In the last year, the retail business has seen many ups and downs, the pandemic has reshaped the way the industry works. Few common phrases for all are ‘consumer behavior is changing’, ‘inclination towards digital payments’, ‘changing consumer expectations’, ‘omnichannel retailing’, ‘disruption in supply chain’, ‘e-commerce’, ‘health and safety, and many more which shows how consumers shop today. And these all kinds of shifts brought more opportunities for digital success.
Kevin Diamond, Forever 21, Head Global E-Commerce mentioned, “The pandemic prompted customers that had never used the company’s website or native app before to start shopping online. Now, Forever 21’s challenge is, ‘how do we talk to customers differently?’”
And, many businesses transformed their operating models digitally to stay relevant and succeed in this new era. And there emerged a new segment ‘digital-first’, a segment that strongly banks on digital communications.
In today’s time, where almost all consumers have internet access, Forbes identified digital-first consumers across all generations. The report identified the digital engagement of consumers with their retailers for all generations as Gen Z (38 percent), Millennials (41 percent), Gen X (34 percent), and Baby Boomers (27 percent).
Digital Consumer Beyond Digital Channels
Customers have already migrated to the digital world, businesses are making efforts to accelerate digital payments, using analytics and AI in their operations, modernizing through technology, and making convenient and quick delivery. Meeting digital-first expectations for your customers is convenient by focusing on aspects that include smooth website navigation and clear product descriptions.
As per the recent survey, customers trust more clear survey information as well as product reviews and ratings. Thus, businesses have plenty of data to use wisely in establishing a benchmark for their website metrics by differentiating engagement and sales. Brands can ensure quality customer experience by following certain trends which are already proven as game-changer in today’s digital world.
It’s important to make your customers feel ‘HOOKED’ with your product by implementing a neurological habit loop that triggers an interaction that produces a reward. Headless CMS platform can help in creating the best Omnichannel customer experience. In the race of creating the best ‘Customer Experience’ (CX) standing out from your competitors is, how does the brand ‘quantify the differentiation?’
Today where personalization has reached hyper-personalization, brands have to focus on assuring customer data privacy and predicting the right level of stock and inventory analytically. Thus, brands need to understand that what gravitates this digital-first customer shopping experience.
‘Always On’ Retail Model
A recent US Consumer Sentiment Research by McKinsey shows that, “a whopping 77 percent of consumers tried new shopping ways in the past year, and that they were primarily driven to it by a need for value, convenience, and availability”.
Brands and retailers have realized this is once in a generation opportunity, alterations made today are going to set the game board for the next ten years. Thus it’s important to understand what drives this digital-first customer expectation – the need or the platform. All customers have become digital-first customers by adopting the digital lifestyle of the internet revolution.
Brian Silos advised retailers in one of his articles, “retailers and landlords to look for that kind of information, and then reverse-engineer what you do with your online journey and your space and how you think about what retail space needs to be, as the digital-first customer is more demanding and impatient.