As the pandemic took hold it offered pain for many and unprecedented years of growth collapsed into weeks and months for others in the retail sector.
But, as the saying goes 'all that glitters' and all that!
Whilst there has been the visible and enforced shift to online due to the constant lockdown hokey cokey strategy deployed by various governments many e-commerce platforms have had shortcoming and showed significant weaknesses when facing such an abrupt increase in demand, particularly in large consumption.
Retailers have had to focus their efforts into amending shortcomings that have become apparent, such as staff shortages, delays in package management or the desynchronisation between the web’s information and the available stock - let alone simple stuff like website stability.
Good enough is no longer a viable excuse!
In pivotal moments such as the present times, each business movement will have lasting consequences on how users perceive the brand. It is convenient, therefore, to look for closer contact with the customers by designing marketing strategies that have empathy as the driving force.
As well as safety and hygiene, values such as sustainability, transparency (for instance, about the origin of the products) and efficient customer service will be the only factors to compete against the lure of lower prices in the period after the coronavirus pandemic.
All of this knowledge sits across every single part of every single business.
Take a moment to consider the following industry stats;
- Less than 2% of Employees regularly share or create employer related brand content.
- Over 33% of Employees are unclear on what to post and how it could benefit their employer.
- There is a 561% increase in audience for your brand message when shared by employees vs sharing via the corporate channel.
- 90% of your employee network is new to your brand meaning you are opening up previously untapped audiences.
So when I see retailers (and other businesses) using social platforms as a way to deal with crisis management, or transferring the 'advertise, promote, me, me, me, me' thinking then I wonder if anything is really changing?
How about investing in upskilling all your employees to use social media as way of providing a genuine and authentic voice, rather than the corporate message, or just an extension of your customer service department.
How about using that training to activate at least 10% of the aggregated workforce to give a non brand police view of the really good reasons to work and shop at each of these companies?
Now that's industry changing, low cost innovation.
Designing an optimal online shopping experience was already a priority for many retailers, but now it has become vital. Tools such as online chats, customer service through social media or augmented reality apps make remote sales more dynamic and improve how users perceive the brand.