Published on March 17, 2014
Six Keys to Creating a Stronger Customer Experience Capitalize on Big Data insights, champion customer experiences, and streamline marketing to maximize customer value
Welcome to the New Retail Reality Competitors are not only across the mall aisle, but they’re also the next website over. The buying process is no longer concrete and linear; consumers are continually shifting between online and offline platforms to make their purchase decisions. Retailers who can keep up with these new buyer journeys and adapt to consumer preferences in real time will be the most profitable. These six tips will help retailers act at the point of consumer need – and capture consumers across every stage of the purchase lifecycle – by serving up highly personalized, interactive, and localized experiences. Retailers lose $65 billion in potential revenue because of inconsistent consumer experiences.1 1 Retail Info Systems News,“Omnichannel Readiness Report,” October 2013 2
1. Think “Omnichannel” For retailers that want to succeed in today’s integrated environment, all channels must be created equal. No matter how consumers choose to transact or engage with a business, they now expect to get the same answers, information, and personalized treatment. An “omnichannel” strategy ensures the same information and experiences are delivered across all channels, enabling consumers to start, continue, and end their buying journey seamlessly. The result: A more uniform, satisfying experience for your customers. 2 Accenture,“Accenture Seamless Retail Study,”April 2013 49% of consumers said the best thing retailers could do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online, and mobile shopping channels.2 3
2. Nurture Customer Advocates Rather than simply relying on discounts and benefits to create customer loyalty, retailers need to create mutually beneficial relationships with their customers. Rewarding top advocates of your brand with loyalty promotions and return incentives triggered by their social media activity, location, and in-store referrals creates high value for both you and your customer. Up to 15% of a business’ most loyal customers account for 55-70% of the company’s total sales, according to The Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University. 4
3. Leverage Data for Actionable Insights There’s potential revenue buried deep inside your data. With analytics in place to harvest valuable insights from a variety of customer and operational data sources, retailers can better understand what is happening both in consumers’ minds and in the market. From top areas of customer dissatisfaction to product design preferences, insights from Big Data initiatives can help drive retailers’ decision making. According to a Tate Consultancy Services report, 53% of respondents are leveraging Big Data, and of those companies, 43% predict a return on investment of more than 25%. 5
4. Let Consumers Control the Experience Are you listening? In a single day, people send some 500 million tweets, share 4.75 billion items on Facebook, and have 1,440 conversations in LinkedIn groups. In all lines of business, people are sharing their experiences of products and services with friends and industry peers. Retailers must wrangle data insights from these conversations to: • Not waste time targeting consumers in the wrong channels • Convert online insights into campaigns to drive in-store purchases • Leverage positive feedback to generate awareness and reward brand advocates If you listen carefully, customers will tell you what they want early on, which makes it easier, faster, and cheaper to deliver just what they want. Mike Wittenstein, managing principal and senior experience designer at Storyminers “ ” 500 MILLION TWEETS 4.75 BILLION SHARES 1,440 CONVERSATIONS 6
5. Personalize Experience in RealTime Consumers are like snowflakes – no two are exactly the same. Emerging technologies such as geolocation tools and advanced business intelligence (BI) solutions can unlock retail opportunities to deliver contextually relevant experiences: • Distribute relevant deals and event information to consumers when they are near a physical location • Offer unique discounts and pricing based on loyalty/ purchase history • Simplify checkouts with one account for in-store, mobile, and online data collection 3 Accenture,“Today’s Shopper Preferences: Channels, Social Media, Privacy, and the Personalized Experience,” November 2012 Nearly two-thirds of online shoppers would trade increased privacy for more personalized offers from retailers.3 7
6. Anticipate Consumer Needs Retailers must intimately understand how consumers interact with the brand and its products or services in each channel. They should continually seek out the answers to these questions: • What are consumers trying to do on different channels (research, find reviews, get real-time feedback)? • How do consumers interact with your services? • Where can you serve consumers in unique and relevant ways? There’s no doubt that if retailers treat today’s connected consumers well, those consumers, in turn, will reward the brand by sharing those experiences with friends and family. 8
Maximize Customer Value Now Creating a compelling – and profitable – customer experience requires a new way of thinking for retailers. Commerce has changed, and with it, so have consumers’ expectations for retail sales experiences. Retailers must find ways to give consumers what they want, when they want it, and be accessible wherever consumers choose to shop. This omnichannel strategy is a necessity to remain competitive in the digital age. Watch a brief video to learn about the importance of creating an omnichannel strategy and the benefits retailers can receive from it. Learn more about the six essentials for a stronger customer experience. 9
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