Curbside Pickup, Virtual Shopping, BOPIS, Voice Search…which new omnichannel experience is helping your business survive the pandemic?
COVID-19 has dramatically shaped consumer behaviors and as a result, brands must quickly adapt if they want to survive post-pandemic. As businesses reopen, one thing remains clear: an omnichannel experience will remain key in preparing every brand to be successful during this time. An optimized omnichannel strategy will give brands the ability to adapt to consumers’ changing expectations by enabling a seamless customer care experience from search to post-purchase on all touchpoints.
What Does an Omnichannel Experience Look Like in 2020?
COVID-19 changed the face of what an omnichannel strategy looks like – in 2020 and for many years to come. Shelter-in-place orders forced businesses whose main source of revenue depended on in-store traffic to adopt an omnichannel strategy. This has led to many complications for businesses and customers alike. On the business side, many businesses are having trouble with order fulfillment, inventory management, and payment method options. These inefficiencies have made consumers frustrated with the inability to receive a seamless shopping experience. As a result, brands who were unable to pivot their in-store strategy to a successful omnichannel strategy have lost valuable customers and revenue, in a time when they need it the most. Brands must adopt an omnichannel approach if they want to retain and attract customers throughout the customer lifecycle.
In today’s world, consumers are looking for products and services through their phone, car navigation, computer, voice assistant, and more. An omnichannel experience gives customers the ability to find exactly what they’re looking for, through whichever channel they choose. This includes delivering great customer service on all touchpoints, whether it’s through social media, chatbots, email, reviews, the phone, in-person, or any other way a customer may reach out for customer service.
A seamless omnichannel experience in 2020 means businesses have to rethink the customer journey to ensure that they’re reaching all customer touchpoints. Brands such as Target and Nike invested in their omnichannel strategy early on prior to COVID-19 – foreseeing the value it brings into positively shaping the customer experience. These early adopters did so by integrating popular services such as Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPUS), mobile apps, and easily accessible customer service features. These services resonated strongly with consumers, with 70% of U.S. consumers using BOPUS as part of their shopping experience. When the outbreak of COVID-19 occurred, several industries raced to introduce omnichannel services such as curbside pickup, online ordering, and more to continuously meet consumer demands.
Having a framework for omnichannel marketing will help your brand overcome any challenges you may have experienced from the pandemic and achieve post-pandemic success. The strategies below are a safe and efficient way to retain customers while preventing the spread of COVID-19.
#1 – Leverage Local SEO to Convey Accurate Information & Reach Customers
An optimized local SEO strategy is the foundation for a seamless omnichannel experience. It enables brand discovery at the start of the consumer’s shopping journey. By updating listings, leveraging local pages, and optimizing for voice search, your brand can give consumers a seamless start to their online to in-store experience.
It’s imperative that your business has accurate information across all tier 1 directories such as Google My Business, Bing, and Yelp – especially in the age of COVID-19. Consumers are facing many difficulties when searching for accurate business information, resulting in growing frustrations and consumer distrust. As a business, the last thing you want is to drive customers away because you failed to update your business hours or communicate what services are open. Whether or not your business is open, has limited hours, or is temporarily closed, it should be a goal to update your listings to reflect these changes. Maintaining NAPWCHD consistency across all business listings will give consumers who are using multiple channels the right answers quickly. Google My Business has implemented new features to help consumers gain a better insight into services you’re providing and whether customers are able to enter your store during this time.