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During the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant increase in the need for solutions that allow retailers to provide digital options to their customers and offer alternatives to in-store shopping. These solutions will continue to be important as digital business becomes the new norm in the months and years to come.
The most successful solutions are built by anticipating customer patterns and preferences to meet the needs of all customers. This means companies need to build agile solutions that can easily change as customer expectations shift. The main initiative should be reducing points of friction along the customer journey to create a more efficient and high-quality customer experience. For now, this means reimagining all points of contact along the buyer journey and bringing a digital experience that meets and exceeds pre-existing expectations.
Digital strategy is very important. Rethinking the way you do business can be a daunting process. Now, businesses need to consider the fact that this is the “new normal." Creating a long-term business strategy that is touchless and incorporates non-standard forms of fulfillment, like curbside pick up, will be essential to a business’s long-term success.
Profitability is of course another concern. Average order cost is a crucial metric when assessing the success of a digital retail solution. Curbside pickup inevitably involves more employees without significantly increasing the average amount customers are paying per order. Finding ways to increase internal efficiency to make up for the increase in fulfillment cost will ensure a profitable digital solution.
Also consider seamless integration. Without a cohesive tech stack, digital solutions will only create more friction points for customers. Up-to-date inventory, successful credit card transactions and accurate pickup information will help minimize operational costs and make sure customers remain satisfied and loyal to the brand.
With these best practices in mind, retailers can work out kinks in the solutions and adapt to customer needs over time. Once basic functionalities are in place, retailers can begin developing in-app upsell and cross-sell opportunities to increase customer purchases and further increase the ROI of the solution.
The long-term impact of COVID-19 on retailers is still unknown, but consumers tell us that they will continue their use of convenient digital solutions. Rolling out digital strategies now that enable creativity and innovation will establish a reliable foundation to prepare retailers to best meet their customer needs during whatever phase comes next.
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