1st April 2021 - 10 minutes

How to prepare your online store for post-lockdown life

Who’s excited for the start of post-lockdown life – or formally known as 12th April 2021?

For those of you who do not know 12th April is the date that marks the second stage of the roadmap out of lockdown. The Prime Minister has planned to reopen non-essential shops, sporting facilities, outdoor hospitality, and beauty salons. We are officially close to freedom – hip hip hooray!

The question is will  the highstreet recover?

The reactions to the reopening of non-essential stores have been mixed, while some are excited to give the economy a boost, others are concerned about the impact that this could have on their safety during the continuation of the global health crisis.

The percentage of footfall will surely rise – but the question remains; will this be enough to make up for   the damage that Covid-19 has already caused? 

Throughout the majority of 2020 and leading into April 2021 the shops have remained closed. The British Retail Consortium recently reported that UK stores have now lost a ‘whopping 27 billion pounds’.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Retail sales fell for the second consecutive month in February, and non-food stores saw their fourteenth month of decline with a massive 25% drop. UK stores have now lost a whopping £27 billion from lost sales during the three lockdowns.

This is already impacting retail employment, with 67,000 retail jobs lost between December 2019 and 2020. While the Prime Minister’s roadmap helped boost spending on back-to-school items, consumer demand remained weak overall.

Meanwhile, online sales remained strong, providing a lifeline for customers, and rewarding those retailers who have adapted and grown their digital offering over the last 12 months.”

During lockdown new online shopping habits have formed. People who once preferred visiting the shops have since found comfort and safety in the online world.

Previously, when the reopening shops were announced, 42% of UK consumers declared that they will continue to shop online rather than visit a physical store.

The government has predicted that by the end of July all the adults in the UK will be vaccinated. Once people have a sense of protection they may be less opposed to visiting stores and other social activities.

Arguably, online shopping will still be the primary way to sell  regardless of the stores opening in mid-April. Therefore, ecommerce businesses need to ensure that they mirror the same level of user experience, authenticity and fulfilment thatbrickss and mortar stores  provide.

Get your online store post-lockdown ready!

12th April is now being called the next big event of 2021. Whilst some are still hesitant, a lot of people are keen to re-join the socialising world. Outside hospitality is reopening and people have already started to pre-book dates with their friends and family.

So, the question is: how can you ensure that you excite and engage your online customers when they are busy after lockdown? 

Mobile commerce

People are going to be out and about more. One thing that the majority of people have nowadays is a mobile or handheld device that they carry everywhere with them. Modern technology is so advanced that the internet and wifi hotspots are even accessible whilst you are out and about.

Mobile commerce is a major trend of 2021, so a top tip would be to ensure that your online store is suitable for mobile. Statista states that 72.9% of all ecommerce sales will be made via a mobile phone by the end of 2021.

Statistics this high cannot be ignored. Especially now that lockdown is ending people will be more likely to be browsing online stores on their handheld devices.

Brands have started going for a mobile-first approach to ensure that the user experience is next to none on both their website and mobile site.

Progressive web apps are also a big trend of 2021. Downloadable applications designed for mobiles and handheld devices are becoming more and more popular, as they offer a simpler and faster loading version of the website and provide an optimal user experience. They are great as they are stored on your customer’s device making your business more accessible.

Moreover, push notifications act as reminders that allow you to connect with your customers who are on the go. Pinging a customer, a message saying ‘Morning, just a quick note to let you know we have 20% off  today!” is extremely effective in creating conversions.

Social media commerce

I think we all know how important social media is to a business. During months and months of lockdown social media has enabled us to all feel connected with loved ones, friends and brands.

Social media should be a reflection of your brand. It should be an alternative to your website. It can be used in multiple ways, such as; promotion of products and services, publication of content (e.g. blogs), a platform to share relatable content with your customers, and somewhere to socialise and engage with your followers.

Recently, I have been trying to shop smaller rather than shopping directly from Amazon. When I do this, I will search on Instagram or Facebook first. If I then like the businesses profile and feeds I will then go onto their website and from this point there is a good chance I will become a customer.

The only way a business is going to convert me into becoming a loyal customer is if I buy into their brand and their story. I see social media as a snippet of the brands personality and culture.

For example, if you sell garden furniture you could release content onto your social media accounts that discusses top tips for getting your garden perfect  for post-lockdown get togethers.

A good example of this would be our client Pet Play. Pet Play sells products for pets, such as; leads, toys, accessories and beds. Their social media accounts are perfect for every pet lover. They post relevant and engaging content that they know that their target audience will love which is truly reflective of the people that work there.

Ecommerce personalisation

Ecommerce personalisation is an intelligent piece of software that allows your online store to show personalised and relevant products and content to your customers based on their wants, likes and shopping habits. This content adapts in real-time to ensure that the results are specific to that person and that moment.

ITProProtal describes personalisation within ecommerce essential for larger conversion rates:

“In today’s digital day in age, customers literally have hundreds of choices when it comes to buying products. Nearly 50 per cent of consumers say they’ll spend more money with a brand that personalises their ecommerce experience.

Personalisation in eCommerce can be defined as the proactive of creating personal interactions and experiences on e-commerce sites by showing content, media, or product recommendations based on the buyer’s behaviour, demographics… the list goes on.”

Sounds complicated?

Well, in all honesty without the expertise or resources it can be. However, with ecommerce personalisation solutions, like PureClarity, all the stress is taken away. Once the plugin software is installed PureClarity starts to produce data and content based on your customers behaviours. This can then be further adapted and specified based on the businesses ecommerce goals.

For example:

Pain point 1: You do not have a loyal customer base.
Solution: Add pop ups to your site to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter to receive the latest offers, exclusive sales and updates. 

Pain point 2: Your average order value is too low.
Solution: Add product recommenders in your basket to encourage customers to spend more. If you are a fashion retailer adding ‘complete the look’ recommendations work well.

Pain point 3: You’re struggling to track your customers behaviour.
Solution: PureClarity’s built-in analytics work in real-time. It allows you to see how your customers are responding to certain sections of your site.

Is it effective?

We conducted some in-house market research around SMEs who have adopted personalisation. 24% of the SMEs that we spoke with said that they are currently working with a personalisation solution. The responses were:

●          80% have seen an increase in average order value (AOV)

●          59% have seen an increased customer loyalty

●          45% have seen an increase sales

●          52% Increased brand awareness

●          72% have seen an increase in revenue

●          48% improved bounce rate

●          31% have experienced an improvement in customer feedback

●          17% now have consistent messaging across channels

Nobody wants a generic customer journey. One size does not fill all – and that’s why personalisation is so important to ensure that your site stands out from the competition.

Is it expensive?

I know what you are thinking this all sounds great but how much is it going to cost? Surprisingly, it is much more affordable than it may seem. PureClarity offers all its features for one fixed monthly fee. We are completely transparent about our pricing structure – if your site receives up to 100,000 page views p/m the price is £299 p/m.

How can ecommerce personalisation make your site stand out above the competition post-lockdown

Personalised content:

Personal content designed for the individual viewer is always a great idea. Who doesn’t love a banner that welcomes you back with an offer that’s just right for you?

Use targeted content to build product awareness, build loyalty and incentivise purchases by showing promotions and offers that are relevant to the individual as soon as they enter your store. It is the virtual equivalent of the shop assistant giving you a warm smile and hello as you walk into the store – just much less awkward.

PureClarity allows you to create personalised banners, carousels and campaigns that are relevant to each of your customer groups or generic to all your visitors.

Why not create a banner that showcases your 10% sale to celebrate post-lockdown life?

Segmentation:

Customer segmentation is a great way to create 1-2-1 personalised dialogue with each of your visitors. Not only does it allow you to communicate better with your visitors, it increases customer retention and profitability.

PureClarity allows you to create a variety of customer segments. Customers can be segmented or grouped according to external factors such as location, or the device they are using to access your website. You can also use pre-built criteria to segment your audiences, such as; their purchase and preference behaviour, whether they are a first time visitor or a loyal customer. The options here are vast

It is currently Spring and it will soon be Summer. Now is the perfect time to create personalised content ’ to target your customers with content based on their location and weather so they see the right products for the right season that the AI knows they will love

Personalised recommenders:

Showing the right products at the right time is PureClarity’s special talent. Our product recommendations boosts conversions, maximises average order value and increases customer engagement.

If you are an online garden supplier why not include powerful personalised recommenders created for the individual based on their own personal navigation, viewing and buying history or create your own custom built recommender showcasing your best post-lockdown garden furniture.

If you sell items that compliment one another, you could introduce a bundle package. For instance, you could include a free box of planters with every purchase over £50. Or include an option for free delivery when the customer spends over £100 – as I have mentioned in previous blogs people love free delivery!

Be successful with PureClarity

PureClarity is an award-winning ecommerce personalisation software solution that is affordable, easy-to-use, and adaptable to you and your businesses ecommerce priorities.

The possibility of ecommerce personalisation is endless – and our expert team are always on hand to offer advice and assistance.

Let PureClarity help you get your site ready for post-lockdown life.

Book a demo or try our 30-day free trial today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *