How to create an inclusive digital experience

marketingmagau

To create accessible digital experiences, brands need to consider the diverse needs of users and commit to inclusion, writes Kelly Slessor.

Inclusive digital experiences mean many things to many people. For me, it is about creating an online experience that responds to a user’s needs. As a result, this allows the user to achieve whatever it is they set out to do.

Research shows that an incredible 98% of websites have accessibility issues. There are 4.5 billion people online today and it has predicted to grow to 6 billion people by 2025. The question is, how do you create an inclusive digital experience for 6 billion people.

Last year, I received an email from a woman who was struggling to find the right outfit. The person was impaired and struggled to use online sites to shop due to the lack of accessibility. She highlighted the challenges faced by the impaired when shopping online.

One issue that stood out was the accessibility for remote communities. Some remote communities do not have access to high internet speeds or the internet. So, how can we create digital experiences that allow remote communities to gain access to websites, products and services? Also, how can these communities sell their products and services via online platforms?

There are many different areas that make up inclusive digital experiences. To test and learn, we need diverse teams and partners that recognise and understand the issues. We need to commit to change. 

It is a complex topic with many challenging elements. It will become a key area of focus for many retailers and businesses in the next few years.

Read the full story at Marketing Mag.

No two customers are the same: Why online retailers need to offer personalised customer journeys

Smart Company

As an unprecedented number of retailers scramble to stand out online, the consumer is hit with a lot of noise that is fast becoming unbearable, writes Kelly Slessor. Kelly Slessor, CEO of Shop You and a digital growth expert, discusses why online retailers need to offer personalised journeys for their customers.

We jump from LinkedIn to Facebook, Instagram to TikTok, and from our mobiles to desktops.

We have an average of eight tabs open on our computers, and yet we still can’t seem to find what we are seeking.

Products are throwing at us on every channel. Out of the 30 images I scrolled through on my Instagram feed, seven were ads for things I have no interest in ever buying.

COVID-19 has quickened the pace of shifting to online. More than 200,000 new households shopped online in April 2020. 

The retailers that personalise the journey will be the ones that truly stand out and connect. Personalisation is not just about sending an email with peoples names. It is about providing services, journeys and experiences that are unique to the customer. It’s about taking the human experience into a digital world.

Somewhere along the line in the digital evolution, we forgot the importance of connection and personalisation. Now everyone is a faceless customer who looks and sounds the same as the next customer and the one before.

There are some steps that retailers can use to create a more personalised journey for their customers.

Read the full article at Smart Company

COVID-19 – A Wake Up Call For Selling Online

Business Essentials Daily

This conversation was posted as a podcast on Business Essentials Daily. Kelly Slessor speaks with Chris Ashmore from SoundCartel about COVID-19 as a wake-up call for retailers to move to selling online. 

Since COVID-19, online retail has seen its most significant growth on record. For businesses, it’s never been easier to set up an online store. Kelly Slessor is a digital growth expert and founder of Shop You, a personalised virtual shopping mall based on AI technology. Kelly has spent the last 20 years working with retailers, property groups, banks and media companies to develop their digital strategy. She explains what businesses need to consider when starting an online process and outlines the digital tools available in which to do so.

The internet has become a great saviour since the pandemic. It makes it easier for customers to shop online for almost anything they want, and selling online. Given that since March 2020, businesses are seeing their online sales skyrocket. So, how can these businesses take advantage of online technology and tools to grow their online presence and increase revenue.

There has been a considerable gap in the connection between the physical and digital worlds. Businesses realise that they cannot have a gap between online and offline. They recognise that they need to have a seamless connection between the two worlds. Companies and retailers have no choice but to make online an experience that reflects the physical experience.

“We see a seismic shift in consumer behaviour and in ways which consumers shop… and it’s becoming more natural”.

Local businesses and retailers will be the ones to win in this scenario. Customers are more likely to shop locally and on-shore than overseas. They will look for local retailers where they can quickly return products they don’t like or get local reviews.

Personalisation in Retail – Let’s Get Personal

Power Retail

Online retail is becoming more personalised with every click. As technology advances, so does the customer behaviours that customers present to retailers. In this article, we sat down with Kelly Slessor. To discuss the power of personalisation in retail and the future of e-commerce. In addition, we talk about the changes within the industry and how tech is helping retail reach its full potential. Kelly Slessor is the CEO and founder of Shop You.

Online retail has soared in the last six months. Many trends will come out of a post-COVID world. According to Kelly, the primary trend would be consumer-driven and focused technology. Consumers focus on convenience and safety. Additionally, there will be ongoing growth in contactless and cashless technology.

Two Key Steps

Many retailers have moved towards e-commerce platforms, including but not limited to small-medium enterprises and local retailers. There are two ways that these retailers can grow and survive in the digital environment.

  1. Develop a clear vision of its customers. Target them with the right keywords and messages.
  2. Treat Google as the shop’s front. More than half of customers’ buying decisions start online. Investing in SEO and optimising Google is found to be essential for growth.

There is enough room for existing e-commerce retailers to grow. For example, video chat, guided selling, and immersive experiences.

Opportunities and Impacts for Retail

The retail model is broken. We are not serving what the customers need. The opportunity is in collaboration. Cooperating between technology companies, shopping centres, retailers, the government, and the customers. This helps to build out solutions that address the pain points.

The problem is connecting individual platforms to create one seamless journey. It is a job that sits with the retailer. However, it requires skill and expertise that many retailers do not have.

If platforms can be connected flawlessly, there will be huge growth opportunities for retailers.

Retailers that continue to provide disconnected experiences and barriers between physical and online will not survive. This is one of the biggest reasons for failure. As a result, these retailers go bankrupt and close down.

The Future of Retail

With an increasing number of digital experiences, retails are moving at a faster pace. The significant impact that we will see in retail is using artificial intelligence for personalisation. Personalisation in retail can take of huge amounts of data in real-time and provide the customer with what they need. There is a demand for many touchpoints that allow customers to spend their time and money.

To sum up, online will become an immersive experience. Each customer would have a personalised experience. These experiences will have a seamless connection to the physical store and provide a journey that is connected. From intent to fulfilment.

Read the full article at Power Retail.

Stand out in four steps: How local retailers can compete with big brands online

Smart Company

Kelly Slessor, CEO and founder of Shop You, shares her insights on how local retailers can compete with big brands online.

Generally speaking, local retailers have had it tough for some time now. A decrease in high street traffic, a shift to online, increased competition from overseas and changing consumer behaviour has driven many to close their doors.

Businesses that have struggled are now faced with one of the most difficult times in the history of retail.

Not all will make it. For those that do, the opportunities to grow and to stand out in an online world are bigger now than they have ever been.

As we faced restrictions and lockdowns, availability and local convenience became a priority. 

According to Australia Post, local retailers grew more than 80% year-on-year eight weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Shifting to and standing out in a digital world is not easy for many local retailers. They often lack the skillset, funds and time. There is also the fear of the unknown.

Having worked with retailers and running her own digital growth course, Kelly has developed four key steps for growing retail online. These steps are:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Plug-and-play
  3. Offer convenience
  4. Choose your channels

Read the full story at Smart Company. 

Kelly Slessor Ecommerce Coach

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow. As a thought leader, strategist and speaker she has worked with world leading companies. Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.