Checking into the journey

I think we can all agree that in 2016 not a single person got the correct answer to the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” No doubt, things have changed. Our worlds have been flipped upside down, inside out and backwards, but more importantly, so have your customers’.

When was the last time you checked into your customers’ journey? Because it’s with certainty that, just like the question from 2016, your customers are not where they thought they’d be in 2021. Chances are channels have dropped, touchpoints are fewer, digital expectations are higher and convenience is king.

Online purchases, from existing and new customers, reached an all-time high during the pandemic, leading to a behavioral change in what customers have come to expect—that’s right, expect—from brands. As eager as we may be to step out of our isolation zones, don’t expect the same “return to normal” when it comes to preference for digital shopping post-pandemic. Nearly 75% of digital consumers intend to continue using direct to consumer (D2C) e-commerce post-pandemic because, while initially driven by safety concerns, online purchasing has also yielded a more convenient path to purchase. Yet 60% of CPG companies feel, at most, moderately prepared to capture e-commerce growth opportunities, and even fewer are confident in the digital experience available to customers (Source: McKinsey).

This intense change of pace presents a unique opportunity to unlock strategic moves that place your brand into the new and evolving customer experience.

While not all brands fit neatly into a digital shopping cart, it doesn’t mean the experience with yours should get a pass. The elimination of offline touchpoints where your sales team was able to customize conversations based on a prospect’s needs must now be digitized. Brands must identify what digital touchpoints their audiences are now turning to in their journey and ensure they are providing a consistent, connected experience. Another way to look at it is, how does your digital footprint compare to that conversation between your top salesperson and a prospect in creating a customized experience?

Our industries were already moving to digital, but COVID-19 accelerated this shift and widened the gap between businesses at the top and bottom of their respective industries. If you’re not one of those businesses at the top, now is the time to reexamine your customers’ journey and place your brand into the new and evolving customer experience.

Interested in learning more about or need support evolving your customers’ journey? Contact Jamie Gyerman.