As we approach Father’s Day this weekend and prepare for major sales events in the lead up to Christmas, Pitcher Partners strategy director, Terrence Teh has shared his advice on what retailers can do to up their digital game.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is going to stretch out for longer than anyone anticipated so there are three key considerations retailers should take on board to thrive in the new environment,” Teh told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

  1. Redesign your business strategy

“Those who are unprepared are often the ones that don’t want to change what they are doing and instead focus on getting through the challenges, expecting to come out of it and returning to business as usual,” he says.

“But after 18 months, we still don’t know when this is going to end so retailers are reviewing their physical store network and working out how their business would look if it was digital-first.

“Stores have traditionally been an important channel, but they are going to serve a different purpose in the future. Previously, the mindset of traditional retailers was ‘let’s get our stores working well and then we will feed the digital into it’ but it’s time to flip that and work out how the physical stores can complement the digital business.”

2. Get good at marketing analytics

“It’s the right level of detail that provides insights into how people are arriving onto your website and what they do when they’re on there,” he says.

“A lot of people say social is really important because it drives customer demand and loyalty. However, this is a long-standing myth. Social does bring in customers and it’s a great channel but organic customers deliver more volume, they spend more, and it costs less to acquire them. So it’s time to use data to really understand customer behaviour.”

3. Embrace conversion optimisation

“There is a science and art to conversion optimisation, but we have found techniques that can be implemented into any retail business almost immediately. For example, one of our clients implemented what we call a ‘digital assistant’ that replicates the experience of being served by a store associate,” he says.

“Websites generally have the same design constructs and it’s hard to differentiate them. Introducing a digital assistant helps customers find what they are looking for. When you visit a store, the associate greets you and tries to tease out what you want or need through a series of questions and then recommends products based on the responses.

“But this doesn’t happen in a digital environment so when we implemented our digital assistant for one of our clients in the women’s fashion category, we saw a 100% increase in the conversion rate in just a couple of weeks and the basket size increased by 20 to 30%.”

In conclusion, Teh believes there are numerous things retailers should do to prepare for sales events including Father’s Day and the run up to Christmas. “Now is the time for retailers to make up for what has been slowing them down. Despite the pandemic, we are in the new world of retail and businesses need to adapt.”