Brands looking to gain competitive margin must consider how to enhance the customer experience in retail. “Customer experience” is a broad term that encompasses multiple touchpoints across channels along the purchasing journey that leave shoppers with an overall impression of your brand. Going into 2020, customer experience will continue to remain a priority for retailers who want favorable customer reviews, free word-of-mouth social advertising, brand affinity, and sustained growth.
How Important Is Customer Experience in 2020?
The most recent statistics indicate why customer experience will continue to matter in 2020:
- There’s a potential for a great ROI. According to the Temkin Group, companies earning $1 billion annually will earn an additional $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience.
- Brands can command higher prices. PWC found 86% of buyers would be willing to pay more for a great customer experience. In fact, they would pay 13-18% more.
- Brands will encourage spontaneity. Nearly half of all customers (49%) will spend more on impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized experience.
- It will increase brand visibility. A Walker study estimates that by the end of 2020, customer experience will be the key brand differentiator, more than price or product.
Where to Get Started: How to Enhance the Customer Experience in Retail
First and foremost, you’ve got to collect data. How can you give customers a better experience if you don’t know what sort of experience they’re currently having? According to Gartner’s research, companies that are most successful in implementing customer experience projects begin with collecting and analyzing customer feedback through various methods such as surveys, review sites, and social media.
Next, consider how you can enhance consistency across channels. Over the past decade, the number of companies investing in enhancing their multi-channel experience has increased from 20% to over 80%. Consistent customer service is key. Hire and train sufficient personnel to handle customer service across platforms—not just in the store or in your call center, but via text, app, live chat, and various social platforms. It’s important to use the same icons, logos, color schemes, images, and slogans across all platforms to create a cohesive feel.
Prioritize the mobile experience. Even if customers like everything else about your brand, 57% of customers won’t recommend you if your mobile website is poorly designed. In fact, 50% of shoppers will likely turn to a competitor if your mobile experience doesn’t match their expectations. Chief customer complaints include difficult navigation, unhelpful search results, slow load times, and websites that are not searchable. By improving the mobile shopping experience, brands can cater to those who prefer shopping via their mobile device.
Make retail shopping fun. Once you’ve mastered the basics, consider taking your mobile experience to the next level with Shopkick. The mobile app makes the retail shopping experience more fun and rewarding. Once opted-in, shoppers receive notifications of nearby retailers offering “kicks” or reward points for interacting with certain products. They participate in a gamified experience where they can earn points for scanning products and making purchases. For retail partners, Shopkick not only gets shoppers in the door but the app also encourages loyalty and increased sales. For instance, convenience store partners leveraged Shopkick to boost sales of low-consideration products and saw a 180% increase in beverage purchase conversion. Seventy-three percent of Shopkick users indicated that kicks influenced their future purchase intent of these products.
Go over and beyond with your product offerings. Retail shopping is no longer simply about touching a physical product before you buy it. Shoppers are drawn to retail locations that offer additional services, events, and unique offerings. For instance, athletic apparel brand Solfire added a fitness oasis space to hold exercise classes and a smoothie bar to create a sense of community in their Brooklyn store. Mr. Porter stores offer VIPs in-home curated shopping experiences, where they can try out 30 pieces sent to them from a stylist for a seven-day trial period. Department stores are also keen on increasing add-on services; Kohl’s accepts Amazon returns and Nordstrom offers gift wrapping and tailoring services.
Shoppers are drawn to retail locations that offer additional services, events, and unique offerings.
When understanding how to enhance the customer experience in retail, brands and retailers must consider customer needs. If brands offer an experience that caters to the needs of customers; allows for multi-channel shopping; and makes shopping fun, they increase the likelihood of a sale.
If you’re wondering how to enhance the customer experience, look no further than Shopkick. You’ve got the products and the people. Now it’s time to give your customers the experience they’re looking for. Find out what our partners are doing or contact us for details on how to get started.
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