7 New Lessons for Online Selling in a Time of Virtual Commerce
Many businesses now find themselves thriving in a time of increased demand, but struggling to adapt to the new virtual marketplace. For those companies (and everyone else), here are 7 quick lessons for adapting to online selling.
Lesson #1: Recognize the importance of customer service.
- For some, business is booming, but customer service hasn’t kept pace. It’s time to right the ship: the virtual marketplace actually calls for more (or at least, more sophisticated) customer care.
- Consumers “are likely to keep the behaviors they’ve adopted amid stay-at-home orders,” the Harvard Business Review notes, urging businesses to focus “their attention to taking their customer experience to the next level.”
Lesson #2: Go (digitally) native with virtual care.
- Failure to offer satisfactory customer service is part of why, according to findings from McKinsey, more than 75% of consumers “have experimented with a different shopping behavior during the crisis, including trying new brands and places to shop.”
- Enticing these suddenly choosier shoppers means offering a “digitally native customer experience,” which means treating virtual interactions like the unique experiences they are.
“More than 75% of consumers have experimented with a different shopping behavior during the crisis, including trying new brands and places to shop.” Click To Tweet
Lesson #3: Seize the power of virtual to think bigger.
- Most major retailers have beefed up their operations to accommodate new forms of virtual shopping, giving customers more changes to engage.
- From Target’s curbside pickup to Peloton’s record-breaking workout streaming attendance, the companies doing best right now are those unafraid to seize the moment and offer new types of customer experiences.
Lesson #4: Engage, engage, engage!
- Each aspect of eCommerce provides multiple engagement opportunities — for instance, within social media, you have the change to engage via direct social interaction, customer reviews, recommendations, video and other multimedia content, personalization, gamification and more.
- “A retailer can use these new capabilities to create a social, interactive, immersive experience wherever customers are — that’s something no physical outlet can provide,” notes the HBR.
Lesson #5: Combine exclusivity and personalization.
- Exclusive sales or promotions available only to an elite few — those who have joined a rewards club, or signed up for a mailing list — are more important than ever during a time when customers are willing to switch brands for more convenience or to get a better deal.
- Personalization enables exclusivity by developing and documenting unique relationships with each customer, and then giving that relationship real value and incentives for expansion.
Lesson #6: Leverage data, analytics and AI.
- Underlying personalization is analytics, which offers the ability to track, compile and analyze every interaction, and then apply those lessons towards improved messaging and outreach, which also helps inform operational improvements.
- AI enables automated answers to common questions, improving efficiency and saving the use of live agents for moments when they’re really needed.
Lesson #7: Don’t skimp on infrastructure.
- A sluggish load time, difficult-to-understand storefront or concerns over website security are all valid reasons for customers to jump ship and head to a competitor’s website or app.
- Partnering with a dedicated customer experience provider can help ensure that every aspect of your infrastructure is up to the task — updated, fully secure and ready to go.
Learn more about how we can help you preserve essential customer service in light of the current crisis, and beyond. Contact us today to consult one of our business continuity experts.Let's connect.