Moving into the new year, we all tend to take an inventory of the prior year, assess what we’ve learned, and determine what’s worth bringing with us to the future. Never before has everyone so desperately embraced the new year, running fast and trying not to look back. As much as we all want to put 2020 in the far rearview mirror, there were significant changes that are here to stay. It’s important for us to recognize and embrace these changes because they aren’t going anywhere.
We saw economic changes, changes in the business environment, and in the way organizations communicate & connect with customers.
Economic changes –
Halfway through 2020 we officially entered a recession, though, as experts say, very different than what we saw in 2008. The governmental aid in the US and other policy has helped people sustain at levels higher than 2008. Additionally, the pain felt by the recession has not been equal, grocery retail and other verticals have seen strong surges while travel, entertainment, and food service remain significantly hindered.
Business environment changes
Never before have we seen organizations scramble and pivot as we did in 2020. Of course, never before did global consumer behavior change so rapidly. This change forced organizations to move swiftly, especially swiftly into digital. Prior to 2020, we were talking about the $1B in spend on digital, yet how the majority of companies admitted to misspending on digital. The early investments made were not successful. Companies still lacked the right tools to deliver the right experiences to their customers. When COVID changed people’s behaviors, organizations were forced to quickly evaluate their digital strategy and focus on how to do the basics: get products into customers’ hands fast.
We saw global companies like Godiva develop and launch an app within 90 days. We saw grocers of all sizes figure out how to take and deliver orders. Most, creating websites in less than 60 days. We saw restaurants move from dining into a curbside pick-up.
We’ve been talking for years about enhancing the customer experience, seemingly overnight, organizations listened, responded, pivoted, and delivered (literally!).
In addition to pivoting to successful digital, curbside pickup and delivery, organizations scrambled to connect with their customers. Similar to 2008, organizations recognized that their customers are their greatest asset. Assets that need to be protected. We’re seeing a surge in retention efforts. Plus, coupled with new digital solutions, organizations are now able to communicate with customers on a much more personal level than they were able to do in the past. Many organizations scrambled to institute a loyalty strategy, others have prioritized loyalty in 2021.
Reflecting on these changes, it’s easy to see that they are all here to stay. Customers enjoying the convenience of curbside pickup, new easy-to-use apps and even delivery will continue to use these services. Prior to 2020, we were noticing how protective consumers were of their time. Time has become a commodity as valuable as money. Ask a consumer – do you want dollars off or your groceries delivered? You’ll see an audience spilt.
These changes are here to stay making loyalty and experience imperative strategies for organizations to be successful in 2021 and beyond. Know your customer, understand your customers and inspire them to stay connected and continue purchasing with you.
Annex Clouds’ Loyalty Experience Manager™ will help you build those necessary customer relationships using first-party data to hyper-personalized communications at every touchpoint. Contact us today to discuss your goals and how together we can make your brand beloved by your customers.