Knowledge is power
Customers are challenged in this moment to make considered decisions on long life or luxury products online – where information like the firmness or colour intensity is harder to gauge.
This doesn’t mean that people simply are no longer making these purchases. Shopping for homeware online increased 318% during lockdown. Even when lockdown ended, in Q3, that figure remained high: 113% year-on-year, based on data obtained by Salesforce.
To make these decisions, they need the guiding hand of an expert. Shoppers should be presented with clearly signposted opportunities to reach those with the proper knowhow in a moment of doubt. At its most basic, this could be an email address. Depending on the retail area, however, it may be worth investing in a dedicated support team that can be reached by phone or live chat.
This comes alongside providing anything a particular customer needs to make an informed decision: a well-known furniture company started sending costumers swatches on request, and saw request for these double week on Omnichannel outreach can be developed through blogging: instructions, recommendations, troubleshooting, creative ideas or crafts. Data from DemandMetric found that companies with blogs saw 67% more leads per month over those that didn’t, and 55% more website visitors, according to Hubspot. DemandMetric also had data on consumer perspectives, which found that they were warmer to blogs as a means of detailing products over adverts.
The idea is then to develop a 360° experience. The challenge will be striking the balance between clean, frictionless UX and enough information for shoppers to make informed and comfortable decisions.
Expertise and brand activation itself can become its own revenue stream. Nike China, for example, has been offering virtual workouts during lockdown for those people stuck inside and unable to visit gyms. As a result, they had seen almost double the engagement on their app. The company’s CEO, John Donahue, said online sales grew 30% in the first quarter of 2020, and that he believed that came in part from this engagement on the app.