No matter how “ready” today’s consumers may be for grocery eCommerce, getting them to embrace change, abandon previous behaviors and create completely new ones isn’t always easy.
In order to accept change, people need to learn why it’s in their best interest to embrace the new and forget the old. You want to help them get great service out of your brand at every interaction, and that involves continuously innovating to create a better product and service, and then helping your customers understand how these changes are designed to make their lives better.
To support you in achieving these goals, we’ve created this 10-step implementation plan to help you effectively communicate upcoming service changes to your customers, and guide them seamlessly through the transition phase.
1. Outline Your Strategy
For any new launch begins with a well-defined strategy. A launch strategy can be seen as an organized, purposeful effort to create change, and it should be guided by thoughtful planning. Your strategy will guide you in planning, implementing, marketing, monitoring, improving and evaluating your e-commerce launch.
2. Define Your Budget
How much of your budget should be put towards promoting your e-commerce launch? Your budget should outline the media you intend to use (e.g. email, social, print, telemarketing, trade shows, publicity, etc.) and the tools, technologies or resources you’ll be leveraging (e.g. new software or email service provider).
3. Create a Hub
A hub is essential for many reasons. It will be home to everything related to your launch until your full e-commerce site goes live, and will give you the chance to tease your audience as to what’s to come. It may contain FAQs, how-to guides and videos demonstrating your new eCommerce service.
4. Generate Awareness
It’s important to communicate that change is coming with your customers long before your launch date to build curiosity and interest. As you're preparing to launch, you'll want to consider the launch itself. How do you plan on promoting your new service? Will you kick off with any exclusives offers, discounts or sweepstakes to generate awareness?
5. Establish Channels and Touchpoints
These could include email, social media, press releases, direct mail, bag inserts and flyers and paid digital ads. Once you’ve established how well each individual channel performed in promoting your content, you’ll be able to take this information and leverage it going forward.
6. Brand Your Launch
By creating a distinctive brand for your launch, you can craft a unique identity for your new e-commerce offering. This will allow you to create branded merchandise that reflects the look and feel of your new site, and this branding can then be replicated both in-store and outside.
7. Create Support Content
One of the latest trends in content marketing involves companies using either text, video, or both, to answer customer questions they anticipate receiving. When done well, this type of content can ultimately reduce customer service workload, and not to mention costs.
8. Set Up a Help Desk
By taking advantage of different tools, you can make sure that you’re able to cover all of your bases through multiple channels. You can take advantage of inbound phone support, email, social media and many other channels to do this, and simply ensure that your customer service representatives are equipped with knowledge concerning when certain changes will be going live, and how to support customers with those changes along the way.
9. Encourage Feedback
Encourage feedback by telling customers exactly how and where they can provide it. Bear in mind that initial feedback may not be all positive, but don’t take that to mean that your changes haven’t been well-received.
10. Keep It Up
More than anything else, committing to an ongoing marketing program to educate your customers on your new service and drive regular traffic to your site should be varied, regular and ongoing.
If you've done everything on this list, you should have a healthy following of people ready to line-up and purchase from your newly-launched e-commerce store.