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How to Maintain Your Digital Transformation

By Andrew Luu

The pandemic was like a fast-forward button for e-commerce. According to global consulting firm McKinsey, we jumped forward five years in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of just eight weeks. 

 

Things like curbside pickup and contactless delivery suddenly became the norm as businesses rushed to adapt to this unprecedented moment in history. But now that things are beginning to settle back to a state of normal, let’s take a look at how your new digital transformation can work moving forward.

Go back to being yourself

When the pandemic began and businesses scrambled to adapt, it was natural to follow what others were doing. E-commerce suddenly exploded and you had to follow the trends because things like curbside pickup became critical to staying open. But as things go back to normal, efforts now must be made to stand out. 

 

You need to rediscover strategies along with an identity that makes you different from the competition. After surveying what other brands are doing, take a look at what they’re NOT doing. Focus on your core consumer base and how you can serve them better than anyone else. And now that you have a stronger online presence thanks to the pandemic (faster fulfillment, stronger social media), you can take advantage of these new skills to strengthen relationships with your customers.

Reinforce your new online presence in-store

With e-commerce exploding during the pandemic, it would be easy to devote most of your resources online and neglect the in-store experience. Yes, online shopping will likely play a greater role moving forward, but it only takes one trip to any popular shopping mall to see they are packed with people who still love shopping in person. 

 

Many customers not only choose to pick up in-store to save on shipping, but it also gives them an excuse to browse in person. So, make sure the strides you’ve made online are leveraged in-store. For example, if you offered buy now, pay later (BNPL) online to help people stay on budget during the pandemic, make sure it’s also available in store. You want both your online and in-store experience to be seamless because a customer who shops in both channels spends three-times more than a customer who only shops online according to ULTA Beauty Chief Digital Officer Prama Bhatt.

Don’t forget about your in-store employees!

Yes, in the last two years, consumers adopted online shopping at breakneck speeds, but don’t think the role of your in-store employee has been reduced to handing over online orders. In fact, their role is more critical to customer satisfaction than ever before. 

 

When a customer picks up an online order, there’s a good chance they’ll also browse, especially if you have promotions specifically targeting them. Others will test-drive your products before ordering online and your employees can help guide them through their journey. It’s important not to forget that employees are part of the full brand experience. Give them the training to answer questions and the power to keep customers satisfied – like how Foot Locker will deliver a shoe to your home free of charge if your size isn’t available in store.

The new “normal” presents a great opportunity!

The retail landscape that emerges after this pandemic will reward brands that get it right. What’s right remains to be seen, and that’s the opportunity. We’ve outlined a few key takeaways for this transition, but by adapting quickly to trends and focusing on a cohesive experience both online and in-store, you’ll create your own luck. After all, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

About the author
Andrew Luu

Andrew Luu is an international award-winning journalist who spent a decade writing about cars before turning to the world of advertising. His resume includes AutoWeek Magazine where he tested cars and hosted its TV show, along with clients such as Chrysler, Ford and TD Bank.