Madrid - There are many changes that the Covid-19 has already brought to our society, transforming our way of being and acting. People change but also companies and the way they relate to their consumers.
Many of these companies remain closed and will have to start from scratch when they are allowed to, creating a new relationship of security and trust with their clients and reinventing their way of serving the public to gradually recover their volume of business.
Those that remain open are already being transformed: security and cleaning measures, capacity checks, reinforcement of online channels, etc. What is clear is that no one will be indifferent to the new normality, so it is important to understand or at least try to foresee, how the relationship between companies and their customers will be.
The importance of security
Undoubtedly, in the beginning, the main concern of users will be security, so companies (especially in the physical channel) will have to be able to transmit confidence, clarify what their security, distancing or cleaning measures are and achieve a purchasing process with as little physical contact as possible, but without losing emotional contact. To do this, they will be able to use technology as an ally, offering contactless payment methods to avoid cash and using all kinds of innovations, such as virtual fitting rooms to avoid testing clothing in the retail sector.
Although in the online channel there is already a minor contact, the consumer must be specified how their delivery will be or what process their package has followed to ensure that there is no risk. Fear is a very powerful feeling and, therefore, controlling every detail to mitigate it will be the difference between success or failure in this new environment.
Once the security step has been overcome, the new consumer will pay special attention to the commitment of brands to society. In a period in which aid and solidarity have been and will continue to be fundamental, people will value even more than before the actions and behaviors that companies take towards society, its purpose and its values.
Selling will no longer be enough, something more will have to be contributed. Those companies that have already added value during the crisis, either by protecting or improving the conditions of their workers, modifying their production to collaborate or donating all kinds of necessary elements, will have an advantage over the rest, at least initially. For this reason, it is important to define what we are going to do and how we are going to communicate it, without having to wait for the activity to return to normal.
On the other hand, we are all already aware that this health crisis will bring with it an economic crisis that will lower the purchasing power of the consumer. Thus, for those businesses with high purchase tickets or products with a high cost, it will be important to offer financing options that allow their clients to divide the payments to face them over a longer period. For this, there are payment gateways such as Sipay, which provide the necessary tools to offer this option, as well as the aforementioned contactless payments and numerous payment methods for both face-to-face and online and even telephone purchases.
Maximization of the online channel
Finally, and as we have been mentioning, ecommerce has suffered a great positive impact in recent weeks, especially in sectors where this purchasing channel, such as food, was previously barely present. It is possible to think that this turn towards online commerce will not disappear easily, but that many of the habits created will remain and coexist with physical commerce.
Thus, businesses should understand the opportunity presented by this channel, being a good time to implement it in those businesses that at the moment are only at the level of physical sales and to optimize it in those that already had it. The logistics for optimal distribution and the right partners to offer the safest payments will be essential to achieve this goal.
In short, if customer experience and care was already important before this crisis, it is now essential to maximize it throughout the entire purchasing process, from consideration to payment, and in all channels. Omnichannel will gain a new dimension in this new panorama in which the consumer will flow between online and offline and will modify their purchasing habits following numerous factors such as company commitment, security or convenience. Although it may scare us at first, a rough sea always hides endless opportunities. Now is the time to locate and take advantage of them.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES, translated and edited.
Photo credit: Freepik