BY KARENNA CASE
In a post-COVID era, the combination of virtual and in-person events and shopping experiences is here to stay. Hybrid shopping includes things like online purchases that are shipped through the mail, online ordering with a curbside or in-store pickup. It can also include a delivery service or an employee bringing online purchases to a local address and appointment-based shopping, where customers get a one-on-one, in-person service.
A survey from the Wall Street Journal shows that over half of consumers intend to continue using some kind of hybrid shopping experience after the pandemic restrictions end.
Here are three tips to create an ideal hybrid customer experience for your shopping and tourism BIDs.
- Take advantage of engagement features on social media. Social media creates opportunities for consumers to engage with in-store products, experiences and destinations by seeing what is available ahead of time. Instagram Story features like polls and question-and-answer sessions and broadcasting events on Facebook or YouTube Live all allow customers to engage meaningfully with their favorite places and provide input on what they’d like to see.
- Encourage stakeholders to streamline the hybrid experience with technology. Ensure that experiences in your BID, whether retail, hotels, restaurants, or recreation, take customers’ preferred methods of payment. They should also have clear instructions about in-store or curbside pickup to create a smooth experience for customers. This will make them more likely to visit your destination again, whether it’s in person or online.
- Focus on customer service. People who make the effort to travel to a destination to visit, shop or play are looking for a human connection and engagement that an online experience cannot provide.
Need help improving your BID’s hybrid customer experience? Contact Verdin at verdinmarketing.com/contact.