By Shawn Cox
The theme of NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show is accelerate. NRF has certainly hit the nail on the head with this theme: in today’s climate, retailers are trying to figure out how to amplify their omnichannel capabilities to accelerate the delivery of consistent, high-quality customer experiences.
Most retailers today know they need a cohesive omnichannel consumer experience strategy, and many believe they have such a strategy in place. Yet the customer experience continues to fall short of expectations, particularly when transitioning between online and in-store interactions with retail brands.
One major frustration Sophelle hears from retailers is that they aren’t able to move fast enough toward realizing highly personalized, consistent omnichannel customer experiences that distinguish them in a crowded, competitive landscape.
Customers Are Long-Term Assets
In today’s marketplace, consumer expectations are higher than ever. Successful retailers must treat customers as long-term assets and focus their investments on meeting their ever-evolving needs. Customers expect consistency across all channels and brand touchpoints, including robust ecommerce personalization spanning the entire buyer’s journey.
How can retailers deliver seamless, personalized experiences that surprise and delight their customers? The simple answer is for retailers to deliver on their brand promise by developing and deploying a set of interrelated, distinctive omnichannel capabilities that provide significant influence across the customer journey and support each unique experience.
Here’s a look at four key strategies that retailers can harness to deliver experiences that will set them apart from the competition:
4 Strategies Retailers Need to Deliver Amazing Consumer Experiences
- Consumer Experience Strategy.The competition to be the best and most consistent retailer across all channels is fiercer than it has ever been. The bar has been raised so high that consumers expect a truly immersive end-to-end shopping experience, both online and in-store. For example, some consumers begin shopping on their laptops, then continue to shop on their mobile devices as they go about their daily lives. They may eventually enter retail stores, where they interact with in-store digital experiences before returning home to start the process all over again. In order to accelerate consumer experiences, retailers need cohesive omnichannel operations and marketing technology strategies that are consistent across all locations and on all devices.
- Consumer Insights and Analytics Strategy. According to Forrester’s Sucharita Kodali, “Most firms don’t have the resources to manage, enrich, analyze, and activate the reams of first-party data they collect.” In other words, the data is often there, but retailers are not properly leveraging it to provide a 360-degree view of the consumer and their behavior. Robust data analytics capabilities from Martech solutions enable retailers to build better audiences and maintain a quantitative understanding of their customers by analyzing their paths to purchase.
- Agility and Innovation Strategy. Critical gaps in systems infrastructure often hinder agility and innovation, which are key to accelerating omnichannel success. It’s vitally important that retailers adapt to become more nimble and responsive to their customers. For example, today’s consumer has come to expect that they can return online orders to brick and mortar stores and easily track the delivery of their items. Many retailers are still working to crack the agility and innovation code in their omnichannel implementations that allows them to keep pace with—and even anticipate—consumer needs.
- Innovative Digital Strategy. Digital strategies for retail are no longer confined to the flagship ecommerce store. A retailer’s digital strategy must now extend to marketplaces, such as Amazon and Walmart, mobile apps, social media platforms of every stripe, and other outlets such as in-store displays. One of the primary indicators of omnichannel success is a brand’s ability to transfer a 2D experience across channels and even into 3D. For instance, the look and feel of an ecommerce store should correlate to the posts on a retailer’s Instagram page, and ideally crosses over to elements such as the displays at your brick and mortar locations.
Sophelle helps clients accelerate innovation and create compelling customer experiences by investing in strategies and solutions that place their brands in the next generation of the shopping experience. Contact us to learn more.