The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to many businesses across the world. And shifting to digital channels has emerged as a big stumbling block. Even if your product or service isn’t as easily marketable online, digitalizing your offering is still crucial. To turn the corner, businesses need to realize that shifting to digital channels and e-commerce doesn’t always have to mean just an online shop. It can also mean facilitating a sale online, enabling a demo, setting up an appointment, and so on. Today, the most digitally-enabled company gains the most number of customers.
Embracing the Digital Customer
There’s no doubt that customers are evolving like never before. And this evolution is radical, far-reaching, and is driven by customers themselves. Digital channels have transformed the way customers make decisions. By the time your customers become visible in the sales funnel, they already have a good idea of what they want. Customers are always expecting more. Field sales are no longer completely in the field; they are becoming more and more digital. Online ads rule the roost. Can you really afford to limit digital channels to just transacting payments?
It’s time to re-envision how you provide the online customer experience. Digital channels open up fresh opportunities to build an ongoing dialogue with customers and to increase the relevance of your products and services. It’s not only about giving your customers what they want but also about making online interactions as intimate as in-person experiences, managing channel conflicts, modernizing systems for a better online experience, and reducing your own cost of delivery in the process. Answering your customers’ demand for more digital channels and providing ‘self-service’ solutions for smaller customers, can improve customer loyalty, save time and reduce costs, and more. Banking on improving convenience is the key!
Getting your Digital Channel to Deliver
Customers go where you let them go. They switch easily and frequently between channels. The cost per customer acquisition is far more transparent in self-service channels. This combined with customers’ willingness to use any available channel is your cue to move towards a more digital dominant approach. More than ever, you need to demonstrate value across your brand’s trust, convenience, and relevance. Quickly establishing trust with new customers and extending the brand affinity can be game-changers in digital channels. Value-adds to the digital commerce experience, like better search functionality, better cataloging, online demonstrations, and different payment modes, are becoming critical to your business customers’ decision-making. Personalizing how you engage with customers will pay dividends in the future.
It’s crucial to establish a channel strategy that prioritizes conversion. The end goal should be to have your customers begin and end their journey on the digital channel of their preference. Transactional design and UX experts like wysiwyg* can be game-changers to your customers’ decision-making. And these digital channels need to be managed like a product, with measurable ROI goals tied to customer experience, like NPS, resolution rate, CSAT, effort, etc. Optimizing the self-service journey by guiding and streamlining the customer’s experience is key to preventing channel abandonment. Clear, actionable, and credible information fosters a sense of confidence in the customer. Time and again, our top-down and bottom-up analysis has allowed us to examine existing customer segments and match channels, define channel-specific customer journeys, design the platform and tooling, develop the infrastructure, and take over platform management. These touch-points are at the cornerstone of the growth stories of every single one of our clients.
5 things that accelerate the shift to digital
Transform your workforce from mainly F2F to digital
Make customers’ online interaction with your brand as intimate as possible
Define and design channel-specific customer journeys
Have measurable ROI goals that are linked to customers’ channel experience
Streamline the customer experience through clear and actionable information
The Bidfood Story – 9 Years, 112 Sprints and Counting
Bidfood is one of the largest food wholesalers in the Netherlands and has been Mindcurv’s client since 2012. We helped them orchestrate an iterative shift from offline to digital channels and enabled their digital transformation journey, helping them acquire 1000+, smaller customers via online channels. And along the way, we completed 112 sprints. Mindcurv’s capability as a one-stop-shop for digital platform experience, application and cloud infrastructure design and development, and platform operations was a huge benefit for Bidfood in 2020. When the closure of cafes, restaurants, and bars caused the online grocery sector to skyrocket, Bidfood’s digital channels were already prepared to handle the load, scaling, and capitalizing on the opportunity to grow revenue, attract new customers, and drive channel shifts. The large product range, a strong network of suppliers, differentiated price and delivery models, and inclusion of the latest trends, all contributed to genuine value add for customers.
B2B organizations that embrace a similar shift to digital channels across the customer journey have set a course on a new trajectory for growth. A strong and experienced partner can prove invaluable in establishing digital channel practices, addressing the customer experience pitfalls, defining the digital operating model, and managing the stakeholders. A partner with the right technology and business context in B2B, with tremendous depth of experience. Mindcurv’s structured delivery process, international team, inherently collaborative style of work, and commitment to consistency at very high quality have gained us a lot of credibility. Today, we are able to orchestrate the entire B2B e-commerce journey and help companies adopt a model that can respond to rapid changes in the market.
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