The way the world shops is changing and many retailers are having to adapt quickly to increases in online orders that need to be fulfilled safely. Listen to Angus Knights, UK Partnership Manager, discuss the three short-term pain areas for omnichannel retailers during the coronavirus crisis and how they can solve them.
The three pain points are:
- Immediate short-term drop in revenue
- Increase customer service enquiries
- Halting of digital growth projects
Watch the video for more information on these and how we think retailers can solve them.
We’re currently experiencing a period of uncertainty in retail, and also in our lives, that’s simply unprecedented in living memory. And for retailers this means that the goalposts are constantly moving and often they’re just simply not clear. But whether or not the retailers are set up well to weather this storm, every online retailer is entering a phase of urgent planning for its future. The experiences of the 450 brands that we currently support are showing us that, for all these digital retailers there are three critical short-term pain areas that need addressing:
The first pain that most retailers are experiencing is an immediate short-term drop in revenue. Customers can’t get to store anymore, many of them have found their behaviours have changed almost overnight and people are being very careful in this climate of their disposable income. It’s therefore essential to continue driving sales despite the customer uncertainty. This will start with simply telling your customers explicitly that you’re open for business. Potentially through reaching out to your current customer base or using your social channels. Many customers who would have gone in store actually need to be channelled to go to your digital outlets instead. But across the board the message has to be clear: we’re still want your custom and we’re still open for business!
The second short-term pain that retailers are experiencing, is a huge spike in customer contact – and this comes at a time when it’s very difficult to manage it due to illness and contact centres becoming remote almost overnight, yet the emails and the calls coming in become unmanageable. It’s essential to take a pro-active approach to dealing with this customer contact. Customers require clear, constant and pro-active messaging and reassurance. This means during the fulfilment process any delays with the carrier or backlogs at the warehouse must be at the heart of this communication. If something has gone wrong with the customer order, then simply reach out to them pro-actively before it becomes an issue to let them know. And if everything is going well, then that’s great but the customer still needs to be reassured during this tracking and delivery phase. By putting customers at the heart of this communication you will massively reduce the customer contact into your contact centres.
The third short term pain is that many retailers are freezing or putting on hold projects that are designed to facilitate digital growth. The paradox here is that by freezing these projects it will actually slow down the transition towards sustainable online revenue which in a mid-term is going to really damage the business. So, despite today’s uncertainty it’s important to keep investing in growth and digital infrastructure, whilst being sensitive to cashflow. By choosing the right partners this value can be delivered very quickly over a period of days and weeks not months and years. But the direction is clear: retailers must take a leap of faith and continue to invest during today’s uncertainty in order to facilitate growth over the coming weeks and months.