Online is on the rise! Textile businesses are going (even more) digital

Maor Yur
April 7, 2020

A famous Winston Churchill quote reminds us all to “never waste a good crisis”, and current times make it more relevant than ever. The challenging circumstances surrounding the outbreak bring out the creativity and resilience in many retailers around the world. They also push online efforts further, as customers become increasingly comfortable shopping on the web and mobile channels. In fact, the past few weeks have shown an app download rate that can only be compared to the shopping frenzy of November shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Singles Day. 

But, as with anything else in life, these efforts must be prioritized and executed correctly. Here are 5 ways to approach the online challenge, and not just during times of crisis.    

  • A user-friendly purchase

Offering your products for sale online is not enough. Retailers must make sure that searching, browsing, and ordering procedures are easy to complete for customers of all ages. Provide enough imagery to allow customers to see what the item really looks like, include detailed explanations regarding the terms of purchase, and suggest additional relevant items in a subtle manner. 

  • Deliver on your promise

A great purchasing process will go to waste if it is not followed by a successful delivery experience. Make sure that your delivery terms are communicated clearly on your website or app, include flexible hours and rush shipping options, and let customers know that the packaging and delivery procedures are hygienic and meet the current health criteria. 

  • Successful customer success

Moving much of your business activity online means you should offer further support to customers who need some advice and direction. From clever chatbots to human representatives who are available around the clock, the customer success channels you offer will make all the difference. 

  • Marketing for market needs

Current times call for a different marketing tone of voice for many retail brands out there. We cannot and should not ignore everything that’s going on in the world, and so a happy-go-lucky image might require some adjustments for the time being. When creating a marketing strategy for this turbulent period of time, focus on building strong online communities on various social media networks, create content that understands your customers’ needs, and don’t overdo it. A recent report found that more than one in ten UK consumers are boycotting brands following inadequate behavior during the crisis, which mainly includes sharing too much information or posting inaccurate details. 

  • Accommodate, adjust, repeat

Is your Easter shopping campaign focused on sparkly party dresses? If so, you could be missing the point. Chances are that your tried-and-tested approach will not work this time around, and should be adjusted to meet the current schedule and challenges your customers are facing. How about some holiday pajamas instead? Or, if you insist on selling party clothing, why not brand it as an opportunity to wear what you really want for the holiday dinner, without worrying about what your aunt might think? Whatever you do, don’t forget to evaluate your assumptions and focus on what’s happening in your target audiences’ life right now.  

These are times of trial for many industries, and retail has a leading role to play. By demonstrating flexibility and empathy, retailers can come out of this crisis stronger and closer to customers. Now, more than ever, #BondingMatters