The uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, continues to grow as we approach the golden quarter and Christmas – the typical time when retailers experience their peak sales. In light of this, it’s never been more important for retailers to think innovatively according to global eCommerce platform, Kooomo. Retailers need to optimise their offering and experience and develop strong eCommerce strategies to not only survive but thrive into next year too.
While retail sales figures have grown for four consecutive months, the outlook for the critical quarter still looks uncertain. With the tightening of lockdown measures coming back into play alongside economic uncertainty as we approach the end of the furlough scheme, loan support and legal protections for commercial tenants, it’s anyone’s guess as to how consumer confidence will impact the retail sector.
Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Kooomo says that “the key to safeguarding your retail operations this golden quarter is through ensuring you offer a highly competitive online retail experience, but brands have to go beyond ‘having a website’. They need to look at how they can drive more traffic, how they can convert more, how does their checkout work, and how they are utilising the data of their customers, etc.
“If you work within a brand, or in particular an eCommerce site you need to have the knowledge of using your online store. Retailers should shop online on their own sites, explore the entire customer experience through to delivery, and look to identify areas that could be improved. Some companies just take their site, integrate their warehouse, and leave it at that - forgetting about optimisation and the user experience. So now we’re really seeing the requirement for an omnichannel experience and a unified experience at that - both for retailers and consumers.”
One key area Ciaran outlines retailers need to focus on is their delivery service. He comments, “One of the main issues we’re seeing is getting the product out the door quickly enough. A larger volume of orders online has resulted in companies looking at their internal processes. It could be how quickly they print a label or gift wrap. They are all looking at optimising these processes for getting orders out quicker, and this will be critical during the golden quarter. Additional thought will need to go into these services even more this year as we may also see an increase in gift wrapped deliveries in place of consumers being able to wrap and hand deliver their gifts to their loved ones.”
Ciaran also states that personalisation will be key: “Many retailers believe they are already offering personalised services, but there is in fact so much more that retailers can be doing to offer a hyper personalised experienced, based on the data gathered on customers. Most retailers already have this data available to it’s about utilising this to offer unique deals and experiences to those individuals, inciting further loyalty.”
Ciaran concludes, “eCommerce will for sure be the saving grace of this year’s golden quarter - while shops will be operational, it’s the consumer experience that will set successful brands apart. It’s not enough to assume that your online shopping experience is as good as they say it is on paper. Smart brands and retailers will know their limits and not overpromise on items like next-day delivery if they wish to retain their first-time customers. So give your consumers, both new and returning an experience worth revisiting when the hustle and bustle have long since quietened down.”
Kooomo is a global eCommerce platform that is truly redefining digital commerce by offering the best in class, international platform. Kooomo is disrupting the marketplace with its affordable setup and flexible pricing, agility and speed to market. Recognised by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, Kooomo is a cloud commerce platform built for global eCommerce businesses. It connects your products with your customers online, in-store and through marketplaces. The full stack of technology needed to deliver a 360-degree digital commerce solution which is integrated with an eco-system of over 200 partners to future proof your business.
With 20 years of international eCommerce experience powering over 1 billion transactions, Kooomo has been built to integrate with the systems you already use, allowing complex projects to be delivered in six weeks using our Magento switching toolkit.
Kooomo is trusted by international brands through to SMEs such as Morrisons, Umbro, Mothercare, Havaianas, La Sportiva, Blauer, amongst many others. Any company can be up and trading globally - supporting all currencies and VAT rates, across all sales channels within six weeks. For further information, visit: www.kooomo.com