The Pandemic Is Rewriting the Rules of Retail

The Pandemic Is Rewriting the Rules of Retail

The pandemic has changed many businesses and industries. Arguably, it affected the retail industry most significantly. Storefronts and online businesses have made many large-scale changes in order to succeed in the new retail landscape. Customer experience is the most important thing for all retailers, but it has changed as the pandemic rages on.

What is customer experience, and how can your company capitalize on it? These important questions will help you take your retail business to the next level. 

What Is Customer Experience? 

Retailers must be mindful of how they present their goods and services to their customers. They may be asking themselves one major question: what is customer experience exactly? “Customer experience” may sound like a business buzzword, but few people know what it means for their market and customers. 

Customer experience is the way a consumer can interact with your business. It starts the minute they walk through your doors or navigate to your website. Everything about how they interact with you influences their experience and their emotional response to your company. 

Their involvement with your customer service is paramount to customer experience. If they find that you are hard to do business with or lack the support necessary for a successful purchase, your company’s customer experience and bottom line are at risk. 

How the Pandemic Influenced Customer Experience

Many businesses found themselves struggling to adapt to their new rhythms after the pandemic hit. Even though it has been over a year, many companies continue struggling to make the necessary changes. This affects a company’s revenue and may lead customers to competitors who have a better customer experience. 

For brick-and-mortar retailers, there are a lot of necessary measures and steps to keep the doors open. Health and safety for both shoppers and employees are crucial. Customers have certain expectations about how your business should be working to protect them during this tumultuous time. 

Changes to normal processes include: 

  • Sanitizing high-contact areas around the cash register
  • Deep cleaning the stores regularly
  • Creating space for social distancing
  • Enforcing mask mandates
  • Introducing contactless payment

If retailers want to keep customers coming into their stores, then they need to create a full and safe experience for their consumers. Patrons and shoppers will need convincing that it is worth the trip to your store instead of moving toward other purchase options. 

Improving eCommerce

Of course, the pandemic brought about a major shift in how consumers go about shopping for anything. Some are still hesitant to head out to a storefront. Instead, they are more likely to spend their time browsing online. In fact, 25 percent of people in the United States have made an online purchase in the past month. 

As a result, businesses need to prioritize creating a robust eCommerce approach to their goods and services. This is an expectation that many customers have. Companies that refuse to move (or cannot move) their businesses online may struggle financially, especially if their competitors take advantage of this strategy. 

Even if it isn’t possible to sell your goods online, you should have a good website that is easy for consumers to navigate. They are heading online to do their research before making a final purchase, and you need to get their attention before they get too far into another company’s sales funnel

Maximizing Digital Marketing Strategy

Retailers who want to make the shift to eCommerce successfully may need some help. A digital marketing strategy will be essential to leverage their current position in the market and put them in front of more customers. Don’t get left behind with all of the changes that are happening in the retail industry. 

Joe Cantu

Joe is a digital marketing strategist and media buying/planning leader with 13+ years of expertise in marketing strategy and program management, omnichannel campaign delivery, brand building, data analytics, and customer experience/UX optimization. He has helped drive growth for industry-leading clients, including F500/F100 firms.