The impact of the pandemic on retailers was swift, on full display to the world. It felt as if each day brought a new, high profile Chapter 11 filing. Quite simply, online and brick and mortar retail were on the ropes.
Behind the headlines was a darker truth: retail had been in dire straits long before the pandemic. More than 13,200 stores have closed in 2020, and as the holidays approach, that number will only increase.
Much has indeed changed due to the pandemic, but the retail industry has predictable cycles; the majority of revenue for the year happens during the Q4 holiday season. The retailers that avoided closures or Chapter 11 will have to approach this year with renewed vigor for their continued survival.
Retailers should roll up their sleeves now and follow these three key e-commerce recovery strategies for Q4 success.
Roar back in Q4: 3 e-commerce recovery strategies you must enact, ASAP
- Create customer value:
We all need to remember that the pandemic has created two different crises: the first, the health and safety crisis, acting as a catalyst for the second, financial crisis. The pandemic has sparked a loss of wages, increased unemployment, and staggering underemployment. Consumer confidence is now at the lowest levels since the 2008 recession.
It’s more critical than ever for retailers to consider the financial situation of their customers in developing their strategies and plans. Provide financial programs that address consumer’s financial concerns such as layaway or payment plans. And focus on creating more value for consumers like product bundles, discounts for signing up for subscription purchases and auto-shipping.
- Golden opportunity for marketing
Consumers are now more open to considering new products, new channels, and new experiences. Many consumers’ buying habits have been disrupted and changed dramatically due to store closures and stay-at-home orders. Influencing customer behavior has gotten easier.
According to a McKinsey study, 40 percent of consumers said they tried or made purchases with a new retailer. Brands and retailers no longer have to compete with default buying behaviors and propensities to certain brands. They just need to compete for the customers. So, investing in marketing may yield a higher return than pre-pandemic marketing efforts.
- Take time to evaluate your e-commerce technology
Cloud-based e-commerce solutions have been a life-saver for many organizations, helping businesses deal better with office closures and transitioning employees to remote work. Cloud-based solutions ensure you have the latest innovations instantly without the traditional disruptive upgrades.
Using tools that can function modularly, decoupled from the core, allows greater control, flexibility, and customization.
Not to mention, headless commerce designed with an API-first approach enables businesses to create new customer experiences quickly, server-less microservices would allow organizations to extend commerce capabilities swiftly.
Your business need tools to pivot and react quickly to changing environments. Review your technology stack, order management, product information management, and customer experience to see where the limitations are, and to ensure these systems will deliver reliably.
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