Customer Experience first and foremost
When America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. It's an old saying attributed to Metternich a great statesman from the Prussian Empire which was once a feared and mighty military power, ask someone the way to Prussia and you’ll likely be met with a blank stare: Prussia hasn’t existed since 1932. But who thought that when China caught a virus the rest of the world would almost stop in a matter of 4 weeks?
Well it’s happened now… Some will feel the pain, others will make hay while the sun shines, some will disappear into their basement as if the end of the world has come. But the truth is, the world is still going round, and everybody still wants three meals a day and everybody still wants to live, to love and to leave a legacy. In that sense we have no option but to manage the circumstance and embrace the new normal.
And now we read with interest that the Amazon fortunes have risen by $24bn US dollars… Okay that sounds scandalous, but it proves where the retail investors feel their money is safe. The share price of Amazon has risen 35% on the NASDAQ, and many even smaller eCommerce companies are enjoying something of a bull market for their products as traditional retail sales reduce.
Retail footfall had been parading graciously down shallow steps since the beginning of eCommerce retailing, but has now tripped over its own gown, and has tumbled over for the time being, so the figures are practically meaningless. We knew it would drop dramatically if stores' closed their doors, its no surprise. Until they reopen and dust off, we won’t know what the new retail landscape will look like, but we think it’s a new picture, and eCommerce could have the upper hand.
We see the sales from online stores rising dramatically, as the safest way to make a purchase. Consumerism hasn’t been stopped, for many it’s just having a rest while the world catches its breath. When it bounces back, an online retail presence will be essential to get a piece of the action. NEXT reopened its website after a short shut down, and had to close by 8.30 in the morning due to the large volume of orders that needed physically processing whilst maintaining strict social distancing controls… So we can be sure the desire for goods has remained.
We will emerge the other side of this crisis. The important drivers for online retail will be trust, efficiency, informative delivery, and that wow on arrival of the goods to build a trusted brand, and don’t forget there will still be a passion for the high street. If we have learnt anything in 4 weeks, you can’t stay at home all the time. We all want to get out and the shopping centre, and high street stores will have to be more experiential, mixed or alongside leisure and family activity.
Okay China may have caught a virus, but the UK economy will recover at varied rates across industries. Retail will have to bounce back in some form, and customer experience will be more important than ever.
It’s going to be a whole new world with new opportunities and new horizons to aim for. Meanwhile we keep working, keep positive and keep collaborating, you can call me on 07848 453 176.
Kudos Giftwrap partners with traditional and online retailers all over the UK to create even better customer experiences through their packaging. Call us on 01923 220055.