You might’ve approached your digital strategy by nailing down what you want to deliver on each of the channels your brand uses. But e-commerce is an ever-evolving beast, and even if you’re not in e-commerce, the way that we all purchase has changed markedly in the past year.
The move to online commerce
Even back in 2018, shoppers were moving online, with 51% of UK consumers stating they’d prefer to shop online than in-store. Fast-forward to the pandemic, and we saw a massive acceleration towards online shopping and a more digital world in general. The brands which succeeded through this period despite the odds tend to be those who embraced e-commerce and innovation which allows them to centre the customer’s journey, rather than their sales process.
US ecommerce, for example, saw ten years’ worth of growth happen in just three months, over the pandemic! Of course, this will level out, but that unprecedented boom forward puts us way ahead of market predictions and accelerates the journey towards ecommerce that we were already on.
From a global perspective, this survey illustrated that more than half of the study’s respondents now shop online more frequently – but also rely on the internet more for their news, information relating to health, and for digital entertainment.
Rewriting our high streets
This needn’t be all doom and gloom, however. Where city centres had to have broad appeal, hosting all of our favourite generic go-to brands, the idea is that consumers are now more likely to visit these generic experience brands online.
The high streets that are doing the best are the ones that offer an experience; a reason to visit, rather than a slightly more inconvenient version of popping online.
This is no different, ironically, when it comes to our online practices. The brands doing best are focussing their digital strategies on experience; they want to be memorable, and a feel-good experience for the customer.
The crucial goal for digital strategy is clearly to boost sales. But do we need to funnel users to click a URL and move onto the website? Not necessarily.
Enhancing and streamlining user experience, whatever the channel, should be a focal aim. Buying behaviour is changing, especially with revenue coming from brand acceptance and streams like Instagram shopping.
Sure your customer might purchase via your webshop. But what about click-throughs from social? What about online marketplaces? It might seem like a brain-blistering amount of different approaches to consider, and of course, each channel does have different user facets that should shape your approach. But the one crucial thing? Define your digital strategy to best suit your customer’s journey.
Defining your digital strategy by the customer’s journey
Being digital-first can come out in various different ways, depending on your business choices as well as your industry niche. To thrive, businesses are embracing a world of new tools and strategies to try to get ahead of the competition. Many are trying to improve their flexibility, and clever businesses are looking to UX information to help guide their process, and optimise how their brand functions online for the client.
To get ahead of the stiff competition, prioritise your user. Investing in getting to know their desires and purchasing decisions can only equate to brand growth in these exciting times.