OMNI-CHANNEL RETAIL EXPERIENCE
The COVID-19 Effect
eCommerce is experiencing accelerated growth in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is expected to continue well after the pandemic passes. Currently, more people are shifting their shopping online as physical stores are shut down, and self-isolation and social distancing regulations are enforced.
In Australia, eCommerce demand was previously dominated by apparel and electronics, however, we are now seeing more demand across essential categories such as grocery and pharmacy. This growth is expected to continue post COVID-19, defined as the second wave where regrowth starts and sticks online, due to permanent changes to shopping behaviour. This is likened to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) which triggered a four-year eCommerce explosion and SARS which spurred tremendous growth and innovation.
Sales are currently up 9.4 per cent on last year even with the huge reduction in retail footfall and Amazon has already reported significant spikes in activity, subsequently hiring an extra 100,000 team members to meet this demand. Even prior to the current state of affairs, eCommerce in Australia was expected to experience rapid growth in 2020 offsetting stagnant in-store retail sales.
Use Product Content to Seize the Opportunity
Omni-channel capability consisting of a multi-channel integrated shopping experience has never been more important, both now and for post COVID-19 revival. In this revival, it is expected most categories will experience an acceleration of online channel growth, particularly across grocery, liquor, health and beauty categories and those retailers with truly omni-channel experiences will be best positioned to benefit.
Product content is an enabler for omni-channel experiences and can be used across all customer touch points to drive improved engagement, conversion rate and an overall better experience for customers by enabling:
- A better multi-device experience: Different types of product content are required for different devices. For example, users who browse on mobile devices require excellent structured data to navigate a catalogue.
- In-store communication and education: Point-of-sale can utilise product content to inform and convert customers in the store, both on self-edge labels, takeaway leaflets and on marketing material.
- Online content: Having ready-made product content which can be repurposed across your website, social media, blog and media publications, both improves the efficiency of developing these platforms, but also helps make them more informative.
- Improved staff engagement: Providing great product content to staff, empowers them, improves engagement with customers and the chances of closing the sale.
Ultimately, those retailers with omni-channel capacity and quality product content are ensuring they are present where their customers are shopping, with content that persuades them to buy their products, and they are who will prosper throughout this pandemic and re-emerge stronger than ever.