A lot has changed within the past 5 to 10 years in the digital world. In just 360 days what we learn as marketers, developers and business owners becomes outdated, as the online world continues to move at an alarming rate, spurred on by changing customer expectations. And yet some businesses still underestimate the importance of continued digital innovation. Big brands that appear to be forging ahead in the industry eventually come to a sudden and unexpected stop as they spend less time innovating while revenue is high, and more time pushing temporary product trends. Unfortunately, this change has already begun as stores like Forever21 and Topshop recede from the high street to seek potential growth online while the numbers are down.
Brands that are forging ahead need to keep on innovating while revenue is high, instead of waiting until sales plummet as the ground quickly crumbles beneath their feet.
Waiting until a dip in revenue or a bad sales period to begin rejuvenating your digital presence will only result in your site is continually playing catch up. Risking complete closure as users become frustrated or bored with the online experience you provide.
What do you do to run bricks and mortar store online?
At first glance, digital stores look and feel quite intimidating. With phrases like omnichannel experience and augmented development being thrown around on a frequent basis, understanding exactly what’s expected of your brand can be a high-pressure task.
But this isn’t unknown territory. Brands like JD sports are pulling away from the competition as they provide a complete 360 customer journey. JD sports provide an experience which includes apps, promotions for online and offline discounts, email and a range of instore or at-home delivery options. JD sports have seamlessly combined the instore experience with the digital world, and they continue to push boundaries.
An optimised 360 user experience is often downplayed by big brands that either want to focus on either instore or online experiences, instead of combining the two. To fully understand why the digital world and the real world are so intricately intertwined and how this affects you have a go at this fun game. Turn off your mobile, smartwatch, laptop, anything with an internet connection and go about your day as usual.
Soon enough you will realise how much of your life is connected to the internet. Commuting to work? How are you going to quickly find out when the next train is or if there are road closures? Need to get breakfast? How are you going to find out which cafes are open, and which suit your dietary needs? Want to listen to music? You had better dust off your old MP3 or CD player.
Our life is constantly connected to the internet, and mobile is the glue that connects brands with their users. Creating an authentic level of communication both instore and online improves UX as you understand your customers, and your customers understand you. Don’t be that brand that disappears into a digital black hole until you want to sell something. Offer authentic experiences using content creation and build an atmosphere or world that surrounds your brand.
But here’s the loophole. You can innovate as much as you want but if your updates are low quality then you waste time and money. So how do you ensure quality? Test. Test everything continuously. One small structural set backwards and your site can easily be thrown into chaos with broken links, 404 pages and endless amounts of complaints.
Circling back to my original point, the digital world is evolving quickly and ensuring your team has their finger on the button for continued innovation and development will ensure your brand’s strength and health in the future. Sticking by the old tried and tested methods won’t always work in the digital world, so be adventurous. Provide digital experiences that are innovative and high quality.