From mandatory business closures to social distancing orders, pandemic safety practices have made our customers less mobile. Businesses are grappling with how to get back to full speed in this tricky environment.
People may be more out of sight, but don’t let that plague your business. They’ve overwhelmingly turned to digital tools to keep some semblance of normalcy. Here are some emerging digital trends to consider. Adopting them will help you keep pace with the evolving needs of your customers and differentiate you from your competition.
Take time to consider how your less-mobile customers have changed their day-to-day behaviors, needs and wants. In the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, trends show consumers are looking to make home improvements while others have flocked to sports and outdoor products to “recreate responsibly”. Consumers are also purchasing groceries and meals online and using home delivery service.
Remember to use social media and website analytics to gain insight on where your customers are, what devices and sources they are coming to you from, and where they seem to be spending time to get information about your products and services.
Next, examine how your products and services could best align with those evolving behaviors, needs and wants. For example, customers in the business-to-business (B2B) space are relying on company e-commerce sites since air travel and physical meetings have been limited. Businesses are forced to re-create the old face-to-face sales interactions across alternate mediums. You may want to consider creating ways to enhance your virtual meetings or create a portal for clients to access tailored pricing, for example.
Right now, the average American spends 10½ hours each day consuming media, with almost 5½ hours spent watching video. Make sure you are ready to engage your customers where they are — online. Consider replacing that clunky website riddled with outdated information with simple navigation and access to information that customers are looking for. Engage your new and loyal fans on their favorite social media sites with relevant content that’s interesting to them.
Experiment with new tools to help re-create that personal experience. For example, since most companies are not accepting in-person visits from vendors right now, I am experimenting with a tool that sends a video message via email or virtual meeting calendar invitation.
Recently, after sending a video introduction from our team to a new client contact, we got this response: “Even masked up like the digital superheroes that you all are, you made a human connection with this video … to the point where I was actually waving back at my monitor watching this!”
Chart a New Route
Customers’ needs and expectations are changing. They are gravitating to brands that understand them and meet them where they are. The good news is that you have control over how you connect your brand with your customers.
It’s time to snap out of the pandemic hunker-down mode and chart your new digital route to your customers. Experiment with new ideas. Be nimble. Move quickly to keep pace with the evolving needs of your customers. This will be sure to differentiate you from your competition.
Davia Moss is vice president of operations and client services at Next Horizon, a Sanford-based IT and digital marketing agency that provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.