The global pandemic in 2020 gave way to a massive shift in commerce and transformed the shopping experience entirely. Strict lockdowns prevented people from going to a physical store to meet their needs, which resulted in a boom in online shopping. Over 12,000 brick-and-mortar stores including Sears and Macy’s faced mass closure.
E-commerce is here to stay even in the post-Covid world, with sales being estimated to reach 23.6% of total retail by 2025.
Although physical stores may remain a necessity for the instant access to products and services they afford, many consumers who have had a taste of remote shopping will never go back. Most businesses have had to adapt to these changing consumer preferences by placing greater importance on digital marketing strategies to attract users. However, brands will need to craft compelling user experiences throughout the customer journey to keep them engaged. Businesses have already invested substantially into crafting a superior in-store experience. Pivoting to prioritizing the online channels has certain key perceived blocks to seamlessly recreate in-store experiences in the online world. Let’s take a look at them.
Replicating the presence of a sales assistant online
It is normal to have a sales assistant welcome and give you special attention at a physical store. Often, they can tell you about offers that are specifically suited to your needs. It may seem like the presence of a real assistant at a store is hard to replicate, but businesses can definitely leverage data available online to create an even more personalized shopping experience. Understanding an individual consumer has become simpler today thanks to increased digital engagement, and brands can take advantage of this to offer highly tailored recommendations and deals for their customers.
By collecting data on customer preferences, you can take an omnichannel approach to customer engagement and determine which platforms they favor over others. Accordingly, you can choose the communication medium for sending out information about products and promotions.
Translating the in-store level of personalization online
With the amount of data available online today, the level of personalization can actually be increased as compared to the traditional offline experience. Analytics has advanced to a stage where retailers can leverage extremely specific information about a customer’s shopping behaviors. For instance, retailers and marketers can examine a customer’s prior engagement with a brand on different channels to get useful insights to apply to a future strategy. This can lead to a winning situation for both parties to help provide a superior, more convenient, and highly personalized shopping experience.
Making online customer service as easily accessible as in-store service
Although it can seem like nothing can replace the face-to-face experience of customer service, effective customer service online is definitely an objective businesses can achieve today. It may be challenging but has the potential to exceed in-person customer service quite easily.
Customers prefer brands that make them feel valued — this is the key to planning a successful online customer service strategy and enhancing customer experience across the buying journey. Live customer service, quick response times, addressing queries adequately, enabling customers to share feedback and receive support, and providing timely solutions to their problems can all be conducted by leveraging live commerce capabilities.
Physical stores may never go out of fashion completely, but digital commerce is increasingly gaining pace. Brands need to adapt by giving their customers what they want right where they are. In order to grow their brands sustainably, boost customer loyalty, and stay ahead of the curve, brands need to build an omnichannel customer experience. Live Commerce brings the key attribute of in-store shopping — human connection — effortlessly to the online world.