In today’s age of dynamic digital disruption, consumers often have conflicting expectations. They exist in a world with a real fear of missing out, so they want to be hyperconnected, yet at the same time they don’t want to be ‘marketed to’ when they are connected. From hyper-personalisation to go beyond click-and-collect shopping, let’s take a look in our design blog at how brands can improve the customer’s retail experience.
1. Finding Opportunities in the Online to offline (O2O) Space
Considering that an estimated 81% of shoppers have done their research by the time they reach a buying decision, channeling a small percentage of their online research to your offline store would represent a massive potential for sales. O2O lets companies to treat online and offline channels as complementary rather than competitive. That way, online informs retail, and retail informs online, creating a symbiosis that pays off for those who can master the balance.
Despite having success in the online-only market, men’s fashion retailer Bonobos opened retail storefronts that cater to this market. They opened the Guide Shop, where customers could view and try their products in person, and after they find the perfect fit, the products are shipped, arriving as quickly as two days later.
2. How Hyper-Personalisation Makes For A Better Customer Experience
With predictive analytics solutions that let you cost-effectively track demand and manage inventory levels on-the-go and across locations, you can be sure that when customers visit your store, you provide them with customised offers and tailored suggestions based on their specific desires in a way that is natural.
Nordstrom, one of America’s largest fashion retailers, has introduced personalised experiences at their retail stores. One of their unique personalisation techniques is an opt-in app that pushes the online profile of people who enter their stores to the salespeople in those stores. Salespeople can see the customer’s profiles and purchase history to help create a better shopping experience for the customer.
3. Razzle-Dazzle Retail
Experiential retail means providing a curated, well-edited product assortment to customers grappling with the overwhelming amount of choices that today’s retail world offers. This is allowing less space for product in brick-and-mortar stores and more space for other experiential zones or engaging customer touchpoints, such as the growing interest in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). In fact, some retailers have included creative in-store customer events and interactive product demonstrations as part of their technology driven experiences.
The Lobby, the brand-new shopping experience in Stockholm, is an example. With its ‘plug-and-sell’ set up, The Lobby hosts smaller shops on flexible, short-term agreements, allowing for easy changeover and transition, which means customers can expect a different range of stores every time they visit the store.
4. Omnichannel Retailing— Integrated Customer Journey
Every channel and touchpoint have to work together. One customer interaction should not be completely isolated from the rest to ensure consistent experiences. This is where the distinct difference between omnichannel and multichannel lies. Multichannel retailing means channels are managed and optimised independently of each other. Instead of creating an integrated customer journey, this approach can lead to competition within your own strategies and a disconnected customer experience.
Amazon Go was born in response to the demands for an omnichannel retail experience with no line, no checkout, as well as the utilisation of Artificial Intelligence. Although the concept is still available only to Amazon’s employees, it has already sparked the interest in many curious minds.
5. Going Beyond Click-and-Collect Shopping
Despite the benefits of instant gratification, for consumers located in highly populated areas, they might find the time and fuel costs associated with traveling to a retail store outweigh the benefits of click-and-collect shopping. Not to mention the “long waits” they have to endure while store staff rummaged for their parcels in the back of the store.
Dedicated pick-up spots and a locker system would eliminate the inconvenience, thus by itself is a significant improvement to the customer experience. Through smart lockers, retailers are able to free up store staff and streamline the customer’s purchase journey.
On the other hand, McKinsey’s research revealed that 23 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for same day delivery. When it comes to omnichannel retailing, the perceived reliability and timeliness of delivery is a significant decision-making factor for customers and retailers’ success in O2O business model.
The boundaries are being pushed and blurred between a more traditional interaction with the retail space and that of a more dynamic, collaborative and immersive brand journey. Ultimately, the forward-thinking retailers that put customers first are the ones that find the most success.
Interested in creating a better retail experience? Give us a shout and find out how greater group can guide you to achieving success in engaging with your customers.