Covid-19, Shut-In Economy and Findability

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I guess the concept of Shut-In Economy sounds new to the majority of people, but not the millennials. As per Lauren Smiley’s statement: “In the new world of on-demand everything, you’re either pampered, isolated royalty — or you’re a 21st century servant”. That’s the basic concept of this new economy model: the on-demand world isn’t about sharing at all. It’s about being served. This is an economy of shut-ins.

In this context favoured by the digital technologies, where people are getting closed in themselves and only interact by PC or mobile, the Covid-19 is fostering the isolation and the use of the web.

Let’s now think about the Cluetrain manifesto‘s central thesis: “markets are conversations“, which means the internet enables conversations amongst consumers and between consumers and companies. Well, so how does begin a conversation? Generally, through questions. Ok, but how can we raise a question in the internet? Generally through searches…

That’s the point! Searching means beginning a conversation in the digital world!

It is now when it comes to focus the companies’ attention on Findability and develop a holistic approach in order to create a bridge between consumers’ intents and products and services needed across several territories: SEO, social media, on site search optimisation, eCommerce and, of course, physical stores as well.

Moreover, SEO tools offer to the companies the opportunity to identify and analyze the new customer mental models in order to set up new focused commercial actions.

From Demand perspective:

  • Organic search is more important than ever before
  • SEO demand has increased substantially during the crisis
  • Competitors will be taking advantage of this increased search traffic to build market share
  • Social media comes one of the most important channels to dialog with prospects in the pre-purchase stage of the funnel
  • There is a shift from mobile searches to desktop searches

and from Supply potential:

  • Companies need to develop more content within search to engage users on their products and services
  • Boost companies’ organic traffic by improving the quality or their website content (remember: content is king!)
  • Local SEO teams need data to support their work, from planning to deployment to measurement
  • Social media team needs to improve the Findability of contents in the most popular channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

We are now witnesses to the fact that the purchasing experience always begins (and frequently finishes) in a digital experience.

Because of this, the priority of companies has to be:

  1. Setting up the best digital journey to purchase in the web
  2. Setting up the best digital journey to purchase in the store – the ones which are still opened – by improving the visibility in search engines, the dialog from consumers to brand in social media
  3. Setting up the best digital customer support before and once the purchase has been done, by social media, website, chats and call centers

This situation will impact the consumer behavior for a very long time – or forever. We will be faced with a new scenario where the frequency of visits and the time spent in stores decreases to the advantage of online sites. A key tactic for retailers is to improve the check-out BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) option.

And very important, be careful with those eCommerce focused on a low prices value proposition!

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