Is your business adapted, equipped to consumers' changing habits in digital commerce?
Companies that have viewed digital commerce as a secondary channel now need to reorient every aspect of their business as consumers adjust to a new way of shopping, working and living as a result of the pandemic.
Is your business adapted, equipped to consumers' changing habits in digital commerce?
Euden Valdez (Philstar.com) - October 5, 2020 - 9:30am

MANILA, Philippines — As the pandemic directly impacted businesses of all sizes around the globe, retail consumers have also been affected. The consumers instantly had to limit their shopping to what is essential, not only because of establishment closures, but also due to new personal circumstances such as changes in discretionary income and spare time.

Despite the easing of stay-at-home orders and countrywide lockdowns, consumers are shopping more consciously and efficiently today, even online.

Accenture observed this new behavior and changing habits among retail consumers in a research titled, “Consumers change how they shop, work and live.”

“They are prioritizing health and safety in addition to price and the selection that is available to them. They think of local establishments that not only make them feel safe, but also desire to support these establishments and help them thrive. This conscious consumerism is something that will likely continue as the world rides out this crisis,” affirmed Kelvin Si, Interactive Delivery Lead of Accenture in the Philippines.

The result is a major pivot to digital commerce. Companies that have viewed digital commerce as a secondary channel now need to reorient every aspect of their business as consumers adjust to a new way of shopping, working and living as a result of the pandemic.

Citing the same Accenture research, Si added, “Ecommerce purchases are expected to increase by 160% primarily driven by new or low frequency users pre-COVID-19. Consumers across the world are also likely to continue using omnichannel services as a result of this pandemic.”

These omnichannel services include contactless payment, social commerce, virtual consultations and curbside pickup, among others.

In the Philippines, GCash reported a 700% increase in transactions in May versus a year ago, while PayMaya saw a 900% increase in transactions processed by partner government agencies from June 2019 to June this year.

As more and more consumers engage with brands and process transactions digitally, they also develop a different set of expectations—presenting new challenges and opportunities to businesses alike.

“While the impact of the pandemic to the economy is not fully known at this time, both direct-to-consumer and B2B organizations are trying their best to meet the immediate needs of their marketplaces. It is important that they look at, scale up and stabilize their digital channels and capabilities,” said JP Palpallatoc, Next 5 Technologies Lead at Accenture in the Philippines.

To help businesses equip themselves and acquire digital strategies to adapt to this shift, Palpallatoc cites three actions that executives could follow based on Accenture’s Channel Shift: Prioritizing Digital Commerce report.

1. Reassure your customers and employees

Is your business adapted, equipped to consumers' changing habits in digital commerce?

With the sudden restrictions in movement and tightening of budgets, consumers worry if they’re paying a fair price or even if they’ll be able to find the essentials they need. As a result, they are gravitating toward companies that are truthful, transparent and driven by a clear purpose.

Palpallatoc said that businesses need to demonstrate these attributes to deliver better customer service and make themselves more relevant. They also need to connect and engage with customers—old and new—on an ongoing basis.

The immediate steps to take include:

  • Reassess your employee and customer policies in line with your brand purpose and values.
  • Identify opportunities to provide special assistance to key communities.
  • Initiate an audit of your commerce experience to ensure it properly represents your brand.
  • Establish rapid response capabilities and center.

2. Stabilize digital channels, platforms, infrastructure

Is your business adapted, equipped to consumers' changing habits in digital commerce?

While the shift to ecommerce presents an opportunity to grow revenue, attract new customers and drive channel shift, this still depends on digital channels and capabilities. There needs to be appropriate scale and stability that can handle the demands, according to Accenture.

Here are important tips to assist in this aspect:

  • Establish a Virtual Control hub by rapidly putting together a cross-functional team that will manage the digital commerce marketplace.
  • Run a UX Customer Journey assessment to improve customer satisfaction and boost online revenue.
  • Conduct a Marketing ROI assessment to optimize channel mix and redeploy investments.
  • Reestablish supply chain visibilities and KPIs.

3. Reconfigure products and services

Is your business adapted, equipped to consumers' changing habits in digital commerce?

While businesses that have historically invested in digital commerce tools will likely adjust better to this new, digital-first economy, those that have only made moderate strides will be more greatly disrupted.

These companies that have been traditionally less digital-sales focused, based on Accenture’s global research, can apply the following:

  • Deploy off-the-shelf solutions to quickly get inventory online and establish digital as your primary sales channel.
  • Extend your distribution partner ecosystem and assess your workforce utilization.
  • Analyze pricing and promotions to optimize investment in price promotions across key customers and regions.
  • Look for inventory that can be moved quickly and efficiently online from your offline locations.

Through these steps, Accenture aims to help businesses develop consumer experiences that demonstrate value, trust, convenience and relevance, now more than ever.

“There is no one formula that will work for all. But it is important for businesses and retailers in this context, to learn and adapt new technologies based on their needs and what their consumers demand. Hopefully, the shift to digital platforms will continue to help improve the lives of Filipinos amidst and beyond this pandemic,” Palpallatoc ended.

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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