Thoughts02 May 2020
Adapt and overcome: we’ve all heard the phrase before.
Organisms need to find ways to adapt to conditions that are gradually or suddenly different from pre-existing ones.
The Covid-19 crisis exemplified how we evolve as organisms when only a few weeks ago we were forced to change our lifestyles on every level - structural, physiological and behavioural.
As we continue to make sense of new norms, it may be a while until we fully understand which of the dramatic changes we’ve already made will continue for the long term.
With the majority of the planet in some form of lockdown or another, we’ve had enough time now to collect some data and assess trends with how business and consumers alike are adapting to overcome. Spoiler alert - if you ain’t online you wastin’ time!
Behaviour change is inevitable
Despite Covid-19’s impact on the global economy, consumers are still purchasing goods and services but in more selective ways.
For some brands, the change in consumer behaviour requires them to figure out how they can offer the same level of customer experience online as they once did face to face - retail being a good example. For others, it’s about catering to a new type of customer entirely.
The common denominator? Realising that customer behaviours are changing, which can be intimidating, exciting, or both depending on how one chooses to look at it.
Online shopping is based on necessity
Let’s begin with the obvious. Since lockdown, little ol’ New Zealand has seen a 200% increase in online shopping (e-commerce sales), considerably more than Australia, America and the UK.
Why? The dramatic increase in online sales is fundamentally driven by essential, or accessible goods and services: food, media (streaming services) and healthcare.
Non-essential industries on the other hand have been taking a hit online. As lockdown restrictions ease it would make sense to assume that the sudden spike in essential online sales would also slowly begin to ease. By exactly how much and in what sectors remains yet to be seen.
Source: Neil Patel
Traditional norms are out the window
For the first time perhaps since the invention of the smartphone, mobile internet usage has slowed in favour of good old fashion web traffic. Now that people are spending more time at home with computers to do everything from attempting to school small humans to buying disinfectant for self injection, the mobile phone has become a less desirable option for many. It may not be a trend for long, but is still worth understanding the importance of thinking outside of the norms when improving various aspects of your online presence.
Source: New York Times
Staying focused for the long haul
Whether you think these trends will be around for long or not, one thing that’s for certain is that it’s not going to be a short ride, so stop saying you’ll watch just one episode a night on Netflix and start focusing on what you can control.
After considerable research to write this blog we’ve come up with nine more things we’re doing daily to help our customers adapt and overcome online.
Reevaluate your customer experience based on what the feedback is telling you. Customers are more focused on community, transparency, quality and trust than before, so you’ll want to revisit how your brand experience across the board will align.
Tighten up your value proposition
around changing customer behaviours. Make it more targeted and quantifiable for customers by offering more specific options for their more specific needs.
Invest in opportunities to align your value prop with changing customer behaviours. Refresh specific areas of your website that improve relevance and user experience. Site speed and structure are a few key areas to look at first.
Take immediate action with communicating to your audience, leveraging current affairs and becoming known for being a point of reference in your area of expertise. Google Trends is a powerful resource for doing topical, targeted research.
Embrace technology to organise customer info or sell products online. There are plenty of free CRM’s out there for organising customer data. Creating an online store or channel for online sales has never been easier...keeping in mind that solidifying the underlying business strategy and sales channels will likely be your biggest challenge.
Remain relevant by creating high-quality content around a single area of expertise on a consistent basis. Focus on one core idea and recycle it across multiple platforms. Content calendars are ideal for keeping organised.
Do something that stands out - when everyone is zigging...zag. Here are some great tips on how to do so from a wide range of industry experts.
Become more strategic - It will become harder to attract, engage and delight customers in this market full stop. Generic ad creation and watered down service offerings plucked from competitors is less applicable when market uncertainty and consumer abundance of choice are combined. Use elements of the above tactics to create a more strategic vision for how your business can adapt to overcome online for the long term.
Enjoy the process, we’re all in this together.
Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out part 1 of this series in case you missed it for some more tactical goodness.