The customer experience deficit - Opportunities for Growth in the Retail Industry
As customers now move between online and offline channels…websites, mobile, apps, stores, tv, catalogues, telephone calls, social media; it is extremely important for brands to offer seamless customer experiences across different touch points.
HeadLondon assessed 100 UK retailers customer experience and included real sales correlation with Oxford Economics data Retailers sales data.
Below are the key findings if you have not had the chance to read through the HeadLondon research:
Enable customers to choose a purchase path that suits them best and his/her data to be updated on multiple channels.
Successful retailers offer customers the opportunity to move between touch points with contextual and relevant customized information. Customer browsing and purchase data channel transferal is key. Tesco does a great job on allowing customers to have a consistent view of past purchases on all channels.
Create links between channels
Carefully plan the consumer journey between channels (touch points).
Use mobile websites and mobile apps appropiately.
The Study found that using branded utility makes apps desirable.
Apps are not suitable for casual encounter with retailers. As users make an effort to downloaded, they have to provide real value. They work for loyal, repeat customers.
My tip: Apps that helps users achieve a goal or solve issues on the go are powerful.
Mobile websites unlike apps are perfect for casual interactions. Ensure your mobile website solve a need that your consumers might quicly need to have access on the go.
Treat customers support as a critical part of customer experience
The most advance retailers were found using social media to address customer service issues. ASOS was one great example of resolving customer issues on social media channels. EasyJet was another great example using twitter to respond to passengers questions and complains.
Merchadising a Digital Store.
In-store experiences were found already rich and seductive with hard-to-resist environments. However, the report indicated that online product display is better described as “finding” rather than “shopping”. Majority of online shopping carts are long, flat product listings organized by category. While users browse online pages, there is no inspiration (as opposed in-store). H&M demonstrated some of the best online merchandising through trend based content and the dressing room feature where users can put products together and buy the whole lot in a click.
Personalization technology can offer tailor online experience to individual customers that cannot be achieved in the physical store. Retailers need to build knowledge databases around customer habits, likes, items bought and other behaviours. Retailers then can use that information to make relevant recommendations. Ocado was nominated as top one on this category. I would say Amazon does a great job too.
What brands should do to make service innovation happening
- Scrutinize customer behaviour and needs.
- Offer compelling and indispensable experiences to meet those needs in-store, online and mobile.
There was an interesting page that defined “What makes an exceptional shopping experience today”
Below are findings:
- Cross Channel personalization: offer recommendations based on what users have previously bought via any channel.
- User selections (basket and wish list) persist across-channels, alternatives, ranges or matching items are offered.
- Ability to reserve in one channel and purchase via another.
- Fullfilment info to be provided across channels (email, mobile, sms)
- Unexpected but pleasant surprises on receipt of an order. Example: wrapping, scents, gifts.
- The customers is encouraged to contact the retailer at any time from any channel inc social media and receives a direct, prompt and relevant response.
- The customer is able to sef-serve for common queries. For example, finding manuals, answers to common questions, getting additional product support.
HeadLondon report writers were Paul Jervis-Heath and Lola Oyelayo.
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