Everyone loves a good comeback story. Those who are at their bottom, have maybe made mistakes, but dig deep and turn it all around to come back better than ever. Think Starbucks and the Minnesota Twins circa 1990. Right now, many merchants are looking for their comeback moment as they look toward the future post-coronavirus.
What does it take to turn around a business that has been hit hard during this unprecedented time? In two words: reimagining possible. Any comeback requires the ability of leadership to look at the brand, the market and the industry with a different lens — by seeing how to improve not only your company but the entire sector. Turnarounds like this take team determination and continual innovation to keep pushing forward and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
More than ever, merchants need to look toward the future and prepare in the same manner as other big comeback stories have done. Leadership is instrumental to help teams navigate into a new normal for the foreseeable future, one that includes a surge in demand for online purchasing and contactless options. Teams should be focused on confronting both challenges with the opportunities around digital commerce.
Several areas in digital commerce stand out for offering swift and impactful change for businesses’ bottom line. Both the retail and commercial sectors can overcome challenges and create opportunities for the future when they are able to reimagine their commerce operations.
1. Improve Site User Experience
Customer expectations have changed drastically in digital in just a few short months; does your site reflect this? By optimizing your user experience, you’ll ensure you have the best chance at success. This doesn’t necessarily require a full site redesign, which can be costly and time-consuming. Think incremental changes, and consider a UX site audit. Thoughtful, data-inspired smaller changes can oftentimes make even more of an impactful difference to your conversion, engagement and increasing revenue.
2. Review Digital Commerce Features
While considering changes to your customer experience, you should also take a closer look at your online storefront features. Buyers expect different features than even that of a year ago. From something as simple as “contactless” check-in or pickup options, paying invoices online, to reimagining the seamless shopping experience in just about every industry — the features your digital commerce offers both your customer and teams are important to current and future success.
3. Harnessing Data and Analytics
In order to reimage possible, you need to be able to make data-driven decisions on what that “possible” needs to look like. This type of real-time decision making and shifting from segmented to individualized marketing requires the right use of data and analytics. This investment in technology has been proven time after time, that the right digital and analytics tools and approaches will significantly reduce costs. Imagine being able to better navigate demand forecasting or deepening your value to your ideal target audience. Your decision-making will improve greatly in all areas of your business once you include data and analytics into your everyday processes.
4. Prioritize Site Optimization
Site optimization is often overlooked but can greatly improve things like search engine visibility and usability. If you are experiencing lower than normal traffic volume, this is an excellent time to improve your site optimization. This can include reviewing keywords your prospects are searching for, improving content, optimizing for mobile devices, improving CTAs (calls to action) and overall page speed optimization.
The Bottom Line: Reimagine Possible
We have all seen the change that can come in just one short year. While 2020 has definitely dealt us all a hand of cards we weren’t expecting, it is possible to come out stronger than ever next year. By reimagining possible and coming together to continually innovate and evolve toward being better, your business can recover lost revenue and overcome challenges while creating opportunities for the future.
Turnaround, comeback … whatever phrase you decide to call it, this starts with leadership showcasing collaboration, agility and openness. Create daily team cadence calls, weekly leadership connects and even a monthly review to stay on track. Be prepared for more action, less research. Build a sense of urgency around the customer and support your teams to execute with the right processes and governance to be better and faster.
Kali Kasprzyk is the director of marketing at Echidna. You can reach her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kalikasprzyk.