With rapid technology adoption and the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are shifting their daily activities online faster than ever before. From banking to shopping for groceries, we can accomplish so much online these days.
Although most companies were already in the midst of a digital transformation long before the pandemic, this sudden surge in online activity is now exposing gaps in online offerings and the need to quickly understand and improve the digital customer experience through real-time consumer insights.
With continuing anxiety around COVID-19, many consumers continue to seek out digital options over in-person experiences. One recent Medallia Zingle study indicated 77% of consumers will seek out the amount of in-person interaction required at a business before they decide to visit. And 87% of those consumers say brands should continue to offer delivery and curbside pickup options.
It’s one of many reasons why curbside commerce has taken off and ecommerce sales have skyrocketed. Although overall retail sales have declined, a recent report from eMarketer shows ecommerce has increased 18% this year.
It’s not only in retail, either. Industries like financial services are seeing rapid online growth as customers apply for loans or credit cards online and manage transactions they used to do in-person. In April alone, according to CNBC, mobile banking traffic increased 85%.
In fact, most categories have seen a 15% to 40% increase in online channel user growth since April, according to McKinsey.
As customers move online, brands can use real-time consumer Insights to find out how their digital offerings stack up. New shoppers who had been visiting physical stores may not find the online experience as easy and brands could see a rise in shopping cart abandonment.
For instance, when shopping for clothes on-site, consumers can browse aisles upon aisles of options. Online, however, they may have trouble finding exactly what they’re looking for — even when toggling through various product filters. If an image is missing or a related product link doesn’t work, consumers may be quick to find another place to shop. It’s far easier to switch websites than drive to a new physical location.
McKinsey reports 75% of consumers have experimented with different shopping behavior during the pandemic, including trying new brands. For those switching, availability, convenience and value were the primary drivers.
When customers can’t solve their problems online, they may also be quick to pick up the phone and call a company’s contact center. According to Zendesk, customer service calls hit a record high in May. This can be a far more expensive channel to use for customer resolution than self-service options.
With increased competition in the online space, brands must work harder than ever before to increase efficiency and maintain customer loyalty through real-time consumer Insights.
Whether the problem is inadequate content, broken workflows or missing online support, organizations need clarity into the “why” behind consumers’ online behaviors and how to deliver the best experiences for different consumer segments.
The massive consumer shift online means digital channels are often the primary way customers interact with your brand today. Review your company website, apps and all digital touchpoints, and ask yourself: