It’s no longer enough to provide a great experience. Customers today are choosing the brands that deliver the best experience. While it’s a simple principle, it’s not the easiest goal to achieve. Your customers have a highly personal definition of “best” and it’s constantly evolving.
Understanding how the pandemic and other disruptions have accelerated digital transformation and changed consumer behavior is important, and brands are responding in increasingly innovative ways. Here are five strategies retailers can adopt to stay in front of these trends and keep customers engaged, interested, and loyal to your brand.
Build the Best Omnichannel Retail Experiences
We now live in a world where it is expected that our most basic needs can be performed from the palms of our hands – so for retailers, that means everything from answering a question to returning an item can be done without even entering a store. But this digital retail experience has to fall within a larger, more comprehensive omnichannel strategy, allowing consumers to move seamlessly between every interaction channel, from your social media platforms to your SMS messages, chatbots, apps, websites, and brick-and-mortar locations. Your customers expect to research, transact, and communicate in a way that is consistent and familiar no matter where, how, or when they’re engaging with your brand.
With these consumer expectations, coupled with the density of players in the market (and more entering every day), the delivery of an exceptional, frictionless omnichannel experience is table stakes for retailers who want to remain competitive. Smart customer experience design strategies that incorporate best practices in commerce, interactions, journey, data, and system integration, enabled by the right commerce solution, are key to delivering the best omnichannel retail experience.
Reimagine the In-Store Experience
While consumers are once more spending time in stores, their expectations for in-person experiences are much higher. The most successful in-store experiences are extremely engaging, informative, and interactive. Take Target as an example: while the brand has made major advancements to their digital and mobile capabilities, they have also made investments toward their in-store experiences with their collaborations with the likes of Disney and Lego, partnership with Starbucks, and in-store-only seasonal and low-cost product displays at the front of their stores. Target, Walmart, and many other stores have introduced strategies like these to build a unique experience that consumers can only get at the physical store. These types of innovations have helped these retail giants stay profitable, with Target reporting year over year increases including a 9.7% rise in store sales and a 29% boost in digital sales.
Make Personalization Mandatory
Delivering the best omnichannel retail experience requires owning a deep understanding of your customers. Personalization helps pull in new customers and keep existing customers loyal to your brand, by creating experiences and offers that speak to their unique needs. One study reported that 60% of consumers are more likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a retailer. We definitely expect that percentage to rise dramatically in the next couple of years, making this one of the retail experience trends with real staying power.