How the pandemic changed shopping and now your branding needs to as well!
- Consumers are open to online retail, more than ever.
- Developing markets are catching up to online retail.
- Brands need to reach & retain customers online.
- Direct-to-consumer selling requires new skills.
In a recent McKinsey online retail survey, at least two thirds of consumers say they have tried online shopping. Thirteen major countries were reviewed, with 13,65% or more saying they intend to continue. The big take out is that it is not only is it imperative that brands learn how to reach customers in new ways but, with the unavoidable creep of the 4th Industrial revolution, they better to go digital. Yet the caveat is: keep it human and entertaining.
Developing markets like Brazil, India, South Africa and Nigeria are not only new to the the mechanics of online shopping but the psychology of it as well. Yet, the pandemic has seen a definitive upturn in online retail in developing markets and a steady one at that.
Once the migration from in-location to online retail is made it is pretty much permanent. Europe has, by and large, seen an almost 95% capture by the online retail market (pre-pandemic it stood at 81% percent). This is a window into global consumer behaviour. The graveyards of abandoned malls in the United States are not just a trend but a reality and this onslaught is becoming apparent in other countries too as economies come under pressure following the loss of consumer income and downsizing owing to Covid.
With burgeoning entrepreneurs selecting online retail platforms to mitigate overhead costs, and existing businesses pivoting to remain relevant, digitally speaking it’s starting to look like the Wild West in the digital shopping space. Beyond positive customer experiences, including safe no-touch delivery, there is a glaring lack of brand loyalty among online shoppers with many companies simply not prepared to leverage the opportunity of cultivating consumer relationships within the new paradigm.
This requires new skills, new ways at looking at business models and even a new language of selling. The result is that the question every brand needs to ask itself is: “Am I reaching my customer?” Retention follows in short order.
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