Current retail landscape
There is no doubt that the Pandemic has changed the way we shop and make purchases upending the retail industry. These shifts have led to retailers trying to effectively serve their customers through multiple other channels. Omnichannel and digital-first retailers have adapted more easily when compared to traditional retailers that prioritized face to face engagement and physical stores over the omnichannel approach. Customer behaviour has evolved to a point where expectations and demands have exponentially increased; and now retailers have to reimagine the ‘in-store’ customer experience for their customers, digitally. The current retail landscape allows shoppers a simple and quick buying experience accompanied by the visual thrill of online shopping to compensate for the absence of ‘in-store experiences’. According to Ari Weil, the Vice President of Yottaa, “Today’s online customers want the information they need when they need it, at the click of a mouse or a swipe of a tablet or smartphone. And retailers have only milliseconds to grab their attention and complete the transaction.” With more e-commerce platforms to choose and shop from, there is the challenge of dealing with increasingly shorter attention spans.
The following are the four best ways to conquer new retail customer experiences.
1. Create a better and engaging shopping and delivery experience.
The online shopping behaviour of consumers has reshuffled the deck replacing in-person shopping and interaction with digital engagement, which is why delivering an extraordinary customer experience is a key differentiating factor. These experiences depend on consistency and personalization. Customers expect their needs to be anticipated and understood consistently; whenever, wherever and however they prefer to reach out at every touchpoint.
Fundamentally, engaging customers by creating omnichannel strategies that fuse physical and online channels is a great way to start! Customer expectations are always on the rise when it comes to metrics such as stability, speed, consistency and delivery times. Retailers can deliver exceptional CX by accelerating the check out process, offering site speed, reducing ad pop-ups, etc along with improved searches, clickable content, and featured products. Retailers should further keep their pace by designing website pages that are optimized for digital shopping and ensure that any device can be integrated with digital channels offering consistent services and seamless experiences.
2. Quick purchase assistance
According to econsultancy.com, 83% of online shoppers require support in completing a purchase. An important aspect of shopping online is creating a feeling of trust and reliability amongst the shoppers. In physical stores, there is always someone that a customer can turn to for help and that adds value to the customer’s physical shopping experience. This initiates a bond between the shopper and the company. But how do retailers bring about these factors digitally? By including purchase assistance in the form of easy order management or a virtual shopping assistant, retailers are making it easier for customers to navigate through the plethora of options available on the website, making the shopping experience faster which directly translates to transparency and credibility resulting in repeat purchases and customer loyalty. A call me back solution with a specific time to call or a quick catch up on virtual video-based chat support throughout the journey can be very intuitive leading to higher conversions.
3. Integrate the use of AI and Bots in retail
Digital stores operate and function in hyper-competitive environments where competitors are only a few clicks away. Retailers can use chatbots to revolutionize CX to gain the momentous edge that requires them to stay relevant. Chatbots do the job of educating the shopper and responding to their queries and requirements from their database filling the shoes of a personal shopping assistant. A combination of AI, speech to text, and Chatbots in retail are involved in delivering extremely personalized shopping experiences to customers offering them personalized recommendations, purchase history, pricing, the next step of action through elevated conversational experience.
4. Social listening
It is of essential importance to build a solid digital reputation and a presence on social media. It is vital to constantly keep track of the customers’ views, opinions and thoughts on the brand’s social media channels and to be on the lookout for signs of any red flags. Social listening is a way in which the brand can monitor customer feedback and suggestions to garner new insights and act on them. 83% of customers like it when brands respond to them and it requires the brand to use Social listening as a tool to craft valuable responses. Companies can use agents from customer support or telesales marketplace like VOIZ to actively monitor and respond to reviews and queries. Therefore by being responsive on social media, brands add a greater value to their connectivity with their customers leading to greater towards a brand.