Blog - Virid: People-Powered eCommerce

20 Ways Retailers and Brands Can Roll With Changes in 2020

Conquering change takes a tenacious and innovative team. Our market challenges, whether they are technical or physical, can be overcome. Here is some food for thought and tips to help you manage.
To begin, perspective is key to taming emotions. Retail is innovation, and the amount of transition to achieve great commerce includes technological advances. Take the last 20 years, for example. In the eCommerce space alone, we helped brands deal with mobile trends, new delivery and payment methods, omni-channel management and even changes in tax law. But nothing has affected us as globally as our current pandemic, COVID-19.
Here are twenty tactics from our team to trounce your current challenges: 

Search Box

Do you have any logic builtin to auto-suggest or auto-complete searches on your site? Search result filters are also a good idea. They allow customers to weed out what is not needed, speeding up their time to conversion.

Savvy Teams

Now is the time to invest in your team. Educate them on how to leverage digital media and enable them to connect to your customers. This helps your company evolve and enables your team to add value and their voice to your brand.

Tight Processes

You now have the opportunity to establish new internal processes: think efficiency. Cut out extra steps that hold you back! Remote and minimal work crews will thank you.

Bundles of Joy

Have you considered incentives such as bundles that include a free gift? A little thoughtfulness for your customers can go a long way. Look to your cross-sell data for popular product combinations, or lift your customers' morale with a branded T-shirt. 

Polished & Snappy Website

Critically assessing your eCommerce site has never been as important as it is now. Polish up how your site's look and adjust images sizes to increase speed on all pages. Consider adjusting product descriptions from social activity to the 'Work from Home' lifestyle.

Lean on your Team

Ask your team how customers are interacting with your site and call center. Knowing how your team and customers feel is important. Create a better experience based on what they share with you.

Hello, Customer Service?

Increase your customer service engagement with these steps:
  1. Start off by collecting customer feedback on calls, chat sessions, and email.
  2. It's not the time to use canned responses: man your stations to react fast. Challenge your team to start conversations and learn.
  3. Focus on making your customers' experience fun, entertaining, and informative.

Social Distance Chatting

Do you have a chat tool integrated with your site and platform? Leverage your eCommerce website but also consider your social media accounts.

No-contact Delivery

Do you deliver from your store? Do you have a method to enable the customer to pick up their orders? Are these built into your checkout process, or do you expect customers to call you for arrangements?

Are they not entertained?

Does your brand enable a hobby or special interest? Start an email list to explore the hobby more in-depth. Are there any forums that make sense for your team to jump in on? The Internet is full of people looking for interaction!

Education is Golden

Do you see frequent, similar customer behaviors? Maybe it's time to create segmented email lists to help these groups learn about what they need. This gives them immediate value, no shipping time needed!

Where's the party?

Your customers are looking for ways to connect with their friends. Give them a hand: make sure they have ways to connect from your site to social media platforms, driving more engagement. Also consider enabling your companies social posts to become shoppable. Platforms like Curalate can help.

Which of the following...

Finding new ways to engage with your customers can be as simple as a fun poll or quiz. For example, ask if they would like something 'sweet' or 'salty'. Make sure to enable a share button for social media.

Be Frugal with Google

Getting to the tip top position in Google searches or 'position zero' is a great goal, but how? Google has recently rolled out a new spot, for example, that appears above their ads in search results. Get this spot by answering your standard 'who, what, where, why, and when' queries. Consider the following types of content to reach position zero: paragraphs, images, numbered or bulleted lists, graphs, tables, videos, and charts. If you include video, make sure you review the caption settings to allow text.

Give Me the FAQs

FAQs are a great addition, getting customers answers they need fast. This translates as 'we care about saving you time and money' and 'We know our customers'. Don't forget to add FAQs to your chat flow. Use a chat bot to ask customers if they've found what they are looking for.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Add 'how-to' articles for maintenance of your products, usage instructions, and troubleshooting.

Just DIY It

Get creative with your products, record the process and results on video, and add them to TikTok or Youtube. Include a link to the written steps on your site, and make sure to include a list of products with links where possible. Videos work like magic in this section, but written content is faster. Try both and see what works best with your audience.

Give your Community Something To Do

Highlight customer creativity by asking them for related DIYs and to show off how they use your products. This helps them feel like part of your brand and gives them something to link to their friends.

Consider Price-conscious Shoppers

This next tip is for the price-conscious shoppers, which we all should be right now. Describe reasoning for the price of your products and services if bought in separate pieces.

Best Foot Forward

Use 'Best for...' lists to highlight appropriate products on your blog. For example, if you are selling bicycles, your customers might be 'Beginners', 'Enthusiasts', 'Experts', and 'The Pros'. Break your products into custom categories to enable quick comparisons. 

Even in this new era, remember the basics: stay creative to stand out, remember to plan and release the changes in stages, and keep your audience engaged. Educate and protect your team and your customers. Keep your site speed blazing; speed will continue to increase in importance as more sites struggle for customers' attention. 
If your progress plateaus or you feel stuck in your conversions, please feel free to reach out . Virid is here to help!

Topics: best practices, platform updates, site experience, site performance, Site search

Written by Ivan Silva

Ivan Silva is the Senior Business Development Associate at Virid. His focus is on developing partnerships with ecommerce apps and service providers to help brands grow. Ivan believes that a brand and retailers’ success is predicated by how memorable each customer experience is and understands how to build an exceptional brand. Ivan has helped launch and develop award-winning sites for retailers and brands with Virid for the past eight years and has helped retailers and brands grow in revenue for nearly 20. Ivan holds an MBA focusing on project management and has an operations background in the B2B hardware industry, biotech tooling industry, outdoor sports retail industry, and experience as a graphic designer.