Last year, before the start of 2020 everyone was looking forward to the New Year and to start the new decade, but things turned out to be disruptive for many of businesses worldwide. Covid-19 pandemic hit many economies and we are experiencing a huge financial downturn. In retail sector, the impact of pandemic was also very huge and it made lots of transformations in this sector. In this article of Niorise, looking at some of the PSFK’s debriefs we will share 7 strategies that can help you build a future-proof company in 2020.
Although PSFK’s future-oriented debriefings typically begin at the end of the year in advance of the next, 2020 has already become so earth-shattering that their analysts have published a future-proofing study dubbed the DTC Playbook 2020 during this point to serve as a roadmap when companies need it most. With the goal of helping brands and retailers to restore and re-orientate themselves today, in the short term and for the long run, this study synthesizes trends in direct engagement and distribution, smart retail operations and value-added services that promote good loyalty and customer relationships.
In this post, we will share seven top-of-the-line digital-first strategies of the 18 included in the study to highlight how retailers, brands and companies will address today’s customer protection and affirmation needs, develop last-minute ties and audiences, and establish service-oriented products in line with the ongoing change we’ve been monitoring in retail as we step into an age of hyper-personalized, hyper-awareness.
To keep on top of clients’ fears, stores and brands relay protected in-store practices and processes to shoppers before they really walk into the store. Putting planning to the forefront, companies are checking in with customers through interactive contact, like phone, video and email, to devise a shopping schedule and ease their fears about the revamped shopping experience. Home retailer West Elm is encouraging customers by providing in-store and mobile appointments that are readily available and bookable on the company’s website. Consumers can prefer to shop personally in-store or to visit the design and registry departments on a virtual basis.
Consumer innovation is at an all-time peak, and consumer-creators are searching for opportunities to connect with companies via their creators. Companies who lend their social media real estate to highlight customer drawings, art, and product compilations hype the product line while celebrating audience opinions. Take cues from Alexander McQueen: In an attempt to reach followers trapped at home throughout lockdowns, the luxury fashion company asked social media users to re-imagine the famous Rose dress — and did end up with 13,600 proposals in just a month.
Clients face a high degree of responsibility to drop off after completing a purchase and taking their goods home. Brands that provide on-demand assistance to consumers as they grow familiar with newly bought services and products are more prone to cultivate partnerships that enable clients to set long-term expectations and schedules. Home improvement retailer Lowe has introduced an upgraded video network called JobSIGHT, a digital service platform for Pro consumers to make mobile trips at a time that people are reluctant of opening their houses, and to reduce the risk of needing multiple service trips.
Investing more money in customer support, brands are responding to market issues and complaints at the moment. Concentrating on the versatility of video, chat and phone platforms, companies rely on remote connectivity and customer accessibility, while in-store assistance is minimal. Skincare company Versed is doing this through its SMS messaging service, Skincare Hotline, where customers can send their queries to the people behind the company for education and guidance about how to make the most out of their purchase.
Instead of restricting contact with the purchased product, companies are engaging with consumers through wider lifestyle priorities and expectations, and creating diverse and responsive social communities that bind shoppers to mutual desires and interests. Take the baby brand WaterWipes for instance, which expanded the value-adds to help early childhood and new parents after the coronavirus outbreak with a social community named the Early Days Club, enabling participants to meet, discuss and resolve the difficulties of raising children after the pandemic.
Brands should be receptive not only in their marketing and ads, but also in their basic operations — from product catalog to distribution mechanisms and transaction and marketing models. Coffee brand Alfred has grown from a brick-and – mortar delivery to a subscription model. Today, as a brand of DTC, it provides coffee directly to customers and supplements each package with home brewing instructions.
Companies extend the store partnership by providing consumers discounted benefits and maintenance, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks and VIP access in return for long-term brand loyalty by reduced subscription fees. Home products retailer Wayfair, for example, designed a premium subscription plan to offer free delivery to subscribers on all brand-related e-commerce pages, like Joss & Main, AllModern and Birch Path, and also access to limited promotions.