Over the past few years, consumers have gotten particularly stringent on what they expect from stores as well as what they consider “retail deal-breakers.”
The pandemic has only accelerated this. In fact, according to a 2021 report, “The Resiliency of Retail in a Changed Landscape,” by IDC and global cloud communications company Infobip, 59% of consumers won’t shop at a retailer if they don’t offer the ability to buy online and pick up in-store. That same report demonstrated 25% of consumers will only shop at retailers that offer contactless payment options.
Seamless transactions are no longer the way of the future — they are the way of the now. And retailers that don’t quickly adapt to the new normal are well past the stage of ‘far behind,’ they’re straight into ‘extinct dinosaur’ territory.
Now more than ever, there is an essential need for retailers of all sizes to ensure they have the ability to connect the customer through a seamless experience wherever they are — on their phone, on their tablet, in-store, across the world, or next up: outer space.
But adaptation as consumer shopping habits continue to shift between favoring in-store vs. online, and vice versa, always seems to be easier said than done. However, it can easily be achieved if you’re using the right data consolidation techniques and have partnered with an omnichannel seamless communications platform.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Prioritize analyzing your data and make sure you’re reaching out to customers appropriately. Data review will allow your company to make more informed decisions about who you’d like to target, when you should reach out and via what channel. For instance, if you’re messaging to Gen X, you probably won’t want to communicate via Facebook, and you won’t find a Baby Boomer on Snapchat.
2. Consolidate and connect siloed data to keep track of what your customer is looking for on one platform so you can easily help them find the same items on another platform. One store that does a great job of connecting shoppers’ online purchases to in-store visits is Sephora; with their “My Beauty Bag” functionality, they allow customers to keep track of products they intend to purchase and then encourage them to use a tablet in-store to guide them to those products.
3. Personalize every interaction you have with customers to provide a more seamless experience (which is easily done when you’ve already consolidated your data!). A lot of stores have started doing this in the form of showing customers what would match with other items they bought or sending a discount on someone’s birthday.
Once you have a sense of why a customer is shopping, it’s easy enough to help them with the how — if you are holding onto and analyzing the data you already have access to.
One important, final note is to make sure all of your communication vendors not only fit the channel’s needs, but also protect the customer. It’s important to partner with an omnichannel brand that not only understands your business model but is also dedicated to prioritizing the security of your company and your customer.
Retail purchases often ultimately equate to sharing financial data, and all of this is moot if the way you’re communicating with customers puts their cyber safety at stake.
This article was written by Ryan Creamore from Retail Customer Experience. News Features and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.