It’s enough to observe consumer behavior for a couple of hours in the nearest mall to you, to understand that the way we shop, has dramatically changed since welcoming smartphones and tablets to our lives. People browse, choose, pay and troubleshoot products using mobile sites, apps and social media shaking the ground for multi-channel retailers, who until now mainly focused on their brand and brick and mortar shops. This whitepaper by Head, a London-based digital media agency, examines the opportunities for growth presented by these new mediums
Using qualitative assessment, Head offers a method, “Integrated Customer Experience Scale” (ICES), to analyze the the combination of online and offline amongst the UK’s top retailers. In a nutshell, the more integrated online and offline are, the better the customer experience and sales growth. The researchers estimate the potential loss of opportunity in the last three years at £500 million, so if you’re a retailer, ignore this at your peril.
One of the highlights from the report is the key findings on what makes customers satisfied today:
• Cross-channel personalisation – the current channel the customer is in gives them recommendations based on what they have previously browsed or bought via any channel
• The experience accumulates across channels. Selections persist across channels (basket and wish list), alternatives are offered, as are ranges or matching items
• The experience provides the ability to reserve in one channel and purchase via another
• Clear information about fulfilment is provided and other channels used to support this. For example by sending SMS alerts to a customer’s mobile from an order placed on the website
• The experience offers unexpected but pleasant surprises on receipt of an order. For example, wrapping, scents, gifts
• The customer is not prevented or discouraged from contacting the retailer. Contact details are provided obviously and clearly
• The customer can reach out to the retailer using social media and receives a direct, prompt and appropriate response
• The customer is able to self-serve for common queries. For example, finding manuals, answering their own sizing queries, getting additional product support
Download the Customer Experience Deficit pdf here.