[column] Digital acceleration | MarketingTribune Online Marketing

More and more online purchases
The great thing about shopping is that you can use all your senses to determine whether you want to buy a product. Is the sound from that speaker good? What is the color of those jeans like? How soft does that beautiful duvet cover feel? Yet aspects that you cannot assess from the screen of your mobile or tablet. You then have to rely on the description of the advertiser and the possible reviews.
Of course I already buy a lot online. I am a regular customer of (who isn’t ?!) and is also doing good business with me. And left and right I buy various items that are not or difficult to obtain in physical stores, such as my favorite olive oil or a limited edition coffee table book.
Since the corona crisis, I have made more and more of my purchases online. And I’m not alone. Now that I mainly work from home, I see the vans from PostNL, DHL and other delivery services coming and going on my street.

Digital the new normal
The corona crisis has brought about a true digital acceleration. We work digitally, we communicate online with our friends and family and we buy more and more online. People who were still careful with online shopping have taken the step and experienced how easy it is. How quickly you receive products, that you can return easily and that price comparison is very accessible.
All barriers seem to have disappeared. Digital has become the new normal. Online the norm. What does this mean for companies? This means that they can no longer sit still on a digital level. The online customer experience and convenience must be improved. Not least because the major online players are constantly pushing back that standard with new propositions and digital gadgets. “Ordered today, delivered tomorrow” was once a game changer, now the most normal thing in the world and consumer expectations. I foresee further steps in the field of personalization and flexible shipping. And with that, the standard is shifting further.

Investing in digital customer experience
A form of physical retail will always remain, but retailers who do not invest in a digital customer experience will have a hard time. I recently spoke about this with the owner of a clothing store that I enjoy visiting. He has a website, but no possibility to order online, let alone orientate online. He doesn’t like that. Chooses his physical business, where he can meet people. Somewhere very beautiful and passionate, but at the same time a risk and a missed opportunity for the ultimate ratio between clicks and bricks.

This column is written in a personal capacity by Dennis Lith, Head of Brand & Content at Essent, and previously appeared in MarketingTribune 18, 2020.

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