The health and safety of people around the globe have been threatened by the widespread Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and, in the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, brands have had to make difficult decisions in both service of their employees and customers as well as their business operations. Most notably, brick-and-mortar brands in countries worldwide have had to reassess their business models and locate solutions to the turbulent societal and economic future that has been shaped by COVID-19, with some department stores seeing a decline of 20% in apparel sales by July 2020 according to ROIRevolution.
Alas, optimism is seen in brands pioneering new ways of thriving in a post-corona world, which is predominantly linked back to the utilization of stronger e-commerce systems, leveraging of proven digital marketing strategies, and innovation within a market category. All these factors lean towards a market that is becoming increasingly digital, and brands may adopt this digitization should they wish to thrive.
Let’s take a moment to unpack how COVID-19 has impacted the online shopping space before diving into how brands are combatting the corona consequences.
The Fall of Retail?
The consequences of COVID-19 include a shift in consumer demand, as people adjust their daily habits and change their way of thinking to meet the restrictions and ramifications of a COVID-threatened world. Consumers are changing their notions on what they should be shopping for, pooling their money into new market categories they may not have spent much on before. The demand chain has been disrupted, but more so, we need to take a closer look at the underlying factors to grasp the reason retail may not bounce back from the pandemic.
The most notable factor showcasing the changing commerce landscape post-corona is the adjustment in shopping behavior. Consumers are looking to the internet to purchase their goods and brands have risen to the occasion by facilitating convenient and effective online shopping through the implementation of reliable tools and consistent consumer feedback channels. Statistics show that the future holds major opportunities for brands that shy away from the falling brick-and-mortar retail industry and adopt a keen e-commerce strategy.
With an understanding that online shopping is, at such a progressive pace, becoming the future of shopping altogether, Deloitte has assessed a few key reasons online shopping should stand the test of time for brands adopting long-term e-commerce strategies, these being:
- Convenience is king – consumers see convenience as a major selling point for online shopping, with many willing to pay higher prices for their goods.
- Shifts in distribution and logistics capacity – the increased demand for last-mile and contactless package delivery has seen distribution companies effectively build new capacity.
- Supply chain upgrades – customer-centric supply chains allow for improved product availability, flexible storage, efficient last-mile delivery, and effective logistics partnerships.
- Improved technological platforms – better digital platforms allow for more digital traffic, with brands seeing massive improvements in exposure and potential to make sales.
With these considerations in check, let us explore the ways in which you can transition your brand to one capable of thriving post-corona and respond to these online shopping shifts:
Utilization of Stronger E-commerce Systems
It is of the utmost importance that brands make use of strong e-commerce systems available within the digital marketing space should they wish to stay a cut above the competition, which will be flooded as many brands follow suit. Redefining the consumer journey, updating the brand UX to be human-centered and efficient, and replicating the brand story on the digital pages are the founding blocks of a holistic e-commerce system. On the back-end, it is essential that website plug-ins or external e-commerce hosting are used to facilitate a seamless online shopping experience for your consumers.
Using Proven Digital Marketing Strategies
At this time, it would be wise to invest in your digital marketing strategies and to leverage current tactics employed by other brands to improve your readiness and ability to thrive within the post-corona landscape. In order to do so, you will need to reassess your current paid and organic SEO marketing methods and build on these dramatically through the aid of talented SEO specialists. Be sure to tailor your messaging so that it aligns with your business goals in the new e-commerce marketplace and scale your digital marketing as you reach and exceed key performance indicators (KPIs) such as your reach and click-through rate.
Innovation within the Market
The most important step in thriving post-corona is innovating within your market category. During a time where so many brands are joining the digital marketing space and competition here is at an all-time high, there is more and more need for brands to distinguish themselves from the rest. From product innovations to digital marketing remodeling, there are several ways to create a distinct unique selling point within your respective market. This may include the ways in which your brand narrative is shared, whether it be through heavy investment in social media or a dedicated platform on your website. Whatever your novel innovation is, it must meet consumer demand in a way that improves their online shopping experience and, thus, supports their shifted buying behaviors. For example, Compack offers brands the ability to source effective and reliable packaging companies that tailor solutions with practically no minimum quantity orders. This is an example of the incredible innovation and effective e-commerce strategies employed by these brands, just one idea of how companies during post-corona are pioneering new solutions for the online shopping customer base.
Brands can thrive in the post-corona world through the implementation of stronger e-commerce systems, the leveraging of proven digital marketing strategies, and innovating within their respective market categories. By adopting an optimistic approach to your business operations, your brand could also flourish as we enter a new age of shopping.