The coronavirus pandemic is throwing up unprecedented challenges for the global retail industry. As many nations execute pressing measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, a huge number of organizations providing unnecessary products are either observing footfall plunge or are shutting down their stores to ensure clients and laborers.
However, while the quick spotlight is on asking individuals to remain at home, caring for, and confining the wiped out and guaranteeing flexibly lines of basic products are kept up, retailers of numerous types keep on having more extensive and longer-term concerns. Keeping businesses afloat despite the disruption to trade will be important in the medium term to protect jobs, maintain livelihoods, and stave off the threat of serious economic collapse.
In the digital age, the enforced temporary closure of stores does not mean that commerce has to grind to a halt. Through digital commerce and home deliveries, with appropriate measures being taken, consumer demand can still be met and retail operations can remain in business, protecting jobs. The inquiry is, what is the most ideal path in these troublesome occasions to connect with clients and let them realize you are still there for them?
Here are many ways to stay close to your customer base in the weeks and months ahead.
UPDATES ON YOUR WEBSITE
COVID-19 is front and center of everyone’s minds at the moment. At the point when clients visit your web store, they will look for data about what you are doing in light of the emergency, regardless of whether you are as yet exchanging, how you’re requesting and conveyance administrations have been influenced, etc. Help your customers out by providing clear, concise, up-to-date information letting them know how they can still shop with you, should they wish to. FAQs make for an ideal format for people looking for specific information, quickly, and are also convenient and straightforward to keep up to date.
In addition, consider opening this up to more general tips and advice – tips for shopping online for people who are more used to going into a store, advice on staying safe if they have to head out, the latest on self-isolating, and social distancing. Ensure the data you give is kept current dependent on the most recent suggestions from the specialists.
There is little doubt that social media is where an overwhelming majority of people are turning for information, communication, and social interaction as the crisis progresses. To keep in touch, where you should be part of the conversation, to keep your customers up to date and changes in your services, to offer advice and information they might find very useful, and to flag up that you are still open for business.
In the event that your business presently can’t seem to take part in any significant manner with online life, right now is an ideal opportunity. Think about whether you can deploy some of your employees (who might otherwise face losing their jobs) to focus here.
While these advancements may not be totally proper in associating with shopper clients as a once a huge mob, in B2B they are as of now demonstrating significant in interfacing littler gatherings and groups by sound and (discretionary) video.
Many of the solutions such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams only require the host to have application – So participants simply join via the option of a web link or app they can download. And Skype is simple enough to use, with participants and the host requiring the app to be downloaded to their respective devices (Smartphone, Laptop, Tablet). There are a great number of other solutions available, including Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, Jabber, and join.me, to name a few.
On the off chance that you have not yet trialed utilizing a texting or ‘live visit’ stage on your site, presently may demonstrate an excellent chance to do as such. While maintaining an up-to-date COVID-19 information section on your site will satisfy those looking for quick, convenient answers to their questions, there will be plenty of people seeking the reassurance of direct contact with a real person – especially if they are stuck at home. With stores shut, you could divert staff assets to offering support through an IM stage, and bend over by having them at the same time drawing in with client inquiries via web-based networking media, as well.
Given that an increasing number of high-profile companies are announcing store closures, many people will naturally assume that they are completely closed for business for the duration of the pandemic. A straightforward method to alarm the center of your generally ordinary and steadfast clients that you are still there for them is to take a gander at your CRM database for those that have picked in to accepting versatile messages and send them a book.
In the not so distant past, ‘telesales’ was the main choice for retail organizations hoping to offer a remote assistance option in contrast to their stores. For the reasons outlined under instant messaging, now might be the time for many retailers to rediscover (or experience for the first time) the value of the good old telephone. That direct human touch could be vital for maintaining engagement through long weeks of lockdown. Fortunately, with the present versatile and cloud innovation, it has never been simpler to set up virtual call habitats which can be staffed by your representative’s telecommuting utilizing their own telephones and PCs.
While we have emphasized above why offering customers person-to-person interaction and service while they are stuck in their homes will be important in the weeks and possibly months ahead, there is an equally good argument for automating some of your IM and even telephone services with AI-powered chatbots.
As clarified under the method of reasoning for giving a FAQs-style update segment on your site all through the emergency, a portion of your clients are probably going to be searching for brisk, helpful access to data about your online administrations during the emergency, yet would like to search for it by posing a particular inquiry. Particularly on the off chance that you begin to encounter spikes in online rush hour gridlock (and calls), AI innovation can help take a portion of the weight by giving fast reactions to routine inquiries, liberating your kin to concentrate on progressively complex questions.
The enforced focus on digital-only commerce can be embraced as an ideal opportunity for many retail businesses to experiment with new technology and channels. Think of it as a chance to get ahead of the curve – because once consumers start to discover new ways to purchase online out of necessity, they sure won’t give up on them when the current situation eases.
One of the large contenders for organizations to dunk into over the coming weeks is voice business – that is, the utilization of ‘shrewd colleagues’ resembles Google Home and Amazon Echo/Alexa to make buys. Somehow or another, voice trade speaks to a huge takeoff from past computerized channels, prominently in the way that it doesn’t utilize any sort of program or screen-based application. That requires a reexamine in how your item postings are set up, how you advance for discourse instead of text search, how you structure the buying venture, etc.
But in other ways, retailers should be looking at voice commerce as no different to when they first had to optimize their e-commerce sites for mobile browsers as well as desktop or build their first apps – this is a technology that is rapidly emerging into mainstream consumer use and which presents a new type of UI businesses will simply have to get to grips with. With in-store activities suspended, there’s no better an ideal opportunity to look to new regions like this.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Wunderman Thompson Commerce is committed to making our far-reaching expertise in digital technology and strategy available to clients to help them rapidly pivot their businesses to meet the challenges ahead. For further advice and guidance, please contact us here.