by Lynette Hundermark, co-founder of Useful & Beautiful
Speaking at this year’s annual PriceCheck Awards Ceremony, CEO Kevin Tucker noted that the Tech and E-commerce Awards are more important than ever before. He said that while 2018 has been a tough year for retail, it’s an industry with massive potential for growth.
“We’re moving away from blue-collar work to digital employment and I think it’s important to ensure that we have a growing competitive digital economy,” he said.
This has been my 3rd consecutive year of enjoying the privilege of judging the PriceCheck Tech and eCommerce Awards and my 5th year of being appointed to sit on the Judges Panel for the prestigious World Retail Awards. As an industry expert and thought leader in the mobile space and customer experience, here are my top takeaways from these events this year:
Firstly, it is important to note that the retail sector is an omnichannel sector and this is a worldwide adoption. While the numbers for eCommerce and mCommerce are growing, still to this day, consumers won’t readily make a purchase on a digital platform, however they will use readily use digital channels for actions such as price comparisons, tracking orders, looking at stock availability, etc. As a retailer, your aim is to ultimately shift products, keep your customers happy and ensure they are loyal to your brand.
Customers will choose to shop (whether it is just browsing or purchasing) via their channel of choice.
Brand messaging needs to be consistent across all touch-points
Mobile is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. The customer journey begins on mobile.
Use tech for its intended purpose, that is to make life easier for your customer - don’t bombard your audience with the latest tech that will add no more value to their lives than an interactive SMS or USSD would.
Optimise your sites for mobile, by now you should have a mobile presence, but do make sure it’s user-friendly.
Customer experience is key, you may not need to release new features to your ecommerce solution but spending the time to make it robust, fast, secure and having your social media strategy in place to support your customer queries is key – if you have a social media presence, people expect you to use it and to use it politely in a way that will add value to them so ensure you have the appropriate and consistent messaging strategies across all channels
In this day and age with the economy the way it is, competition in the market is stiff and there is little differentiation on price in retail, people are brand loyal therefore providing a good customer experience is key to success. Big brands are upping their game in this area and not being complacent anymore. As a start-up entering this space, remember those fundamentals. Build a platform that will allow you to continuously improve on your customer experience.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the consumer and their channel of choice, be it a website, mobile site, mobile app, Facebook or Twitter messaging or your customers visiting bricks and mortar establishments. Be readily available to your customers, keep your messaging consistent and maintain an integrated approach for your brand.
With over 20 years of experience in the tech, digital marketing and mobile solutions space, Lynette Hundermark co-founded specialist mobile solutions consultancy Useful & Beautiful. With a passion for developing digital products that are aligned to business goals, Hundermark’s appetite for keeping abreast of the latest industry trends is fast establishing her as an expert tech commentator and opinion leader in Africa. She is regarded as her one of top 30 most influential women in SA digital marketing , a multiple award winner for her work in mobile and a Regional Business Woman of the Year Award finalist (run by the Business Women’s Association of SA).
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