An Experiential Escape

Posted by Hey Aiah on Aug 25, 2020 11:19:03 PM

Whether shopping for clothes, makeup, gadgets, sneakers or even dog treats, we all have our own favorite boutique stores. And for some of us, walking into our favorite store is a gratifying experience.

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But today, we are all in a moment of apprehension. When we step outside, we are filled with a strong concern for our health and security.

Businesses with physical spaces that previously offered a unique experience are now faced with a challenge because of social distancing.

How can they still offer a calm and nurturing escape for buyers who are online?

Any retail business today needs to provide an online experience that mimics their physical store.

A fun and trendy business needs to offer an online store with strong visuals and eye catchy content. An eco-friendly, vegan food shop should offer the same variety of products online for their audience with very particular tastes. An innovative tech store should make sure it maintains its exclusivity or authenticity for its online store.

The objective is the same. These businesses should build an online shopping experience that is just as compelling as walking into their actual store.

But aside from building a seamless online customer journey, they need to understand what customers currently need (and perhaps, what they are currently feeling).

Countless webinars are telling us that customer behaviors are shifting – this is an indicator for businesses to constantly listen to the pulse of their customers.

What products and services are more relevant in a post-pandemic world? How can businesses better provide for them?

This can mean businesses should use technology to better gather customer analytics to understand their behavior better.

They can also use automation to improve their operations so they can work faster and serve customers better.

There are also intelligent solutions that can help them speak to more customers without needing to stay glued to a laptop or a mobile phone all day.

Regardless of the industry, businesses need to focus on improving their online customer experience because, to be honest, it may be the only experience their customers will have with their businesses – at least for the next few months.

Topics: customer experience, Technology, "retail", "E-commerce", "shopping"

The New Normal

Posted by Hey Aiah on May 5, 2020 3:23:19 PM

The New Normal3

 

What is the New Normal and how does it affect the consumers and retailers alike?


The dynamics of how people move around and do their everyday work tremendously changed for the past months. The usual routine of a 9-5 job has shifted to a work-from-home setup enclosed in a four-wall room. People now rely on online stores and platforms to buy necessities. Regular physical activities and workouts have turned into a solitary activity to observe the social distancing rule during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Basically, the usual way of life has flipped 180 degrees and people are left with no other choice but to cope with this "new normal."

 

In the recent podcast of our Chief Bot Builder, he shared two consumer behaviors for retailers and businesses to attend to as the New Normal continues even after the pandemic. The use of digital tools which was relevant before, is even more so now. It is now a prerequisite to more efficient and faster transactions between consumers and businesses. 

One key behavior is that people rely on Facebook for daily (or hourly) news updates to stay informed during this crisis. They also rely on Facebook for online purchases and use Facebook messenger for conversational commerce. Second is the rise of remote work and virtual face-to-face interaction which create more dependency on technology and digital tools.

But how do enterprises adapt? Given these behaviors, where do retailers and businesses position themselves?

 

Dependency on Messenger Apps

Brands have recently shifted all their marketing efforts online since physical stores are forced to close during ECQ. Instead of the usual in-person sales talk, brands are relying on 24/7 customer service that will cater to the consumers’ needs. Creating a space where the consumer can purchase items with a few clicks will help alleviate the frustration of many.

Messenger apps are easy to download and are already used in day-to-day life. Creating an automated space to provide conversational ways to customers will give freedom to access products and actually buy them in one discussion. Feedback is given immediately and meaningful conversations are exchanged as if the bots are real humans. 

 

Rise of Remote Work

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Staff members and employees are working remotely and because of this, the use of robotic process automation (RPA) is more in demand. This situation will most likely continue even after the ECQ. Skeletal workforce will be enforced to maintain social distancing and less people are seen outside. This will affect the operations greatly.

Brands are seeking strategies and methods to make the processes faster and cost efficient. RPA will help automate processes, but for digital tools and platforms to work in their entirety, working hand-in-hand with the logistics operations is integral. This can also be tied back to Messenger bots to deliver and ask for more information real-time. Centralizing operations through robotic process automation that will read software copies of documents, reports, order details, etc. will minimize the challenges while working remotely. 

For more information about Messenger chatbots and RPA, contact Aiah at marketing@aiah.ai

Topics: "retail", New Normal

The Rise of Digital Shoppers

Posted by Hey Aiah on Apr 14, 2020 1:02:40 PM

The Rise of Digital Shoppers2

Retail in the Philippines has been progressing as consumers gain more purchasing power, along with higher demand for convenient shopping experiences. Given the traffic situation and lack of parking spaces in the metro, consumers tend to stay at home and find convenience through online shopping. The convenience, good deals, and variety of products lure the consumers to switch from visiting a brick-and-mortar store to purchasing at Shopee, Lazada, Metrodeal, Instagram resellers etc. 


Now that 70% of total shoppers are online shoppers, how will the more retailers get their consumers to purchase without going to a physical store? E-commerce and online advertising. 

 

The growing online trend of E-commerce has evolved and the leading players in the industry have already embraced this method.  With 5.9% growth in the market (as of 2018) and the increase of spending power, the number of consumers online have aggressively increased. 

 

Below are trends to watch out for in 2020.

 

Ecommerce Spend in The Philippines by Category January 2019 DataReportal

 

Direct-to-Consumer brands will go mainstream

The trend of consumers purchasing online has gone mainstream and the growth of the E-commerce market has spiked up to 31% last 2019. This shows that more and more consumers are relying on digital platforms instead of brick-and-mortar stores.

Consumers see the advantages of online shopping; thus, brands are starting to realign themselves with the market’s demand and reconstruct effective strategies where brands have control over customer’s buying experience, pricing, and promotions. 

Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth in 2019 (eMarketer) May 2019 DataReportal



Shoppable Video and Voice Technology will grow

If there is one thing that emerges across all platforms, it’s video content.

Social media platforms have been expanding in bringing in “shoppertainment” to draw more consumers in.  These shoppable video experiences build strong brand-consumer relationships that unlock unique content and interactive viewing experience.

Take a look at what Shopee, Lazada, and other E-commerce sites have done during the 11.11 and 12.12. They have taken over the ad space and social media platforms to carry the weight of their marketing strategy and promotional capabilities.

 

Digital Installment Plans will become more popular in this tight economy

Digital payment growth of 27-30% in the Philippines, with mostly women, has been the digitization driver in the retail industry. 

With a lot of digital installment plans being offered by brands and retailers on their websites, budget-conscious consumers are able to prevent spending all their money in one transaction. Since consumers are more cognizant in their spending habits, breaking the amount in smaller chunks and paying staggered amounts have been convenient for the consumers. This is especially the case for the younger consumers.


The Rise of Recommerce

Everything old is new again and another man’s trash is someone else’s treasure. Yes, we're being poetic.

But it's true. Here in the Philippines, recommerce is nothing new- most especially to fashion and furniture. Ukay-ukay or thrift stores are all over and more consignment stores resale or rent goods which makes the market’s revenue skyrocket. This is an indicative of digital transition most especially with the emerging issues happening in the country. More and more consumers are switching from one item to another, shaping the closet of the future. 

 

The battle for faster delivery will accelerate E-commerce

84% consumers say that they won’t return to a brand that has poor delivery experience.

Convenient and at-your-doorstep kind of service is what customers are looking for nowadays. More and more brands offer flexible and affordable shipping options. Most use a “purchased today, delivered tomorrow” type of method.

Evidently, this creates an excellent customer experience. On-demand shopping relies on quick and reliable delivery services through efficient digital tracking and automation of logistics. This is also a reason why these brands easily gain affinity and customer loyalty.   

Topics: "retail", "E-commerce", "shopping"