Covid-19 transitioned consumers to adapt to eCommerce and the return on experience has been amazing during the South African lockdown. Photo: Supplied
Covid-19 transitioned consumers to adapt to eCommerce and the return on experience has been amazing during the South African lockdown. Photo: Supplied

Lockdown shifts retailers into offering a razzmatazz style of services for consumers

By Miyelani Mkhabela Time of article published May 25, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – Covid-19 transitioned consumers to adapt to eCommerce and the return on experience has been amazing during the South African lockdown. The 3rd Industrial Revolution and 4th industrial Revolution tools and software’s are officially launched by Covid-19 outbreak in Africa and consumers perceptions about online shopping have changed during the lockdown.

It’s now been a full decade since the Great Recession ushered in what’s often called the “new normal”, a supposed recalibration of what’s possible in terms of global economic growth, while on the other hand Covid-19 has caused a new reset for the South African economy and the R200 billion stimulus by the SA Reserve Bank (SARB), through the commercial banks, has shown a great deal about reducing the impact of the anticipated “L” shaped economic recovery.

The South African consumers displayed unexpected resilience, driven by technological advances that have unleashed a Golden Age of consumption, offering the country a razzmatazz style of goods and services — open day and night — to anyone with a mobile phone. Retailers that invested in online shopping delivery interactive marketing strategies have benefited and easily adapted to the Covid-19 economic challenges.

Being innovative is also more than just flashy new products and innovations. Discovering creative solutions is about taking advantage of the variety of opportunities that present themselves to solve problems, to improve processes, to incorporate new technologies, or to extend what already exists, whether a process, product, or service in a way that produces a solution to the problems or opportunities you are facing.

The experiences of Covid-19 will make most gym companies close as a continuing trend of personalised home gyms for most convenient exercises at home as consumers have learned more ways of exercising at home as a solution for social distancing. Organizations selling household goods, health services, cars or financial services, delivering a superior experience will need to adapt to eCommerce platforms and companies are also expected to introduce a consumer-centred metric to realise a return on experience (RoX).

The traditional return on investment (RoI) metrics used to determine a company’s success, Antswisa believes in introducing brand-centric and consumer centricity metrics to focus on customer experience (CX) for an attractive return on experience.

Retailers need to adapt to modern collaborative platforms and long-time competitors to agree on the bold steps needed for transformation as the future of retail is fast-changing and CX and customer relations management are critical for the future.

GenerationX and GenerationZ consumers are so discerning and powerful, their perspective is that most organisations need to invest far more in CX. Measuring RoX will help you understand your earnings on investments in the parts of your company directly related to how people interact with your brand.

Pondering on how consumers are redefining CX, investing on product design and development will set aside the business core competencies, that will make products have a borne driven market share and profit maximisation, as a response from market positioning that relationship consumers have with a newly created stunning product.

Attractive product design and development, standardisation of global sizes and packaging will drive the adaptation of eCommerce by consumers and adoption of the consumer-centred metrics by producers and retailers. This approach will see a percentage rise in clients’ response to online shopping.

Gadgets producers are expected to get rid of manufacturing more laptops that are above the  13-inch screen as simplicity is the future. Research findings also confirm that smartphones have become the go-to technology for online shopping, with more than 30 percent of our global sample using a mobile phone to shop at least weekly, compared with 20 percent using a PC and 14 percent using tablets.

Modern consumers are becoming more segmented on frictionless purchase journey, market analysis depicts less friction in the purchase journey, the more often consumers will shop and the more they will spend. Digital voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence (AI) also contribute to a frictionless purchase journey. In our survey, 9 percent of consumers told us they used voice technology to shop online weekly or more frequently. As shopping by voice continues to catch on, companies should be thinking beyond mobile to consider how voice technology in homes, cars and elsewhere will affect CX.

Reflecting on Covid-19 social distancing principles, the reset of global retail and the “new normal” will drive Africa to create tourism attractions as a way to make GenerationY and GenerationZ have an attractive experience in shopping and also more shopping centres are expected to be redesigned to suit the desired expectations of the modern consumers. Mobile is actually helping consumers enjoy deeper relationships with their favourite retailers and brands. It makes for fewer frustrating, high-friction interactions for customers, while some barriers to engagement can be overcome with consumer education or through the sheer value of the core experience.

Consumers’ adaptability to embrace a brave new way of doing things are portrayed by Covid-19, where they are increasingly willing to engage in non-traditional activities online. This trend is especially noticeable in healthcare, where almost an increased in healthcare turnover and new sets of high profitability will again be witnessed during and post Covid-19.

Producers and retailers are expected to practice high authentic principles as eCommerce trends will expose many things, and modern consumers are already perceived as understanding products, possess the desired expectation and that will demand producers to improve product design and quality as a solution to offer good products and services.

Improving your RoX will require seven actions:

  1. Fusing consumer experience and employee experience through feedback. 
  2. Develop target market and segments as a purpose to maximize market share 
  3. Building consumer loyalty and expand digital options for clients. 
  4. Understand your customers based on their behaviours
  5. Treat consumers’ data with respect, and deliver value in exchange for it
  6. Adoption of customer relationship management for better satisfaction 
  7. Continuous improvement and sophistication to retain clients 

Producers and retailers adaptability on RoX will earn them market share and profit maximisation.

Miyelani Mkhabela is a founding director and capital markets strategist for Antswisa Transaction Advisory Services. Contactable at: [email protected] , www.antswisa.co.za , tweets on: @Miyelani_Hei

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