Transitioning from a physical to a full digital shopping experience in B2C: How to create outstanding customer experiences post Covid-19
The pandemic crisis, with its lockdowns, social distancing and customers reluctant to go back to stores, has accelerated the shift towards an all-digital shopping experience, from product searching and browsing to post-purchase services. So, how do you create outstanding customer experiences? How do you attract and retain customers, and build brand loyalty moving forward?
The way ahead
With the digital uptake accelerating, customer engagement and exceptional customer experiences have never been so important. But, these two top priorities demand cross-function collaboration and alignment. Plus, a comprehensive understanding of the customer and a business model fit to navigate the challenges ahead. Technology is not enough. Digital transformation is happening at an unprecedented pace and organisations must adapt quickly.
Where do you stand on your journey to digitalisation?
Meeting the needs and expectations of highly demanding and sophisticated customers, ready to switch to a competitor if the experience is not up to their standard, is a key challenge. Segmentation and targeting, customer profiling, understanding buying behaviours and preferences are imperative.
Customer journey mapping
The new end-to-end customer journey has to be defined from the customer’s perspective and not the organisation’s point of view. Mapping how the customer journey is evolving to keep delivering seamless experiences necessitates a 360-degree overview of the customer. To better understand complex customer journeys, businesses must aggregate and analyse data from multiple sources to get valuable insight.
The months following the outbreak have shown that brands have adopted e-commerce solutions at different speeds and with mixed results. There have been winners, brands new to e-commerce and others that have lagged behind. With no e-commerce strategy, adequate resources or the right infrastructure, brands will struggle to survive the current competitive market.
All-digital customer experience is synonymous for customer engagement through omnichannel experiences. Being in control of which channels consumers are using at each stage of the online buying process is a requirement for delivering tailored solutions and keeping interactions high. You must create outstanding customer experiences on all channels too.
Effective customer communications require strategy development and execution, with KPIs to measure impact. On-brand messaging, a compelling and consistent narrative across channels, a benefit-based writing style and a customer-centric tone keeps consumers engaged.
Customers expect their digital shopping experience to replicate the physical experience as much as possible. So, product-related information and descriptions, pictures or videos, as well as content at each stage of the online buying journey must be accurate, dynamic, relevant and personalised.
The “Low-Touch Economy” – a model in which sales and the attached services are independent of face-to-face interactions between customers and sellers – is pushing towards “digital-first”. From pre-sales to post-sales, new digital capabilities are to be built through the integration of technology and user experience to streamline internal processes and offer cutting-edge, automated but personalised customer experiences.
A customer-centric and innovation-driven culture of testing, learning and acting quickly; clear vision and strategy; efficient data management; people with the right mindset and skills as well as adequate resources are the foundations for a successful digital transformation.
A successful journey to digitalisation is built on the effective orchestration of functions and departments, but also on the orchestration of data and systems to get meaningful insights. Insights that inform activities and ultimately results that are measured in terms of business value elements; such as conversion rates, brand loyalty/advocacy, sales, efficiency and effectiveness.
From the same author, Gianluca: “Communicating for a better employee, customer and partner experience during the Covid-19 crisis”
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