COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to the way we live and work, and to businesses and the economy. Throughout the crisis, many companies responded to accelerated digital adoption and changing consumer needs with short-term digitally-driven solutions. Now is not the time to let off, with no permanent solution to COVID-19, rising cases and potential new restrictions on the horizon, digital will play a key role for the rest of this year, and into 2021. The shift to digital for many is here to stay. McKinsey & Co have predicted a permanent change in consumer behaviour that will see huge growth in online shopping. Therefore, companies need to change from reactive short-term solutions in favour of medium to long-term digital transformation and readiness.
There is more to the story. Shoppers are now navigating between channels more than ever before, combining offline and online interactions with the expectation of a harmonious customer journey. This means that the physical shopping experience (if you have a physical location) can and will remain crucial. But if you don’t meet their needs and expectations in the digital world, then this will impact you negatively offline.
From a strategic point of view now is the time to assess what this means for your business. Adapting now will make you more agile in responding today but will provide the added benefit of establishing a more sustainable framework for the next 12 months and beyond. Companies already adapting, or those with digital marketing maturity stand best placed to weather future disruptions. These companies will also be better placed to recoup some of their lost revenues over the busy Christmas and Festive period.
How can you blend digital into your current company practices to achieve a more robust multichannel experience? Here are some digital points to review as a start:
- Website – Are we offering the best user experience we can on desktop and mobile? Is our website fast loading? Do we have a full product catalogue? Do we know how customers currently make their way through the site? Can customers buy or reserve online? Are we easily contactable?
- Search Engine Landscape (SEO & PPC) – Can we be found easily for a variety of key searches relating to our brand, products, and services? Are we beneath our competition? Are we nowhere at all?
- Social Landscape (Organic & Paid Social) – What do our social profiles portray? Are our reviews good or bad? What content are we sharing that helps and matches current consumer needs? Can we better reach our customers before our competition by using ad opportunities?
- Current Marketing Plan and Tactics – Has our plan been updated to embrace the novelty of the current situation? What have we considered and tried? SWOT? Do we have the in-house resource and crucially experience to implement? How can digital mesh with offline to support key products and services? What is our timeline for change? Do we have a quarterly plan?
To anyone reading, do you have any additional points or insight to share? Feel free to ask some questions too. I also do regular (and free) 45-minute Zoom consultations so if you would rather talk on a 1-to-1 basis please send me a message.