Power to the shopper
If it’s harder than catching an Uber, then your service or product has room for improvement.
Consumers are demanding seamless and personalised shopping experience through mobile, deal finder apps, Twitter and Facebook. It is up to retailers to create consistency across all touchpoints whether it be in person, on the phone, by email or via social media.
Ikea is an example of a traditional retail business transforming their offering to meet changing consumer demands. They recently posted a 7.1 per cent jump in sales in the past year. The strong result came thanks to strong sales of their kitchen and dining room product range, an emphasis on expansion into Asia Pacific and the opening of more click-and-collect stores as customers move online. Today, in Singapore, the furniture giant boasts a user-friendly mobile app that allows customers to envision how their furniture will look like in their homes via augmented reality.
Retailers can’t expect to tap into this new surge of growth without adapting and changing to the new consumer demands of a frictionless in-store and online retail experience.
Customer experience drives spend and loyalty
A report that Salesforce did with 650 Australians identified that customer experience is the primary driver for spend and loyalty.The report found that a digital strategy, clearly connected to a company’s customer service and sales processes, is a key factor contributing to business success. Though this report is Australian centric, the findings are similar to shopper habits everywhere.
A majority of shoppers surveyed said that customer experience is the only way to winning their loyalty – through immediate customer service responses, ease of finding products, and knowledgeable sales staff.
Retailers looking to expand and grow need to realise shoppers’ demand and ensure a completely seamless customer experience.
Consistency across touchpoints
Consistency across the expanding number of customer touch points is vital to maintaining customers. According to the report, the top three reasons shoppers will switch brands include a difficult purchasing or check-out process, inconsistent levels of service, and an inconsistent experience.
L’Oréal recently went through a transformation in order to streamline the customer’s journey across 28 brands. The 100-year-old company rolled-out a marketing and customer experience strategy across all media and channels to ensure they were able to map customer journeys and engage with Australian customers and prospects on a one-to-one level.
Shoppers expect a consistent, branded experience at every customer touchpoint, and that requires retail organisations to work flawlessly across their traditional silo structure.
Mobile and email key to shoppers’ journey
Far from being old hat, mobile and email are crucial elements of the customer’s shopping journey.
According to the report, email is the preferred communication channel for consumers, with several surveyed saying email communication channels are available while mobile is the number one source of comparison of products and price.
Pizza Hut Hong Kong knows a thing or two about delivering great customer experiences through mobile and email. Its mobile application allows Pizza Hut’s customers to get a queue number before they even reach the restaurants and allow loyal customers to cut the line with sufficient coupons stored on their mobile application. On the business side, it also helped to cut down the time and money needed to generate queue numbers, coupons, and mailers to the customers from several weeks to within a day. This fast response to market with mobile is really what separatesPizza Hut Hong Kong from the competition.
The challenge for retailers is how they leverage customer data to ensure each mobile or email message is personalised and targeted.
Consumers expect more
Consumers’ increasing demand for personalised services and interactions is forcing retailers to improve the connection between digital and physical and put a greater focus on enhancing the in-store experience
Retailers must evolve their approach to meet the rising expectations of today’s digitally savvy and increasingly informed consumer.
This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to look at all the channels their customers are actively using and ensure they are creating consistently amazing experiences across all of them – both digitally and in-store.