ever before. Having data-driven intelligence that leads decision makers to make necessary changes to their business operations – including inventory, staffing, marketing and more – will be a core aspect in the future success of retail businesses.
–Peter Dougherty, Senior Director of Global Partnerships for Lightspeed
Reconsider your competition, customers, inventory, physical footprint, digital footprint and marketing efforts. By leveraging the data revealed during the review process of your business,you can then reveal what opportunities you have moving forward in each of this important avenues for your business.