As the coronavirus has spread around the globe, it has caused an impact on human life that is both immense and devastating. But its effects haven’t stopped there. COVID-19 has disrupted virtually every aspect of our lives, including the way we shop.
Consumers are living through a crisis right now, and buying decisions have become stressful as a result. Accenture reports that 64% of consumers are worried about their health, and the same proportion (64%) is anxious about their job security.
With this considered, it’s not surprising the pandemic has changed the way we shop. These are the ways that consumer behavior has shifted, and the measures you can take now to cater to shoppers in these unprecedented times.
A hunger for control
When the going gets tough, shoppers will invariable return to the brands that help them feel confident. One of the easiest ways to reassure customers is by providing them with easy-to-follow tracking. Indeed, our analysis shows that 69% view tracking as one of their top three buying considerations.
The mechanism itself is fairly widespread these days, but the quality of execution remains hit-and-miss. Many retailers send their customers to third-party websites where information can be fragmentary and confusing. This is a frustrating experience for shoppers, which often merely encourages them to call your customer service hotline – generating additional work for your team in the process!
Reserving the right to change their mind
The current situation is an excellent opportunity to win and retain shoppers, but there is also the risk of alienating disappointed customers for good. In the All-Delivery Era, the entire shopping experience must be simple and satisfying. That includes hassle-free returns.
The days when consumers were prepared to spend time printing invoices and preparing parcels at the post office are well and truly behind us. In fact, our analysis shows that 46% have been put off buying due to an unfavorable returns policy.
The most successful brands are hard at work to streamline this process – for example by offering a returns portal, or even by including a returns label in the original delivery. Not only does this provide a better experience for shoppers, it also helps brands retain greater visibility over returns, and ultimately get stock back online faster and more intelligently.
The need for reliability
There’s too much at stake to disappoint customers right now. Offering convenient options is one thing, but actually delivering on them is something else entirely. As demand continues to rise, reliability becomes even more indispensable – and yet even more challenging to achieve.
Help your operational team meet your customers’ expectations by reducing the margin for error. Make it easy for them to engage the right carriers to get orders where they need to be. Synch your supply chain with your front-end to ensure operations can flex to meet the diverse needs of customers around the globe.
The All-Delivery Era has arrived. The only question that remains is how you will adapt your own business to make the most of it? We predict the most successful brands will be those that can differentiate their online offering through a convenient, personalized and reliable experience from the buy button and beyond.
Find out more about the All-Delivery Era, and how you can reinvent your ecommerce experience. Download the Metapack eCommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2020.