Innovation in E-Commerce
With nearly the entire world adhering to social distancing measures, retailers have been thrust into an unexpected new reality: temporarily closing brick and mortar stores, and focusing solely on e-commerce. Consumers across all demographics are being forced to shop on computers and mobile devices. As a result, technology leaders have had to quickly adjust to accommodate the sudden influx of orders. Seemingly overnight there are unprecedented stresses being put on supply chains and contact centers. With no COVID-19 vaccine on the immediate horizon, consumers will continue to turn to e-commerce for all of their non-essential purchasing, for the foreseeable future.
With unprecedented numbers of online orders coming in, problems are arising from all angles. Retail has often been seen as an industry that has lacked digital foresight. This pandemic has created an urgent need for swift digital transformation. Delivering unique, human-centric customer experiences is critical, and AI will be at the forefront of those customer focused initiatives.
Consumers are evolving, and are expecting new ‘real world’ shopping experiences in the digital space. Retailers who focus on delivering elevated experiences through every touchpoint will differentiate themselves from their competitors. New attention should be paid to all the ordering channels including, social media, call centers, and voice ordering through Amazon’s Alexa. Chat-bots should be as intelligent as possible, and businesses must ensure that actual support reps are available to step in when needed. Keeping in mind the vast array of demographics now turning to e-commerce, an easy, empathetic UX across all sales and support channels is critical.
There is opportunity amidst this chaos for technologically savvy companies to respond progressively, and springboard to new levels of success with e-commerce. CIO’s must work closely with their cohorts across product, marketing, and sales channels, to write this yet untold story. Companies that focus on delivering a hyper polished and personalized customer experience have a real chance of thriving long term, where others who fall short, may not survive.