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Future-Proofing Your Retail Business For COVID 19 And Beyond

While economic activity is at a historic low, this does not mean your business profits need to be at a low as well. Customers are desperately trying to adapt during these uncertain times and as a result, there are noticeable behavioural changes. People are more frugal with their spending and prefer stocking up on items rather than spending on experiences. The retailing landscape and E-commerce has completely transformed and will likely remain this way well after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a business owner, this means that you have to push through these strange times and support your customers. So how can your retail business adapt to support your customers in this unknown time?

Go Digital

With social distancing measures in place, customers are avoiding drop-off in brick-and-mortar shopping and switching to online shopping for items they would have otherwise purchased in person. Even the most digitally resistant customers are shopping online as most are opting to stay inside.

Many Australian retailers are shifting to selling entirely online, promoting the ‘contactless payment’ method.

We can see that retailers who are operating offline have also recognised the allure of this method and implemented it themselves in stores. The use of cash payment has slowly been reducing throughout the years with the introduction of ‘tap and go’ payments and smart devices.

Seldom are day’s people would stop by their local banks or find an ATM to withdraw cash. Since COVID-19 people are straying further away from cash payment as they fear that this plays a part in the spread. Well before the pandemic, it was predicted that Australia will be the first cashless society by 2026.

Following the theme of preferred payment is the buy-now-pay-later option which has surged online expansion and restored revenue for retailers in Australia. Countless online retailers have incorporated the option of using ‘Afterpay’ or ‘zipPay’ to allow their customers to purchase the product and pay in monthly instalments. This increases company revenue as customer’s do not shy away from purchasing a product based on the funds they have available to them at the time.

Customer Experience

Now that your retail business is operating online how can you improve your customer experience and guarantee customer satisfaction?
Above all else, a successful business will priorities creating a great customer experience.

If a customer has to continuously sift through a range of products they are likely to tire and lose interest in purchasing from your online store. However, a simple yet highly effective solution is implementing a ‘recommended’ product list.

This makes it quick and easy for your customer to view products that interest them and in turn, profits will keep flowing. The satisfaction of your customers is also reliant upon the security of your online store. Another simple yet highly effective solution is customising security which will manage the friction that customers experience. These two objectives can be simultaneously met to ensure an optimal customer experience via the use of AI and Machine Learning.

With the advancement of AI and Machine Learning algorithms now every online customer’s experience can be customised and specially tailored to their preference. This is key in turning an occasionally returning customer into a loyal customer.

Amazon is well-known for using Machine Learning to provide its customers with recommendations based on their preferences. This approach is called the Kount Control – Account Takeover Protection and what makes this approach full-proof is its ability to identify your returning customer even when they have logged in from a new location or a new device.

Prior to COVID-19 and well after, cybersecurity will remain a fundamental part of sustaining an online business. Kount Controls allows for monitoring any challenges the user faces such as failed login attempts which can be indicative of credential attacks.

While the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will end at some point, the shift in consumer behaviour and the retail landscape will outlast the crisis. Retail businesses that take the initiative to implement these customer support measures will create a business that thrives well beyond the end of the pandemic.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you create a winning digital strategy click here to book a session with us.