03.08.20

Get on-side with your customers to deal with the digital symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic

Thoughts on the evolving role of digital in a world forever altered by COVID-19, from Dare Experience Lead Jack Payne.

Online shopping has never been stronger

Digital channels have long been taking the spotlight from traditional purchasing methods, but COVID-19 has well and truly fired a rocket up this trend. As people spend more of their time away from the high street behind both closed doors and home office screens, are your digital storefronts* set up for the relentless rise of digital expectations of everyday consumers? And are you sticking up for what they really want from you?

*By storefront I don’t just mean e-commerce sites—whatever your company sells, from physical products to consultancy services, if you have a digital presence this is your main shop window during the pandemic.

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Close the Experience Gap

Even when we actively attempt to shop small and avoid the obvious and sometimes regrettable “I’m sure I’ll find what I need on Amazon”, when the oversized-cardboard-box-with- the-smile (delivered by the driver who often does not) is dropped onto our doorstep, we realise that competitive pricing and free crazy-quick delivery has almost subconsciously stolen our trade from the small independent store that could maybe get the product to us within a week.

As human beings, we’re built to find the path of least resistance to get to our goals and stick with it when we find it.

To become the default choice, consistency of the experience is also key. It may be a corporate behemoth that avoids paying tax like Donald Trump avoids wearing face masks, but we all know what to expect from established companies like Amazon because it rarely drops the ball on us. They’ve managed to close what we at Dare refer to as the ‘Experience Gap’—in a nutshell the difference between customer expectation and the reality of what they experience when interacting.

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Digital can still offer a personal experience

A trick I like to use when searching for the true experience gap for an existing digital presence is to imagine the digital platform I’m looking at as a physical store that I’m walking into (as hard as that experience is to remember in the current climate) and break the journey down into a few steps:

  • Is it obvious that I’m in the right place?
  • How did they welcome me in?
  • How am I guided around the space?
  • Can I find the thing I’m there to purchase?
  • If not, what’s my fallback to ask for help?
  • When I’ve found what I want, how do I make it mine and how easy do they make this for me?

It’s also crucial to take advantage of the opportunities that digital can throw into the mix to push the experience even further, such as personalisation (imagine the shelves of a physical shop shifting and reshuffling just to make it easier for you) and follow ups and feedback post purchase (imagine the owner of a physical store turning up at your door and asking what you thought of the product?!).

To put the importance of all this into perspective, Salesforce claim that 56% of customers expect to find what they need in three clicks or less and that 69% agree that one extraordinary experience raises the expectations of other companies.

During lockdown, we’ve had more brands coming to us for help than we did during the entire previous year.

I believe this is down to these smart brands recognising that now is the time to invest in their digital experience as it will help them come through the recession stronger than their competitors. This has led to our teams working on a real mixed bag of new projects across a variety of industries; from FMCG brands wanting ‘quick win’ conversion optimisations to jump on the sales opportunities that increased digital visitors bring, to the definition of a new experience strategy for a large holiday brand who are using the lockdown and lack of travel to take a step back and define a new path for their future in digital.

We're here to help you...

If you’re worried that you’re not ready yet or set up to adapt quickly—Dare can be that ‘voice’ for the everyday consumer of your products or services, regardless of the industry or what you’re selling. My team’s deep research can get under the hood of your digital store and rapidly reshape your channels to perform in ways that meet and exceed the expectations of a demanding customer.

Hit us up…but make it snappy—we don’t have any time to waste.

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