The transformation from a high-street store or showroom to an authentic online retail brand greatly depends on your ability to change your business and have transparent conversations with your followers.
It is relatively affordable to launch an eCommerce store with a host of simple solutions. It is simple to hire a digital strategist to develop an advanced approach to digital marketing. It is also easy to buy into a plethora of digital solutions to advertise your product; from shopping feeds, catalogues and canvas ads to ingenious digital agencies, AI automation and interventions.
Where most business owners fail, is to assume you can change gears to online retail with minimal change and planning within, a product range that doesn’t evolve and order numbers on the revenue sheet.
Here’s why you are failing:
People have an immense amount of choice, they can compare prices, services and reviews in an instant and although price plays some role; inspiration, quality, speed of delivery and support are the areas that will win over your future followers. In the very near future, most people will use AI technology or bots to compare prices, reviews and comments about your brand, helping them to make instant choices and find better value for their money.
Step into the future:
The most important areas are the change you need to manage within your business, your ability to capture and use data responsibly, the evolution of your product range and your service behaviour. These are the core areas that will steer you to a responsive, authentic and people-focused brand.
Here is how you manage this change within:
How relevant is your product to your current followers?
Are your current product range and delivery service still relevant for the future shopper who will undoubtedly demand quality, responsible choices, improved online support and speedy home delivery?
Are there other people that might engage with your content and your product choices better?
Avoid fencing in your followers with a Living Standards Measure from the 80s. Focus on interests and needs and build a brand that helps people see how your products fit into their lifestyle choices. It is a visual world: discounts, words and pack shots is not enough to build a loyal following for your brand.
How do you inspire people to bring your brand into their lifestyle?
Understand your future followers’ behaviour online in relation to their lifestyle choices. Be more insightful with the data you collect and talk to the people that use your products through surveys and smarter communication tools. Define more useful intervention points in people’s online journeys and don’t make a nuisance of your brand.
How easy is it for a person to buy and use your products?
Invest in a central solution to communicate directly with live chat, send updates on delivery via WhatApp or SMS and answer questions on Facebook Messenger with useful information and video demos to simplify the purchase and use of your products. Consider packaging all your services and shopping into one convenient app that keeps people engaged, alert and notified in a personal and authentic way.
How do you engage with people once they have purchased a product on your website?
Connect your communication platform with your online shop. This opens a world of personalised conversation about the quality of your products, your service delivery and your brand with the individual.
Shelve the general follow-up forms and review requests and start useful conversations with your followers to understand your brand perception. Share relevant information and make your content more useful and impactful. Ask your followers for advice and listen to their feedback.
In short, your approach to organisational change, product evolution, data solutions and personalisation will help you win over your future followers.