Many retailers, especially those that were required to shut down store operations, have experienced a significant increase in ecommerce transactions over the past several months. As expected, many customers who typically shop in-store began placing orders online for delivery or curbside fulfillment. As restrictions are lifted and stores reopen, retailers will certainly see ecommerce traffic decline as customers return to those stores. We anticipate that ecommerce activity will remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, a topic discussed in our previous commentary COVID-19 Impacts on Retail Channel Optimization.
As we work with our clients to review ecommerce transactional data collected during the shutdown period, an unexpected – albeit very logical – observation was identified. A non-trivial proportion of ecommerce transactions came from customers who had not previously been identified in the customer database. The two primary hypotheses for retailers gaining these “net new” customers are:
With much of the country in a reopening phase, restrictions that likely drove the influx of net new customer purchases are also being lifted. Now is the perfect time to open a dialog with these customers and turn that first-time trial, regardless of the circumstance, into a loyal customer.
Switching behaviors across customer segments are occurring at a rapid rate, from offline to online, and from Brand A to Brand B. Savvy retailers are taking the following steps to capitalize on this dynamic:
This type of welcoming strategy positions the brand as caring for the new customer’s preferences and needs, and establishes a “customer first” relationship from the outset.
For more information about how Intalytics helps clients with marketing solutions that maximize customer lifetime value, contact us to schedule an initial discussion.