Written by Carolyn Scott, Miguel Avalos/September 2020
COVID-19 has severely impacted businesses and the economy. Throughout the crisis many companies responded to accelerated digital adoption and changing consumer needs with short-term solutions. As the shift to digital is here to stay, now is the time to assess what this means for the remainder of this year — and into 2021. Digital tools have been a lifeline during lockdown and they will be a catalyst for the comeback. But what else will be key during this time? We have five predictions for this post-pandemic economic recovery to help you focus your strategic efforts and drive renewed growth for your business.
1. Digital transformation will be key to accelerate economic recovery and business growth
With 2021 bringing no clear endpoint to uncertainty, businesses will need to shift their focus from short-term solutions to long-term digital transformation. Consumer behaviour is already predicted to have permanently shifted more in favour of online shopping, making customer journeys more virtual whilst consumer needs and interests evolve quickly.
Capturing this changing demand requires organisations to fundamentally rethink their business models; structuring for agility, upgrading technical capabilities, and prioritising data-driven decisions. Smarter automation and measurement can be especially useful tools to capture fluctuating demand and gain higher value from your marketing spend. Digitally mature companies can gain an edge in building long-term customer relationships by using first-party data strategies based on the transparent value exchange framework. By structuring teams to be alert and responsive to changing consumer needs, it can be possible to stay competitive in these dynamic times.
The global acceleration of digital adoption has only heightened the need for digital marketing maturity. Businesses that use this moment as a catalyst for digital marketing transformation, will not only be more agile in responding to markets today, but will have a more sustainable framework for the future.
2. Increased e-commerce adoption drives greater need for an evolution of multichannel
With the world turned on its head, it’s easy to overlook the purpose and potential of the in-store experience in driving your recovery. Overcrowded, messy, and disorganised stores are typical pain points for offline shoppers. The pandemic poses the additional challenge of limited store visitors, long queues, and health risks. It has also fueled a rapid digitisation over the past few months, with offline transactions shifting to online.
However, there is more to the story. Shoppers are now navigating between channels more than ever before, combining offline and online interactions within single purchases, with the expectation of a seamless customer journey. This means that the physical shopping experience can and will remain crucial. The offline shopper has fundamental demands, they are driven by immediate need and the hands-on, physical experience.
The retailers of tomorrow will need to reimagine the in-store experience, creating a comfortable and safe environment, transforming physical stores into engaging multichannel showrooms that prioritise what customers value most. Deciding factors include flexible click-and-collect pick-up options as well as a variety of payment methods, such as contactless mobile payments, self checkouts, and paying online.1 The Grow My Store tool can help you assess your retail site based on these factors so you can provide what shoppers value the most.
Read the additional 3 tips here.