As a result of COVID-19, we’ve seen a huge shift in retail. In April, retail sales took the largest dive on record falling 16.4% and eCommerce sites like Amazon increased 8.4%. Large retailers have been able to adapt and provide faster delivery times and better pricing. This will make it difficult for smaller retailers to compete.
The best way to compete with large retailers is to provide a personalized experience for your customers. Here are the critical steps in developing a personalized experience.
- Think dynamically. In these though times, consumers are more cost-conscious. Yes, many customers will be looking for the best deal, but others will be looking for a brand they trust. At this time, customers might not even know what they want until it’s presented to them. Allow for a changing landscape and have an agile mindset to support it.
- Understand your customers. Survey your customers to find out their exact needs. Have staff greet customers and see if they can help them find anything when shopping in store. Check in on customers as they shop and make recommendations when applicable. When customers are online, provide targeted messages to give recommendations for future purchases if they have allowed you to do so.
- Match offers to needs. If your customers interact with you on social media, provide them a discount or recommend products based on posts they have liked. Pay attention to how customers are interacting with your posts and if you get positive feedback, try to mimic the posts.
- Tests. Use algorithms to help you make predictions on what sales or promotions will work. Test a few to see how your customers respond so you can make good judgements for your next offer.
- Learn and adapt. Make sure you are ready to learn and adapt quickly and be ready for new norms. Some norms can’t be predicted, and others are obvious. With many people working and studying from home, digital consumption will continue to increase.