Since the onset of the pandemic, digital engagement has been growing rapidly. This comes, as customers are not able to travel as much as before, or have that same experience of walking in and out of stores as before. There has also been a huge shortfall in terms of interstate and international travellers, resulting in a lot of retailers seeing less business.
According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years.
However, this is not a post to remind businesses of their COVID-19 woes, but rather a reminder that there is hope if you adapt and make use of the many digital tools available to make sure you survive not jut now, but beyond the pandemic.
Here are a few digital tips that can help ensure your website is not left unattended when customers come looking for you.
1. Upon Arrival to Your Website
A great digital tool to use to virtually greet your customers is a Bot or you can use live-chat if you are around. Information bots can share handy links and information about your products and services to your customers, while you are offline. This is a major help when it comes to capturing leads. Live-chat is an effective way to engage and interact with your customers.
There are free tools for live-chat, such as Tawk.to and Facebook Messenger can be used on websites as well. There are also tools that are AI powered, with an AI-Bot and live-chat option like FreshChat from FreshWorks.
Most of these online products offer a free trial when you sign-up so we recommend checking them out and seeing which one works best for your business.
2. Show Them Around
You should also consider making use of digital tools to showcase your website to visitors including 360º tours or video appointments. You can use tools such as Calendly to manage your online appointments.
3. Digital Face-to-Face Customer Service
Just like in a retail store environment where you would not let your customers just wander around, you can also do this via your website through video consultations. There are free and some less expensive tools for video calling that you can use, like Google Meet, Zoom or even WhatsApp. In case you missed it, did you know that you could use WhatsApp on the web and not just on your phone?
Click on the link below to watch an example of a video consultation service from jewellery shop retailer Michael Hill in Australia, they also offer users the chance to try on a ring virtually to see how it looks on their fingers using AR technology.
4. Stay Safe Online. Know the Rules
As highlighted in one of Mobi’s latest blogs, digital safety is more important than ever right now. That is why it’s advisable to make sure you’re being cyber-safe at all times. Stay aware of spam and customer pranks. Being open to the world wide web does throw up additional security risks, especially to those less digitally savvy small to medium enterprises or start up’s who can’t afford IT companies or professional security service providers.
Some safety measures you can take include, getting yourself a business phone that is separate to your personal device and number, that way you don’t risk sharing personal information. Also, make sure you do not give out your bank account details and any personal identifiable data.
Do remember that there are privacy protections and data security rules you need to follow when conducting business online. It’s also important for you to be on top of how and where you store data.
When it comes to keeping your customer’s information secure on your site, especially any payment info, ensure you use safe payment gateways. There are tools such as Shopify and Stripe that you can use to accept and manage credit card payments, refunds etc.
I know this may sound like a lot but on the positive side, if you design a great user experience for your website and/or mobile apps with your customer in mind and ensure security is taken are of, you can take this opportunity to grow your business globally.
More importantly, remember to stay safe and well – this too shall pass.
If you are re-thinking your digital operating model or need a hand with any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.