Become a constant in the lives of your customers.
Consumers are changing, retailers need to reinvent themselves. But how?
With the pandemic accelerating a trend in retailing that was already on the rise, both digital and hybrid sales channels found new opportunities to offer their services to ever broader populations. While not everyone is ready for tomorrow's technology, there's no going back. Digital and hybrid customer experiences are the norm today. Community-driven platforms and social media play an important role in this, forcing retailers to become more transparent, accessible, and flexible. Customers can share their experiences quickly and perhaps most importantly, visibly. This visibility makes it much easier for other consumers to compare quality, service, and prices. At the same time, in the past, organisations could never hope to learn as much about consumers' preferences, interests, and behaviours as they can today. Thanks to the availability of this profile data, they can better segment and manage their target groups. It is therefore essential that retailers be present on online channels and social media, where mobile transaction channels are number one.
Let's get phygital
Consumers may be used to the digital shopping experience by now, but they still need physical shops – or meeting places – places that aren’t just about buying, they’re also about the experience. The phygital shopping experience, a hybrid combination of online service and real-life shopping, offers the perfect solution to this. It's no coincidence that even online giants are expanding their offer with physical stores, pick-up points, or integrated hybrid concepts. In practice, it appears that traffic to 'bricks and mortar' locations often stimulates online sales for the same retailer. Building customer loyalty remains a real challenge, in which the collection and use of (predictive) data as well as the creation of brand preference is crucial. Contemporary retail demands much more than a salesperson in the old sense of the word, retailers will have to be smart matchmakers from the get-go.
Amazon Go operates without cash registers
The American retailer Amazon was one of the first to offer a true phygital shopping experience. Consumers shop in a physical supermarket but are free from the expectation to stop at the cash register. Or rather: they pass an intelligent check-out that detects their groceries and automatically takes payment from their Amazon account. Through analysis of the data that is accumulated after regular store visits, customers receive personalized offers that match their shopping behaviour and interests. With these physical stores, Amazon increases contact moments and touch points, while at the same time enriching their online experience.
Here's how you can get the consumer on your side:
Learn more about them
Retailers and advertisers that collect relevant data about their customers and prospects can address them in a more targeted way. Consumers operate with no consideration for the advertiser's programme, and are instead, led by their own specific needs. Retailers who succeed in mapping these profiles in detail can time their communication and actions better and connect with their customers and prospects in a way that is experienced as helpful and sympathetic rather than an unnecessary disturbance.
Make it easy for them
One-click shopping, seamless payment methods and 24/7 conversational interfaces. Today consumers expect a frictionless and simplified experience. They follow the path of least resistance and don't feel tied to any retailer or brand. It’s important that you do not create an obstacle course but a broad, accessible shopping superhighway.
Focus on loyalty and gamification
Consumers are temporary visitors to your platform, never really customers. So as a retailer you have to be inventive to generate customer loyalty in a digital environment. From a subscription where products are always delivered for free, to membership schemes that deliver personalised offers: those who work hard to offer added value often see this translated into more purchases. Gamification is instrumental in this. When a trader or advertiser rewards their online customers with credits, tokens, and personalised benefits, they are generally happy to spend more time in their retail universe.
Do you want to know how you can make a difference with your IT approach or how you can work more product-oriented?
The customer wants... everything their own way.
The customer-is-king principle has never been so topical and will become even more important in the future. The first online retailers could win customers by creating an intuitive and effortless shopping experience, with the items delivered to their customers homes quickly and free of charge. Today, consumers are more demanding, they have a lot of choices. They can buy their products online and have them delivered to their home or pick them up themselves. They might prefer to go shopping in the store and take their purchases home immediately or have them delivered later. Some like to explore in the store and then buy online – unhindered by any brand or retailer loyalties.
How does iO work?
Building a successful sales and distribution strategy is a complex challenge, given the abundance of sales channels. The technical foundations of this retail ecosystem are too often forgotten. That is why we always recommend the integration of high-performance IT architecture. This is not only crucial for setting up and managing an intelligent database, but also for the identification of customers and prospects. Along with taking care of the technological and analytical aspects, we also pay attention to the creation of relevant content, streamlining logistics and pricing. If you want the consumer of today and tomorrow as a regular customer, you have to master all domains, in terms of omnichannel transformation.
4 pillars that every retailer can build on.
1. Make the right technological choices.
Creating a digital ecosystem out of thin air requires huge investments in development and marketing. If you want to expand your offer into new markets, consider an open IT architecture.
2. Master all relevant touchpoints.
From the addition of a helpful conversational interface to attention to the context in which you introduce your customers to your physical environments, where consumers can experience your brand or product to the maximum.
3. Work predictively and progressively.
Through insights based on qualitative data, progressive profiling makes it possible to approach customers in a targeted manner, with offers that they are receptive to.
4. Build a love brand.
Become loved by consumers by becoming a regular partner in their digital lives. Carefully considered engagement and trust leads to customer loyalty.
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