As the UK begins easing lockdown restrictions, businesses around the country are eager to return to normality. Many brands have already reopened the doors to their high street stores, with social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) mandatory requirements across the board. This ‘new normal’ serves to remind companies not to forget the lessons learnt recently.
After all, the week-on-week growth of online shopping recently surged by 129% across the UK and Europe1. Additionally, 77% of consumers stated they expect to continue online shopping more once lockdown ends. This indicates the possibility of an irreversible change in consumer purchasing behaviour2.
Below are three things to continue after lockdown:
1. Use an accurate data source to verify customer addresses
Quite soon after the pandemic broke out, retailers were left with little choice but to shift their focus to ecommerce platforms in order to continue operating. This highlighted a problem for some; they were relying on search engine data to verify customer addresses. This could present a significant problem as this data can be outdated, which will lead to failed deliveries and more issues further down the line.
Using an accurate data source, such as the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF), will ensure customer addresses are properly validated during online checkout. This is because the dataset holds over 30 million UK postal delivery addresses, and receives 4-5,000 updates every day. Therefore, using a PAF-powered address lookup solution will help you maintain your level of productivity when it comes to processing online transactions and shipping orders.
2. Offer a seamless checkout experience
One of the many things the lockdown period has taught us is that customer experience is still king. 25% of shoppers expressed they tried new online retailers because of the lockdown, and intend to continue to shop with them due to the good experience they’ve had during the crisis.
However, this shouldn’t be misconstrued as a certainty because a subsequent negative experience may prompt consumers to leave your brand and shop elsewhere. For example, 87% of shoppers will abandon a cart if a checkout process is too complicated3. Standardised address forms improve websites, and incorporating a solution that automatically captures an address as the details are entered will contribute to a seamless checkout experience.
3. Harness the power of CRM
Last on our list of things to continue after lockdown is harnessing the power of CRM. During COVID-19, many businesses have leveraged their CRM platforms as mission-critical applications, while face-to-face interactions have been impossible4. In the future, CRM will become more connected and performance-driven, requiring teams to manage costs, reduce effort, and boost immediate revenue5.
To put this into perspective, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognise, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. Integrating your existing CRM platform with an address lookup solution will help ensure customer details are entered and stored correctly. This in effect will enable businesses to maintain their customer relationships with the help of accurate data.
Hopewiser can help enhance your website and CRM
We have a range of trusted and proven solutions to help your business remain on top of its game after lockdown. Our address validation products can be easily integrated on a variety of different platforms, including a wide range of APIs and plug-ins. Highly extensible, we provide additional datasets such as International and Multiple Residence. It’s important to remember that in order to achieve the above, you must have accurate address data. If a free or cheap data solution appears too good to be true, it probably is.
Enquire today to find out more:
1 Online shopping surges by 129% across UK and Europe and ushers in new customer expectations of retail (Internet Retailing 22nd April 2020)
2 How UK consumer shopping habits are set to be permanently altered by lockdown (Internet Retailing 15th April 2020)
3 87% of shoppers will abandon a cart if checkout process is complicated (Internet Retailing 10th August 2018)
4 Leveraging CRM in the Face of COVID-19 (Destination CRM 24th April 2020)
5 Marketing, CRM and direct mail after COVID-19 (Royal Mail MarketReach 29th April 2020)
, updated 19th April 2022.