Close
 

Customer experience: the retail X factor

  • Opinion
  • June 18, 2015
  • Juanita Neville-Te Rito
Customer experience: the retail X factor

Shopping experiences are being transformed.

They are being altered by technology, and new expectations are being set by non-retail industry shakers such as Uber. All retailers should take heed of how shoppers are thinking and what they are thinking, feeling, saying and doing as a result.

There is an unprecedented complexity to shopper journeys, which can follow a different route each and every time. We self-navigate through shopping experiences and are just one swipe and a tap away from anything we want.

From our devices of choice, we browse, pin, tweet, buy, compare products and provide star ratings. Some retailers have found it tough to get their heads around the loss of control over a process they have traditionally managed.

The linear shopper journey no longer exists and today looks more like a pinball, pinging anywhere, anytime, on any device. But this is where exciting opportunities abound.

To make the most of these opportunities and connect with shoppers, retailers need to navigate a complex, content-rich world. To convert shoppers into loyal advocates, it takes more than traditional marketing strategies.

Start by throwing away the rule book as to what you should or shouldn’t do. There are many ways to connect and rich opportunities to develop two way relationships and deliver customer experience, also known as ‘CX.’

Neilsen online shopping data has confirmed what we already intuitively know. More than 655,000 Kiwis were shopping on their smartphones in 2014, as were 58 percent of tablet owners. Showrooming, whether friendly or hostile, has declined since 2013, dropping nearly 20 percent on smartphones. The good news for bricks and mortar? Webrooming, when online research leads to in store purchase, is happening for nearly one in four smartphone and tablet shoppers.

Yes, Kiwis have well and truly embraced online shopping. The expected projection for 2014 year end was $4.15 billion with a growing chunk of that total - $1.3 billion - spent on overseas websites.

Mobile devices aren’t just about transacting, they also play a considerable role in the path to purchase. Smartphones are constant companions to shoppers who are on the go, whether in-store or in transit. 

According to the latest GfK FutureBuy study, the top activities for shopping online, regardless of device are:

1. Searching for the best price

2. Finding products and services

3. Checking general product information

4. Making a purchase

5. Reading reviews.

We talk about creating omnichannel strategies but those words merely reflect our internal silos and are meaningless to shoppers. Customers don’t care about or think about channels. They do care about seamless, engaging, frictionless experiences, aka “Getting what I want how I want to, where I want to and when I want it.”

So, think about individual shopper touch points and how to reformulate these together around the shopper journey whenever, wherever and however the shopper wants to shop.  This of course, changes based on the customer’s needs state.  For example:

  •       Is it a rational or emotive purchase? “I need milk for breakfast,” vs. “I need new shoes because they will make me feel better.”
  •        What is my critical timeline? “I need milk for breakfast in the morning,” vs. “I need new shoes for a wedding I am attending in two weeks.”

Shoppers bounce in and out of need states and modes and still expect retailers to deliver a great experience, each and every time.

Retailers need to merge their offline and online to build excellent shopper experiences. Consider that 10 percent of Walmart’s online sales come from people who are in their stores at the time of purchase.

This video is an example of how some retailers haven’t got their thinking together and the less than optimal customer experience.


We all know a great app doesn’t make up for poor customer service. Effective campaigns can drive shoppers to websites only to be let down if it is hard to find the product or information they need.

Retailers need to start thinking differently.

Harness technology and shopper connectivity in the retail experience. Integrate the environment, online, customer service, delivery, supply chain, marketing, and product experience.

Retail leaders can write their own rule books by doing things differently and creating frictionless, engaging, relevant customer experiences, keeping the art of shopping alive. And deliver advocacy beyond reason.

P.S Macy’s are leading the way in this thinking.

This story was originally published in NZ Retail magazine issue 738, June/July 2015.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

H&M's 2019 designer collab will be with Giambattista Valli

  • News
  • May 24, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
H&M's 2019 designer collab will be with Giambattista Valli

H&M's designer collaborations are met with global consumer excitement. Last year, Moschino was the chosen brand, and for 2019, it's Paris-based Giambattista Valli.

Read more
 
 

Karen Walker brings back its preloved Dove Hospice pop-up

  • News
  • May 24, 2019
  • The Register team
Karen Walker brings back its preloved Dove Hospice pop-up

After a successful debut last year, Karen Walker is bringing back its Dove Hospice pop-up at the Newmarket 'Playpark' store. It will once again sell vintage hand-knitted items to fundraise for the hospice charity.

Read more
 
 

Countdown's Own wins April's Ad Impact award

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Countdown's Own wins April's Ad Impact award

With an April full of public holidays and potential long weekends, the month was a big and busy month for advertising. But Countdown's own-brand campaign surpassed the competition to be named the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award winner for April.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Kiwi fashion label Maggie Marilyn launches new website

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • The Register team
Kiwi fashion label Maggie Marilyn launches new website

The new website launched by New Zealand fashion label Maggie Marilyn prioritises transparency and sustainability.

Read more
 
 

Sharesies CEO Brooke Roberts talks what it takes to become a B Corp certified company

  • News
  • May 23, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies CEO Brooke Roberts talks what it takes to become a B Corp certified company

There’s a movement afoot globally to create more companies that balance purpose with profit and view business as a force for good. Called Certified B Corporations, companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability can become certified. As of April, Sharesies investment platform was the first financial company nationally to qualify for the B Corp certification, joining just 22 other New Zealand B Corp certified businesses. CEO Brooke Roberts talks us through the process, and the benefits for businesses in becoming certified.

Read more
 

The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

  • Opinion
  • May 23, 2019
  • Ros Netto
The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

Product and price is all very well, but retailers are increasingly seeking to avoid discounting by incentivising non-transactional behaviours instead. Ros Netto, consultant at Truth Customer Academy, shares some advice.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}