How should Australian retailers approach online right now?
If you don’t have a website strategy, you need one ASAP and one that will enable you to deliver what you need now and of an appropriate scale and rigor for your changing needs.
If you have one, perform an audit of your existing site and take a moment to ensure it is delivering as you had envisioned. If your platform is holding you back and attracting considerable development cost to expand on what would be considered basic functionality, now would be a good time to look for other options so that you can be prepared for the reopening of the economy. Now is the time to get your house in order, now is the time to make sure you have the right technology in at the right time, the days of the band aided website are over and this time should be used to invest in your business as your website is your digital shop front so start treating it like it.
Look for ways to integrate (useful) chat bots to address simple Frequently Asked Questions, as well as look to improve load time and leverage the countless numbers of analytical customer behavior data available to implement tactical ways to convert them to customers through ads, socials etc.
How can we use social media to keep consumers buying?
Social media is massively used at the moment, everything from the way our government communicates its messages to the ability to buy and sell online, it’s become the norm in how we communicate and stay connected. To that end, it’s important to use your social media and email marketing on a regular basis. Blast out social media stories, live and IGTV, let your clients know what you’re up to, how you as a business are here to offer solutions for their needs. Write an article on a key theme or topic they need to be aware of or to offer your expert opinion, live sales, the use of shoppable posts and the encouragement of tagging customers purchases and incentivizing it all, are the opportunities that lay ahead. These aren’t things you need to wait for, they’re already here, just keep communicating to them authentically you and they will love you for it and if they trust you, they’ll buy from you.
How can I plan for a retail reset?
Planning for a retail reset is something not many have done or had to do but is more necessary now than ever. As expressed more and more, not a single person has playbook right now but in the absence of anything, it’s important to take a methodical approach to resetting your business. This includes flexing on your suppliers, perhaps developing new terms of trade together, another is to spend more time in the business than just running the day to day workings of the business, so automating your backend is of prime importance.
With the changing retail landscape, it’s key to pivot and adjust to the changing needs of the consumer where we see spending behavior change where purchases are left very late in the sales cycle, so it’s important to find ways to get them to trust you and find more ways to defer spend where practical. Ultimately if someone wants something they will find it, so it’s key to ensure you’re products and services are easily discoverable and most importantly relevant.
Spend some time analyzing your supply chain and see where the risks lie, especially around delivery times lagging due to the spike in parcels, how can this be eased? If there’s way too much resting on one particular vendor, now would be a good time to explore contingencies and other options, the entire world’s supply chain was chocked, so it’s important to pay attention and spot the opportunities as they relate to you.
Your teams are what help drive the business so if you employ staff, making sure you have the right talent in your business to grow and thrive is critical. Reassess the roles, are they relevant, what’s missing, can those responsibilities be absorbed, where are the opportunities to expand your operation or perhaps bolster and support further the existing.
What consumers need from you right now is guidance from experienced practitioners, it’s important to have the right team working on your problems. We have been involved in far too many a ‘project rescue’ that have been caused by 3rd party providers unable to deliver on their promise and abandon the project entirely to our surprise. Your promise is what you’ll be remembered and measured from, if you aren’t delivering now, you’ll never survive a single second in the ‘new world’, so spending some time to really iron out things you never had the time to focus on, is probably the most important process you’ll ever go through, you’ve got this!
What are your top 5 tips for getting a retail reset strategy started?
- We believe you should be investing in your Website / E-Commerce capabilities by finding new and innovative ways to serve your customers.
- Social media platforms – a key aspect of selling is telling your story and taking people on a journey through your vision. People resonate with digital storytelling and especially when it’s done so authentically, so we believe tell your story, tell it well but do so authentically.
- Email & Social marketing – don’t underestimate the need to keep developing your email database, whilst social media and search ads are a great way to attract new customers, your email database is treasure when communicating to those who are on your journey so find more ways to incentivise the whole signup process and create relevant email marketing and ad campaigns to communicate your products and / or services.
- Plan, create, do! Never before have we arrived at a point when we need to get back to the drawing board and figure out why we are here in the first place. This is a process that will be confronting for some, but it should be seen as a way to reset your business welcoming in new ideas, new customers, new ways of doing business and preparing for the road ahead.
- It’s critical to anyone’s success to work with and seek the help of others, we believe networking will become increasingly important from here on in. If you need help from someone associated with someone you know can help you, now is the time to build your courage and ask for it. Find a way to interact that works for you and remember to get a little, you need to give a little too.