What is the “New Normal” we all keep hearing about and does anybody really know what shape it will take going into 2021? probably not. With the fear of a third or even a fourth lockdown between now and the Spring of 2021, how will retailers for example, keep their customers engaged from an online perspective now that the bricks-and-mortar shopping tradition is under serious threat. Christmas shopping is now on us, and the bustling streets throughout the country on the lead up to the big day is looking more and more less likely and could be a disaster for many businesses.
So, e-commerce is looking like the only show in town for many companies and no better online consumer than ourselves. Irish consumers are one of the biggest International online shoppers in the world. That sounds really promising for all Irish companies with an e-commerce presence. However, the problem with that statement, is the word “International”. A survey of more than 1,000 Irish adults back in 2018, which was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of PayPal, showed that Irish people were the biggest international online shoppers in the world with 84 per cent buying overseas. That is a staggering statistic and now with the pandemic and another lockdown in force, at one of the busiest months of the year, Irish e-commerce sites will get just 16 per cent of all online purchasing activity from consumers in this country.
Whether you like them or not, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching and in 2019 Irish shoppers spent €250 Million on Black Friday, 62 per cent of which was spent online and 38 per cent in store (Opinium Research on behalf of PwC Ireland). However, now that we are in lockdown, that 38 per cent of in-store shopping is very unlikely to happen. That means consumers are been driven online and with only 16 per cent purchasing from Irish e-commerce sites, you don’t have to be a mathematician to work out that the sales pie will reduce considerably for Irish businesses if that trend continues this month.
So, what’s the answer, how do Irish retailers and the services industry get our consumers to purchase locally in Ireland? Firstly, make sure you have an e-commerce presence, that goes without saying, secondly make sure you are getting the right message out, at the right time and to the right people. Companies are struggling to find the right approach to their marketing message, which is why a lot of consumers are still bombarded by marketing emails and irrelevant newsletters, with an open rate of just 20 per cent and that’s on a good day. It’s not enough to simply have a digital presence – you must design an effective communication strategy to compliment it.
Irrelevant marketing is the real curse. Establishing a secure one-to-one communication channel with your customers is key. This is where Mobile Messaging will help. A lot of Irish e-commerce companies are integrating mobile messaging as part of their communication strategy rather than the overused and much less affective email and/or newsletter approach. To have an advantage during this pandemic and the “New Normal” we keep hearing about, using mobile messaging to drive loyalty, engagement and reengagement is a key component to keeping your customers spending in Ireland. In-store shopping is not an option for many consumers right now, so companies need to change their approach to marketing to get those same consumers shopping on their e-commerce site.
Like any communications channel, Mobile Messaging with an open rate of 98 per cent needs to be used well to be an effective support to marketing and sales. The team at Phonovation prides itself on being able to educate our customers on how to deliver value through messaging as a fast and extremely secure form of customer communication. Our team are on-hand to help you get an account set up quickly and to make sure you are ready to capitalize on the surge of online activity over the next weeks and months.