How Retailers are Elevating the Customer Experience
Marketers know that a customer can be won or lost with a single interaction. A negative experience is often enough to sour a customer’s impression of a brand, while a positive, engaging experience can inspire affinity and cultivate brand loyalty. While the jury is out on whether the retail apocalypse is a credible threat, retail marketers should focus on optimizing the customer experience across available touchpoints to ensure maximum omnichannel engagement.
Marketers working with physical store locations often default to an experiential strategy heavily reliant on social media, with a big focus on aesthetics. While these are certainly important factors to consider, retail marketers should prioritize the actual, functional value that a physical store can provide. Successful retailers are innovating the traditional store concept to provide spaces for networking, BOPIS convenience, even a quick pitstop for a wardrobe change between work and evening. A customer-driven mindset to in-store experiences ensures greater long-term value.
There are numerous benefits for brands that offer their own app: it serves as an additional e-commerce platform; it offers the potential for a digital rewards program; most importantly, it’s a channel that provides the brand with a wealth of customer data. Retail marketers can leverage geolocation data to target customers with regional promotions and sales at nearby stores. Retail apps can also give shoppers digital maps of their stores’ layouts, so shoppers know exactly where to find the product they’re looking for. Unifying the customer journey across physical and digital touchpoints helps retail marketers deliver a consistent and seamless customer experience.
Implementing meaningful applications of interactive technology in stores benefits both the retailer and customer. For example, touchscreens that display available inventory and tablets that automate back-of-house operations such as stock checks and mobile checkout enable shoppers to explore the store at their own pace, while also maximizing efficiency for both the customer and the salespeople on deck. By integrating digital platforms with their physical stores, retailers provide customers with a shopping experience that’s more engaging, more convenient, and more enjoyable.
As the retail industry continues to adapt to the digital era, brands that succeed are the ones that are willing to innovate. By implementing technology to engage with customers in meaningful, creative ways, retailers can cultivate brand affinity and loyalty with every interaction. A consistently positive customer experience paves the way to a lasting relationship that keeps the customer coming back for more.