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2021 – Year of Online Opportunity

 
The future has been pulled forward – now every business is an online business

Consumer behaviour in 2020 changed dramatically, which was hardly unexpected as COVID spread worldwide. 75% of consumers have changed the way they purchase.

 

Source McKinsey

 

In June 2020 Deloitte surveyed 10,000 US online adults and found and 65% of these consumers state they will maintain online digital behind buying behaviour, post-crisis. 42% said they would not return to shopping in stores once stay-at-home-restrictions are lifted.  

The change in behaviour drove an unprecedented acceleration in the digital environment. The United States  experienced 10 years of e-commerce growth in three months and Australia five years in three months.

 

Sources: Shaw Spring Research, Bank of America, U.S. Department of Commerce. KPMG COVID-19: Retail’s survival and revival.

 

 

Chat2 has been operating in the online customer service space for the last six years and we have been observing the escalating trend of consumers taking more of their purchasing activity online due to improvements in technology. 

Now with the ‘quickening’ the changes we had observed gradually have hit warp-speed.

As respected global researcher McKinsey said;

“If you’re feeling whiplash, it might be the ten years forward we just jumped in 90 days’ time.” 

Digitalization, online ordering, remote delivery and remote working have become the new norm. Businesses need to recognize the changing online environment as exceptionally significant, and take action now to take advantage of the exceptional opportunity this presents online or be left behind. In this new online environment businesses need to look at new ways to reach customers. Why?

If they do, they will be able to take advantage of this unprecedented online behaviour and move ahead of the crowd in this very busy and noisy space. 

Brands need to act now and launch themselves head on escalating their digital capabilities, looking at how they reach their customers, communicate with customers throughout the sales journey during the decision-making through to final purchase and after sales. 

Those brands that are now winning are being more creative, more authentic, seeking help from the online experts, and implementing digital capability fast.

Consumers are demanding businesses to provide a first-class e-commerce experience with seamless digital service. 

Now some brands have turned to AI (artificial technology) to attain their goal, though this strategy needs to be carefully managed to be successful. From our experience online, consumers do not want to engage 100% with AI alone, they demand human interaction and assistance by a real person. 

98% of people try and bypass IVR (interactive voice response systems) in order to get to a human agent. The top three terms used are “representative”, “customer service”, and “live person”. Hubspot 2018 Customer Service Expectations 

Particularly in this time of crisis, we are interacting with online visitors every hour of every day who are demanding more reassurance in that it is safe to buy (e.g. checking refund and cancellation policies) and that it’s safe to visit (i.e. what hygiene practices are in place). 

Traditional brand loyalties can no longer be taken for granted as 36% of consumers are trying out new brands, as the business they previously used has not kept pace with new  consumer demands for availability, instantaneous service and seamless digital engagement. 

Millennials and Gen Z have been the widest adopters of contactless activities. Gen Z (1996 to 2012) are on their mobiles on average six hours a day researching before they shop (Reuters Institute and Flamingo Group).

As consumers are now spending more time online during their buying journey, this has created the demand for businesses to become more available online. Consumers demand businesses to respond in the same timeframe out of hours or on the weekend as they would during normal business hours.

 

Australia Post Consumer Survey, Jan- April 2020 and Chat2 clients

 

This has placed a huge stress on businesses [especially smaller ones] who need to offer longer operating hours to meet this demand.

In this “new normal” digital environment, businesses need to include a clear digital route to market and integrate customer contact into their capability. 

We have seen that the early adopters of a digital strategy have been able to provide effective customer service and enhanced operation, with an increase or maintenance of sales during the COVID-19 event. This is a clear advantage over their competitors.

The profound impact of this pandemic requires businesses to reevaluate how they do business and communicate with their customers. Businesses have to modernize their core operations which is uncomfortable for many, moving away from how they have always done business. 

Bold moves are needed to build and maintain resilience to survive. The most important move to consider is the enhancement of digital communication and being online in the space where and when your consumers. 

Chat2 has been assisting businesses worldwide from large corporations through to the single business operator. We help businesses stand out from the crowd in this noisy online space, by providing a 24/7 online presence with a team of “real people” providing reassurance, responses to questions, guiding online sales, sharing promotions or obtaining leads. 

As we have been working in this online space for six years and noticed the escalation in behaviour changed to the COVID-19 crisis, we are able to provide the guidance and assistance necessary to businesses to enhance their online digital capability and service to customers immediately. 

If you would like to find out more on how we do this, go to chat2.com where you will find short videos explaining what we do, you can book for a free demo with one of our consultants to give your business immediate digital capability and connection with your customers.

Businesses need to double down on digital in the ‘new normal’ and test new methods of customer engagement (yes we offer a free trial) especially in these times of unprecedented online traffic. 

We can escalate your digital consumer connection to enhance your personalisation of messages, provide real assurance, attract/convert more sales, assist with customer issues, obtain more leads, accelerate loyalty, enhance customer experience and communicate proactively with customers 24/7 for a fraction of the cost if you were to do it yourself. 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our first information session of the year “2021 – Year of Online Opportunity”.

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour.

 

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