For retailers, employing the omnichannel model is a necessity to appeal to today’s highly connected consumer and target their interest both in-store and across devices.
Yet, there is a disconnect that prevents retailers from reaching ideal shoppers and aligning customer-centric values: 80% of retailers aren’t prepared for the cultural change that is required for a true omnichannel strategy. Retailers must place customer-centricity at the heart of their strategy and move past Omni-channel to deliver on consumer demands. In light of this, here are three tips for retailers looking to develop a customer-centric retail approach.
Create a Consistent Buying Experience
While today’s shoppers are highly connected to mobile devices, they still prefer to shop in-store, which raises a few key points for retailers. The first is that they need to make sure the online experience matches the in-store experience. If a store offers customers the best possible service matched with frequent in-store discounts, the same should go for the online store. There is nothing more frustrating to a consumer than receiving a special promotion that doesn’t apply in-store or vice versa. Retailers need to go above and beyond to create an identical experience across a website and a brick and mortar store to achieve a seamless customer experience. Putting customer needs first is crucial and it’s simply unfair to offer an experience that doesn’t translate across channels.
Understand the Audience
A dedicated customer-centric strategy allows retailers to better gauge how to interact with customers and provide them with a personalized experience. For example, it’s important for retailers to know where a consumer is based to better target their unique wants and localize their purchases. Retailers can better identify the location of customers by analyzing and aligning both digital and in-store experiences. For example, shoppers will notice that retailers often ask for email addresses for in-store shoppers – but moving past that, there is so much more that can be done.
Targeting customers in-store with digital deals and recommending that they follow the company on social channels will allow for brands to have a better understanding of where their audience is based and what they are interested in. A customer may prefer to shop on their tablet device, but may visit a brick and mortar store solely during the holiday shopping season. It’s important for the retailer to know the individual preference for customers so they can better target their personal preferences.
Establish a Strong Brand Identity
Creating a valuable customer-centric experience requires retailers to communicate key messages and the business value proposition, otherwise consumers are left feeling misguided and detached from their brand. Having a strong brand identity demonstrates to customers that they are the most important asset to the brand – no matter when or from where they shop. Retailers should be able to properly display their key messages and business value in a clear and concise manner.
Omnichannel is a word that we often hear when discussing retail strategy; retailers should also understand that customer-centricity is the overarching goal they should always be striving to achieve. In order for retailers to put the customer first, it’s important to align efforts in an integrated approach to create a consistent experience both in-store and online. Retailers today are faced with countless hurdles that could either help or hinder efforts. In order to best capitalize on the highly connected world that we live in, retailers must align and put the customer first for true success.
Guy Yehiav is the CEO of Profitect