In response to the pandemic, many consumers began to seek out safer shopping options. Businesses had no choice but to respond as quickly as possible to meet this demand. Retailers expanded their digital services to include curbside and contactless pickup options to retain and maintain engagement and reach. Customers adapted to the new modes of engagement, and online shopping surged in popularity. The question now is will consumers and businesses revert to previous modes of engagement now that vaccination programs are showing success, and public health protocols have eased back? Not likely! 53% of North Americans say that the pandemic has changed the way they will shop in the future. Consumers prefer the convenience of digital interactions, especially using their smartphones.
Though many businesses still call these new measures “temporary,” it’s necessary to think long-term about these new client-company interactions. While some shoppers will return to pre-pandemic shopping, many prefer the new options. Businesses need to prepare for an increased percentage of customers who prefer the digital customer journey.
The push towards a seamless digital customer journey has presented a unique strategic opportunity for businesses. It’s a perfect time for industries like telecom, banking, financial services and insurance, to leverage consumer trends and how their products are being positioned for the unforeseeable future.
Customers are Embracing Digital
The moment could not be more right for businesses to reengage with their customers via means like personalized one-to-one messaging, as customers are increasingly seeking out digitized shopping experiences. The first step is leaning into the digital transformation just like customers are, and investing in eCommerce technologies and strategies. Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) online activity, for instance, increased at the height of the pandemic, and shows no signs of slowing down. An eMarketer report showed a 45% growth in D2C sales from 2019 to 2020, with projections of continued growth. D2C is not just popular with consumers – it’s a powerful branding tool.
To add to that, this Shekel survey indicates that more than 87% of customers prefer to shop at stores that offer contactless payment through mobile and other self-service and automated options. The survey and report shows that a digital presence is vital, even though some shoppers would prefer to return to brick and mortar outlets.
By January 2021, eCommerce accounted for 17% of total retail sales in the U.S., up from 11% pre-pandemic, further emphasizing that having digital strategies set in place are necessary to retain those customers who are reluctant to re-enter stores or who’ve simply grown to prefer the new range of shopping options.
Challenge Brings Opportunity – for All Industries
The growth in eCommerce has been significant for industries like grocery stores and fitness centers. As the pandemic forced people to spend more time at home, consumers loved the expanded online ordering and programming options these industries offered . Consumers are looking for similar opportunities from other industries, with telecom and financial services positioned to leverage the moment.
Telecom can use this opportunity to reach customers on the very devices that helped them stay connected and present during pandemic lockdowns. People love the ease and immediacy of text, and consumers are looking for two-way conversations with brands and local businesses. Choosing the right platform partner can make all the difference, telecom companies can respond to the new customer’s preference for personalization through one-to-one messaging without sacrificing data privacy or security.
In the same way that customers are moving online to shop, they are also looking for financial products and services too. . In response, banks and financial services are using business texting to engage customers – a proven winner for attracting and retaining new clients. According to Wealth Management, business texting delivers a phenomenal open rate of 98%. Tailored client communication, through curated one-to-one messaging and personalized reminders, boosts brand loyalty and engagement. Plus, digital strategies collect rich customer data, helping companies diversify and optimize revenue streams according to customer lifecycles and needs.
Digitization Opens Up New Opportunities
The pandemic has changed consumer behavior for the long term and businesses need to adjust their outreach while maintaining full compliance. Digital options let businesses meet customers where they are – browsing their smartphones or connecting through popular messaging apps – instead of working extra hard to make them come to you.
Statflo's TextKit makes it even easier, by helping customer-facing teams engage, retain and grow their customer base with one-to-one business text messaging that meets every compliance standard. Businesses can use TextKit’s standalone platform, or integrate with its suite of open APIs and SDKs, to build flexible messaging experiences that connect client databases and existing apps.
Meet customers where they are with one-to-one business texting. To learn more, request a TextKit demo today!