The Experience Economy is putting immense pressure on retailers to meet rising consumer demands and expectations. To differentiate and present a unique value proposition to consumers today, companies are focusing their efforts on staging memorable experiences and so foster consumer loyalty that boosts sales and increases profit.
With retail environments becoming increasingly connected and more intelligent thanks to advances in technology, retail business owners are asking themselves tough questions: How do I foster true brand loyalty in the experience economy? How can I deliver value to my customers and give them memorable experiences that keep them coming back? What are the building blocks of a great retail customer experience?
We work with retailers every day to understand these questions and their potential solutions. Here are four recommended actions retailers can take today to start building positive and memorable customer experiences:
1. Use Data to Understand your Customer
It’s never been more important to know who your customers are and understand how they shop. Gathering and analysing customer data will help retailers make informed decisions that drive tangible business benefits.
A wealth of data is already at their fingertips. By analysing customer and purchase data, retailers can start building intelligent customer profiles that bring them closer to individualised interactions with each customer. The more retailers know about a customer, their needs and their expectations, the better their ability to develop individualised offers and other interactions.
2. Provide Individualised Offers
Getting to the point where a retailer can offer individualised offers at scale in real time, however, requires some powerful new technologies. Advanced business intelligence solutions featuring machine-learning capabilities can generate detailed reports, dashboards and metrics utilising customer engagement data to develop a single accurate view of individual customers.
This intelligence can then be utilised to create targeted promotions, with the insights indicating not only which customers to target with certain promotions, but also what time of day they are most likely to visit the store to improve the conversion of these offers.
Over time, this can improve pricing strategies, build stronger customer relationships, help retailers develop more accurate and individualised rewards and incentives, and ultimately become more profitable.
3. Provide a Convenient and Secure Checkout Experience
The checkout experience is no longer as simple as the customer choosing between paying with cash or card. Customers now expect the option of a variety of payment types from cash to card, mobile to loyalty points. Ensuring your customers are able to pay in an efficient, quick and secure way using any form of value is a sure-fire way to ensure your customer have an enjoyable and frictionless checkout experience in your store.
4. Seamlessly Manage your Back-of-house Services
The customer experience is not limited to a customer’s buying or checkout experience. Retailers must carefully consider the entire customer journey, including account sign-ups, loyalty card sign-ups, changes to account details, product returns, and dealing with queries over charges or other store-related matters.
Each of these interactions add up to the total customer experience, and they each require careful thought to ensure the customer leaves with a positive experience. Sometimes, this is as simple as ensuring the retailer safely and efficiently issues and manages store cards, seamlessly reconciles payments, and allows customers to earn and spend loyalty value in a simple and enjoyable way.
Putting all the pieces together – the technology, the customer profiles, the checkout experience, enabling different payment types and smoothing out back-office processes – can be tricky. Choosing an experienced partner to guide you through the journey of reinventing your retail customer experience can bring immense benefits.
Get in touch with us today to find out how you can build memorable customer experiences that help you grow your business.
Innervation Pan African Payment Solutions is a PCI-compliant provider of personalised, innovative payment and customer engagement solutions. Visit www.innervation.co.za to find out more.