When it comes to making a buying decision, the behaviour of a customer is affected by a lot of factors but lately, enterprises around the world have seen frequent changes in the customer behaviour and buying patterns and the most influential factor in these changes is only one- the Coronavirus.
Every day is redefining the “New Normal Living” of the world and every day there are some changes seen in the customer expectations. For instance, previously fast and one-day deliveries were the essentials for e-commerce platforms but during this pandemic, even “guaranteed deliveries” make an impact on the customers and fast delivery is a premium service that can be priced! Also, while initially e-commerce was surfed for healthcare essentials, eventually customers used them for household essentials or to be specific Work from Home essentials.
Although things were never predictable for businesses, when the e-commerce platforms have to deal with such unchartered territories and when we future is truly unpredictable, how can they ensure relevance and growth of their digital platforms? How do they plan for it? While the customer expectations and buying patterns are solely dependent upon the future of the Pandemic and the measures taken by the governments, there are certain things that businesses can plan to prepare for the “New Normal”. Those things that businesses can plan to survive the “new normal” are as follows:
1. Deliver immersive or at least realistic buying experiences:
Although the products in demand will change frequently during these times, the one thing that will not change is that people will increase the use of digital platforms and that customers will expect a good product buying experience from the e-commerce platform. Thus, you must plan your user experience on your e-commerce software solution and make it as realistic and immersive as possible.
Whether you introduce 360° product preview or you can also introduce Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D product designing. While AR is a long shot, 3D previews and realistic product photos are essential. The reason for this is simple, people will always miss the physical product experience and thus, they would demand as realistic experience as possible on the e-commerce platform. For a quick short-term change, you can prompt users to upload their product photos while reviewing the product so that others can get a good preview and they can ensure product authenticity.
2. Think about Progressive Web Application (PWA) Development:
The phrase people are “living off their phones” never made more sense as it did during these lockdown and quarantine times! Over the world, the screen time of people has increased and people are using their smartphones for everything. Thus, it is essential that you have a mobile platform for your customers.
But investing in a native mobile app currently can be both expensive and time-consuming. Instead of that, you can create a Progressive Web Application using the best progressive web app builder that give native apps like experience without any other interruption. Progress Web App development is a combination of various technologies that allow your users to save your website on their Smartphone home screens, it allows you to send push notifications and it also allows you to provide offline access to your website. The brand like Twitter, Alibaba, Forbes are already using this technology for a long time now and you must too.
Some other benefits of the Progressive Web App Development are that it requires much lesser data to load and thus, for the world that is in lockdown and using their phones with this increased traffic, it is essential that you have a light mobile application and that is easily possible with PWA. PWA is shaping the future of mCommerce with its app-like experience on the mobile web and amazing features. The brand like Twitter, Alibaba, and Forbes are already using this technology for a long time now and you must too.
3. Make your Digital Platforms and Backend processes are seamless, dynamic and agile:
One thing that is certain during these times is that you will have to frequently change your product offerings, your sales and pricing strategies as well as your marketing and shipping strategies with the changing new normal.
Thus, if you have to plan your next move with your e-commerce software solution, you must ensure that your e-commerce website or your Progressive Web App allows administrators to make quick product uploads, pricing changes, promotions and shipping changes. Assign your technical team to undergo e-commerce developments and PWA development to ensure that your digital platforms as well as your backend processes are completely dynamic and agile.
4. Redefine digital hierarchy and content management process:
Even though the risk of the pandemic might mitigate after some time, the social distancing and work from home practices might still prevail in many organizations. These few months have proved that remote work is feasible as well as cost-effective and as an enterprise, you must opt for long-term remote working strategies.
One of the major changes that you will have to make on your digital platforms when you do not have a team working under one roof is the accountability and content ownership. Create a content management module where you can define the author of the content, the people who will approve it, people who can edit it and also ensure you can keep track of all the versions that are created. Apart from that, you will also have to look after various system integrations that can create seamless communication channels amongst different departments.
5. Introduce personalized and individualized marketing campaigns:
As you adapt to the market demands, it is also essential that you create relevant marketing campaigns. Right from product suggestions to product up-selling and cross-selling strategies, you will have to create personalized marketing campaigns to ensure you have an optimum lead conversion ratio.
Try to introduce various marketing automation modules that can help you provide personalized experiences and personalized feeds to each website visitor and also have modules that can provide privileged experiences to the repeat customers. These changes can help you better manage your new digital audience and it can also help you optimize your sales.
One thing is certain that digital transformation and technology are the future of the business irrespective of their industry or product. But, it is also essential that you plan your endeavors properly and make informed decisions to ensure that your e-commerce platforms are an asset for your organization and not a liability.
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