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Retaining Customers During The COVID-19 Crisis

07/04/20

The Coronavirus pandemic is testing leadership on many fronts. Brand leaders in retail, especially food retail, banking, and the hospitality industries are struggling to maintain revenues in a dynamic and fluid ecosystem. Specifically, they are tasked while ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees and customers while maintaining sales revenues as demand increases.

Online shopping has grown exponentially over the past few years, especially with the advent of AI-driven shopping experiences, but the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in online shopping. A new report from brand protection firm Red Points reveals 73 percent of consumers will increase online shopping if the COVID-19 outbreak continues, and 58 percent of consumers have already bought more goods online than usual.

With this increased activity comes increased scrutiny. If a consumer has less than an excellent shopping experience, they will find another brand. They will also leave if they think you are not working to care for them and your employees. Brand leaders are in a heightened battle for the consumer’s trust, and only those who earn and keep it will win. With this in mind, here are some rules for enterprise brands that want to successfully engage with consumers, gain their trust during the COVID-19 crisis, and maintain a revenue stream.

Customer & Employee Safety Comes First
Put others first. Be sure you communicate that you are putting your employees’ and customers’ well-being first. According to Forrester, 52 percent of U.S. online adults prefer to buy from companies that show how they are protecting customers against the threat of COVID-19. Share with your customers the steps you are taking to protect them.

Amazon recently communicated how consumers should handle the packages they deliver to ensure they are protecting themselves from possible COVID-19 contamination. A note from a CEO and/or founder expressing how you are protecting them helps engender their trust.

Notify When You’re Out of Stock
You have to be as transparent as possible while providing a fast, engaging, 1:1 in-the-moment experience. If you are out of a product, tell the shopper and be able to offer an appealing, alternative product instantly. If you can let the customer know when the product they seek will be available again, even better.

Read the full article in Independent Retailer.