We have endured nearly 365 days of global panic, fear and exhaustion as coronavirus cases continue down a volatile path. While the summer months brought with them heat and hope, this has been a cold, overwhelming winter with new COVID-19 cases spreading like wildfire.
Over the course of the past year, we have watched the economy adjust and continue to adjust to volatile consumer preferences while trying to remain afloat. Behaviors, habits, personal care, social connections and many more facets of everyday life have radically changed to adapt to our new reality.
Shopping behavior was trending online prior to the global pandemic. As a result of COVID-19, this mere “trend” became preference; December 2020 global online sales were up 45% year over year and U.S. online sales were up 36% year over year. Astonishing.
In addition, the customer journey has dramatically changed during this unprecedented time. Anxieties are high, uncertainty is the new normal, and consumers are looking to businesses to provide a sense of comfort and assurance in not just their purchase decisions, but their health and safety as a whole.
How Has COVID-19 Changed Customer Experience (CX)?
Developing a strong experience for your customer from search to post-purchase review has been a crucial topic of discussion for the past few years. Now more than ever before, consumers are looking for ease, comfort and compassion during their customer journey.
If your business cannot effectively deliver a seamless CX that meets your customer where they are, how they want to be reached, and in the tone they want to be spoken to, you will lose crucial business.
CX has changed and continues to change with the shifting mandates resulting from COVID-19. Whether these changes are permanent or temporary is left to be determined in the coming months or years.
How quickly and effectively your company responds to changing consumer needs will make or break your business.
Data is King
Data is king. But, not just any data… You need quick, proactive and agile data. Simply reacting to data from competitive intelligence, questionnaires and retail audits will not suffice.
COVID-19 has created a need for brands to predict sentiment, preferences, behaviors and desires of their customers in addition to maintaining the status quo. Your data needs to be nimble. A “good” customer experience is not enough; the customer journey needs to be exceptional from start to finish.
Now is the time to invest in rapid, real-time data from troops on the ground. You need to understand the psyche of your customer, and you need to do it quickly and continuously. According to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, “Organizations able to understand customers better—and do it faster—are likely to be the next customer-experience leaders.”
Real-Time Data with Actionable Insights
Time is a luxury that businesses cannot afford during this global pandemic. Long, traditional market research processes are completely outdated. A six month timeline for actionable data will not suffice in this rapidly changing landscape.
At Premise, we have a global network of verified contributors in over 100 countries. This robust network of gig workers eager to help your business gather real-time data is the perfect data enhancement solution. With $85 million in new funding to expand our platform and global network, we have only just begun.
Interested in learning more about how Premise can deliver valuable, real-time data to optimize your customer experience? Visit us at www.premise.com/retail-audit or email firstname.lastname@example.org.