3 Reasons for building a holistic retail CX program today – Part 2

Continuing from the first part; which introduced holistic retail CX program; this second segment explores the 3 key reasons why building one matters for today’s omni-channel retailers

Quick note: Despite some similarities inherent to the industry, each retailer brand is relatively unique (geographic presence, product mix, service offerings, strategic goals, industry partnerships, et al.) and as such their broader retail strategies & CX programs will be reflective of their individual goals & capabilities

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, retailers are striving hard to set themselves apart and offering an exceptional retail experience is one surefire way to vie for consumers’ attention (& share of wallet)

So why should an omni-channel retailer consider building a holistic retail CX program today?

1. Growing emphasis on CX

Multitude of studies are increasingly pointing towards a common theme… all things being equal; consumers are increasingly placing higher emphasis on exceptional retail experience

For many traditional retailers, relying solely on offering price incentives (discounts, subsidies, etc.) may just be a race to the bottom in the long run… at least as far as sustainable profitability is concerned…

…and as the retail industry largely shifts towards offering similar VAS – Value Added Services (think: price match, free shipping, click & collect, etc.)…

traditional (brick-n-mortar) retailers in particular are finding it challenging to stand out in a crowded market on price competition and similar VAS offerings alone…

…offering an exceptional retail experience presents the brand with a key distinguishing factor (read: competitive advantage)

2. Seamless shopping experience is becoming the norm

Advancements in supply chain, technology & ubiquitous connectivity are availing consumers more freedom in how they shop, when they shop and who they shop with

No longer bound to just a single (physical format) channel; consumers today enjoy the choice to initiate, transact and conclude their shopping journey through a permutation of retail channels that best suit their needs… and… at any time of the day

But, in an omni-channel retail environment; consumers are expecting an effortless shopping experience (with apt mix of frictionless & supportive friction) across the retailer’s physical & digital footprints

Let’s explore few such omni-channel shopping scenarios

SCENARIO 1
Discover Online | Interact In-Store | Purchase & Transact Online | Repeat Purchase Online | Phone Support | Return & Exchange In-Store

Connected Corners

In this scenario, the consumer chooses to start their retail journey with an online product research in-store / in-person product evaluation (experiential retailing) online ordering (for online-only special SKU/pricing) payment & fulfillment online refill/subscription ordering (repeat purchases) phones customer support for returns/exchange policy & process information returns/exchanges the product in-store

SCENARIO 2
Discover In-store | Purchase & Transact Online | Doorstep Delivery

In this scenario the shopper may prefer to begin their retail journey offline (in-store experiential services) purchase & transact online (online order online-exclusive SKU & payment) prefer to receive their purchase delivered offline directly to their doorstep

SCENARIO 3
Discover In-store | Purchase & Transact Online | Pickup Store Dropbox | Repeat Purchases Online

In this scenario the shopper may prefer to begin their shopping journey offline (say in-store closer to workplace) purchase & transact online (mobile order & payment) prefer to pickup their purchase offline (say from the retailer’s drop-box closer to home) receive subsequent purchases delivered directly to their doorstep

As the consumer engages with the brand across multiple touch points that traverses their omni-channel footprint, the challenge for retailers is to deliver a seamless (shopping) experience from beginning end

3. Promote customer loyalty… even for those who aren’t on a loyalty program

Shoppers not on a retailer’s loyalty program can still be loyal customers

In fact, for a myriad of reasons (think: reward/redemption complexity, data privacy, et al.), shoppers may choose to skip enrolling into the retail brand’s loyalty program altogether…

Nevertheless, this doesn’t make this shopper segment any different; in the sense that they too equally value CX and have the potential to remain loyal despite not signing up to a loyalty program

One way retailers can promote brand loyalty (read: recurring sales) across every consumer segment is by ensuring they consistently receive the same level of exceptional CX throughout their (omni-channel) shopping journey

So…

In the above scenarios (and virtually limitless such permutations), consumers are going to gravitate towards brands who offer them the flexibility to initiate, transact and conclude their shopping journey across their physical & digital footprints…

…which for omni-channel retailers translates into building a holistic CX program that seamlessly unifies each of their channel specific CX solutions…

…that would not only help the brand achieve optimum shopper acquisition & loyalty and customer retention, satisfaction & engagement (read: optimized CRM program) but also better bottom lines in the long run

A holistic retail CX program (when done right) augmented with an exceptional brand experience has the potential to convert even casual shoppers into lifelong loyal customers (read: recurring sales)

Forthcoming segments will explore some of the key strategic & tactical initiatives that contribute towards building an exceptional holistic CX program, the relation to brand experience and how it could aid in developing a robust CRM program

Stay tuned!