It’s too late to backtrack now. We’re in too deep. We have officially thwarted the laws of nature and defied the Gods. We are condemned to carry the weight of our stilted visionary outlook on life. We mustn’t quiver, but kneel proudly and endure the consequences of our actions, akin to Atlas, sentenced to bear Uranus on his shoulders for leading the Titans in the Titanomachy war against the Gods. That being said, defying the Gods has led both the Titans and us, mere mortals, to a glorious victory. The man-fabricated digital era has revolutionized our primal state into a god-like status. We know all, see all, do all, anytime, anywhere.
Let’s restrict the analysis of what I have just asserted to the world of ecommerce. Online shopping goes against the laws of nature by its intangibility. Yet it is swiftly growing in numbers and popularity. So much so that 4.8 billion people on the planet own a cellphone while only 4.2 own a toothbrush!
According to the Centre for Retail Research based in Nottingham (UK), the online retail sector alone has soared in Europe by 18.4% in 2014, 18.6% in 2015 and is expected to rise by 16.7% in 2016.
The reasons for 62% of consumers to shop online at least once a month are numerous and diverse. Among which, 71% believe they’ll get a better deal and 60% greatly appreciate the crowd-dodging aspect of Internet browsing and purchasing. The means to online shopping follow the same fate, profuse and various. 85% of Internet customers use a computer, 41% a smartphone and 27% a tablet.
Off-line, online, customers are everywhere!
This newly divine power acquired by consumers to be omnipresent is a gift and a curse for online sellers. It has expanded to the hilt their market, but it has also made it more difficult for them to reach out to potential buyers. The presence of the latters is sensed, but intangible: god-like.
Just like Arachne, a shepherd’s daughter, defeated Athena, goddess of reason, with her weaving skills – according to Ovid’s version -, online sellers have found a way to triumph over their customers’ divinity. The strategy is simple: reverse the god-like state, even surpass it, using a deicidal weapon: anticipation. In order to reach their clientele, online sellers must anticipate their consumers’ moves and beat them to the draw. Add omnipresence to the anticipation and they embody Zeus, King of Gods.
In concrete terms, the road to the lightening bolt has three junctions.
Websites must be mobile- and tablet- friendly.
Customer service must be extended to the digital world by offering instant online help, using click-to-chat or click-to-call.
Brands must penetrate the inner circle of their clients and go beyond friendly, all the way to the friend zone, if not the family realm. The trick is to establish a presence in the customer’s private messaging tools, such as Messenger or WhatsApp. Aligned with an intense digital marketing strategy, this will induce the Pavlov reflex. Customers will end up drooling and longing for the brand’s products by simply seeing the brand’s name in their contact list.
Therefore, online sellers, divinize yourself, and celebrate your triumph by presiding the Olympic Games!