Home Customer Journey Building Customer Loyalty: How COVID-19 is Changing Retail

Building Customer Loyalty: How COVID-19 is Changing Retail

by Margaret Brown

Building customer loyalty has been all about “meeting the customer where they are” for several years. Up until a few months ago, that focused mainly on online experiences and finding ways to create a multichannel or omnichannel experience to build loyalty and elevate the customer experience. Today, it also means literally meeting the customer where they are – in their car, in front of a restaurant or grocery store, and online. COVID-19 has quickly altered the retail experience for both retailers and consumers. It is imperative for retailers in every sector to focus on the customer experience and build on existing loyalty by meeting your customer where they are. Read the latest news here:

Best Buy Shifts to Curbside Pickup and delivery due to COVID-19
Like other retailers — including Apple — Best Buy’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak evolved rapidly. The company originally intended to keep its retail stores open with limited hours and a maximum number of 15 customers in a store at a time. That changed on March 22, when the company shifted entirely to curbside service and delivery. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry cited the pandemic as “unprecedented and changing at a pace all of us are working to keep up with.”

What this means is that customers can place an order on the Best Buy website or in the Best Buy app and request pick up at their local store. If a customer is unable to place an online order, they can go to the store and have an employee go inside to check availability. Best Buy also acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic is causing a surge in demand for products that people need to work from home. “We are seeing a surge in demand across the country for products that people need to work or learn from home, as well as those products that allow people to refrigerate or freeze food,” Barry said.

Read the article here.

How Top Brands Adapt to Expectations of The Pampered Consumer
In retail, customer experience drives awareness, loyalty, and revenue. Content – on your website, your social channels, or even driven by your customers – plays a huge role in building a superior customer experience. Building a top-notch content program starts with understanding the nature of today’s consumer-centric retailing, where every potential customer is more knowledgeable and more skeptical than ever. For a Retail Technology Insider Podcast, we talked with Sean Rusinko, Global Director, Industry Business Leader – Retail & Hospitality at Sitecore, about the “pampered consumer” and how they are shaping retail today.

Retailers in every vertical, from clothing to groceries, online behemoths to fast food chains, are incorporating tools such as AI and machine learning to power omnichannel strategies that move them closer to a one-to-one relationship with their customers. “There’s usually a huge lever that’s not being pulled from retailers and brands on the UGC – the User Generated Content,” said Sean, whose web content management platform powers thousands of retail and corporate sites. “We’re seeing online, branded communities build interest in trial, in purchase, in loyalty. …That’s users and content being created to help build customer satisfaction.”

Read the article here and listen to the conversation here.

Coronavirus is Changing Shoppers’ Relationship with Grocery Retailers
With U.S. consumers social distancing in response to the coronavirus, online grocery shopping has accelerated in an unprecedented way. Plus, buy online pick up in store orders surge for many e-retailers. Anyone who has visited a grocery store over the past few weeks knows the coronavirus crisis has become an unprecedented challenge for food retailers. Consumers, fearing they might face lockdown orders at any time, have been stocking up on essentials at a time when retailers face supply chain disruptions—the result: empty shelves. And as the COVID-19 crisis continues, the ritual of grocery shopping is changing.

An increasing number of consumers are turning to delivery, curbside and buy online pick up at store (BuOPIS) options to meet their needs during a time of social distancing. According to data from Rakuten Intelligence, online order volume from full-assortment grocery merchants rose substantially from March 12 through March 15, compared with the same period a year earlier. Rakuten Intelligence tracks emailed customer receipts to collect and catalog item-level purchase details from a panel made up of millions of shoppers.

Read more here.

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