How do your shoppers really feel about you?

  • Opinion
  • July 13, 2016
  • Juanita Neville-Te Rito
How do your shoppers really feel about you?
Image: Kerryn Smith

The shopper’s journey can literally change each and every time they shop. They are navigating their own way through shopping experiences in a time when they can buy anything and everything at the tap of a key.

With the swipe of a screen we browse, pin, tweet, buy, compare products and provide star ratings, and this has been very tough for retailers to get their head around. Retailers have absolutely no control, as portable devices mean shoppers can access information on the retailer whenever and wherever they need it.

The implications for retailers means the shopper journey is more akin to a pinball machine, bouncing and flicking about anywhere, anytime. The upside of this is that it creates a multitude of opportunities to connect with shoppers.

To survive in this new, complex, content-rich world and to convert shoppers into loyal advocates, it takes more than traditional retailing. This is a wonderful challenge for retail businesses as there is no longer a rule book to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. There are now many different and right ways to connect that are perfect for you and your shopper. Connecting with your shoppers means not only can you have insights into their behaviours, but you can also develop engaging ways to build a two-way relationship with them through experiences.

Shoppers can be irrational and unpredictable, but they do crave rich, seamless, engaging and frictionless experiences. They want to touch, feel, taste, smell and interact. Shoppers want to know about the authenticity of the product or the retailer. They need to know that it is the real deal and that by buying from you is a good choice (or a damn great choice). They want to feel good about their purchase and that you didn’t rip them off – whether that be in not giving the right curation of choice, quality or value.

Retailers need to think about the collection of individual shopper touch points. They need to reformulate these together around the shopper journey whenever, wherever and however the shopper wants to shop.

In the old days you might have simply opened your doors and dictated your trading hours, let everyone take their lunch break at 12:30pm and told your customer your product was especially sourced, so they took your word for it. That has now all but gone. The shopper now manages their own experience, defined by what they interact with virtually and physically. You have nowhere to hide.

This is a real wake-up call and the single most important change required is to look at your offer through the lens of your customers. Not your lens – their lens. What experience are they looking for? The emotional dimension such as smells, sights, excitement, touch, taste, tantalise.

Find the CX sweet spot

In order to engage shoppers each and every time, retailers must deliver a balanced experience that meets the rational, functional and emotional needs of the shopper. If you think of it through the lens of a shopper, the reasons to believe are what you are all about (merchandise), the experiences I have are when I shop and interact with you (operations) and what I think, feel and say is what I tell others in my community or with conversations (marketing) I have with you. Basically, you need to be sure you:

  1. Have a clear proposition and tell that story – why should I choose you over every other retailer that operates in your category? What makes you so special?
  2. Curate product differentiation – curate or bring together your stuff like no one else can. If it’s stuff I can buy elsewhere, what is it that makes it better to buy from you?
  3. Attract the type of customers you want so you can be sustainably profitable – stop being everything to everyone e.g. my target audience is anyone buying a gift. That’s rubbish and you know it. Be clear about who should, could or would buy from you and how you are going to engage with them to get them to come to you. More importantly, keep your finger on the pulse to understand how that audience is going to change.
  4. Pitch value not price – if I can buy it somewhere else for cheaper, what else do you offer that means I should choose you? E.g. you might have the best depth of range, best array of quality or more colours or exclusives.
  5. Connect with customers on their terms – learn that a customer likes to feel individual and important. Treat them with respect and have two-way conversation by talking with them instead of at them.

Our shopper’s world is fundamentally shifting and changing at a pace that they have never seen before. With so much information and so many options now being thrown at them, bundling those experiences to deliver the ‘right’ feeling will be the only way to cut through the noise. Encourage and excite your shoppers enough to come back again and again.

You know that feeling. You’ve had it yourself with the retailers you keep going back to.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou.

This story originally appeared in NZRetail magazine issue 744 June / July 2016

​ ​

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.


Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more

Trends analysed at Chicago's International Home + Housewares Show

Each new year for retailers is another question mark in guessing what to present to consumers. Luckily in the world of retail, trade shows can ...


Shoptalk 2019: The city of lights delivers

Juanita Neville-Te Rito shares a sprinkle of retail magic from Las Vegas retail conference Shoptalk.


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.

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 ...
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 ...

Consumer confidence falls again, but still optimistic

  • News
  • June 20, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Consumer confidence falls again, but still optimistic

Consumers remain downbeat about the future of the economy, but are more upbeat about their own financial situations.

Read more

Automation will help retailers focus on customers

  • News
  • June 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Automation will help retailers focus on customers

More than 100 retailers have gathered at Freedom Furniture’s new Newmarket flagship to consider what the upcoming wave of automation technology offers for the industry. Speakers included Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group and Soul Machines’ Hilary O’Connor.

Read more

A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

  • Opinion
  • June 18, 2019
  • Wendy Thompson
A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

Wendy Thompson is the founder and CEO of the successful social media marketing agency Socialites, and has 16 years digital marketing experience in some of New Zealand's top advertising agencies. However. that doesn't mean she hasn't made her fair share of mistakes in her career. Here, in her typically colourful way, she shares four mistakes she's learnt from all her years in business – and the important lessons she learnt from them.

Read more
Next page
Results for
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.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit