Customer Experience in Retail

How digital transformation drives the customer experience in Retail

It seems like every company is going through a “digital transformation”, but it’s difficult to define what it means, and even more difficult to achieve.

Moreover, customers are becoming digital natives and have high expectations of your interaction.

So…

Why customer experience is important?

Why Customer Experience in Retail is important?

The world was changed by COVID-19. Businesses had to quickly and efficiently adapt their plans to accommodate the changing lifestyle. Retailers that we’re able to quickly and efficiently change strategies rose to prominence during this time. Customers who had a positive customer experience were more likely to return.

The Problems

Everyone was shocked by the pandemic and it forced businesses around the globe to rethink their strategies. Retailers across the globe experienced delays at every stage of their businesses due to this huge industry pause. Companies are known for their smooth operations suddenly faced a line of angry customers who were asking why their products took so long to arrive. 

Although customers may initially be understanding, as with any pot on a hot stove that simmers, eventually what simmers will boil. Customers who waited almost six months for their furniture and decor arrived at their homes in a very frustrating situation.

The Solution

Every business has stories about unhappy customers. However, these customers can be quite understanding if they are given communication. Shipping delays are not something anyone likes. It does happen, however, on both the retailer and consumer sides.

It is the responsibility of the business, when they happen, to inform the consumer. Communication can help to defuse problems such as shipping delays, product returns, or simple emails. In some cases, it can even improve your customer’s experience. 

However, if communication is poor, frustrations experienced by customers can cause them to abandon your company. Unhappy customers can also post negative reviews on social media and other online platforms, making their personal experiences public.

Customer journey

LEARN THE 5 STAGES OF RETAIL CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Retailers must track their “Customer Experience in Retail” in order to make better decisions and offer better customer service. This allows them to effectively align their strategies to the customer journey roadmap. Customers today have a lot of options and are spoiled for choice with the latest retail innovations and developments. This makes the customer journey extremely complex. However, it is possible to see that there are five main stages.

Research 

The trigger for every purchase is the desire to buy that product or service. This is the beginning of the journey. Customers research all aspects of the product, including its price, features, specifications, and alternatives, using the available tools and methods. They also conduct research on the retailers offering these products. This makes it crucial for businesses to have an omnichannel presence, be relevant, and have an advantage over their competition when customers are searching.

Identification and Consideration 

Customers then analyze the information they have gathered. Based on their conclusions, they narrow down the options for the product and the retailer from which they plan to purchase it. They also compare the options and choose the one they like best. The retail businesses’ ability to make an impact on customers’ research will determine whether they are considered by customers.

Transaction 

This is where customer acquisition takes place. This is where the actual purchase takes place – customers buy the product and then pay the agreed amount. Although it may seem like it’s a straightforward transaction between retailers and customers, it is far more complicated than that. The process is complicated and requires careful planning.

Experience 

Customers view a transaction as a positive experience if it was easy, straightforward, engaging, and enjoyable. This is crucial for retailers as it is a key ingredient in building a long-lasting relationship with customers and retailers.

Retention

Retail businesses must continue to develop and maintain a relationship with customers. Retailers’ ability to retain existing customers and generate more revenue could determine the longevity of this relationship. It is crucial to deliver the best experience, both in terms of processes and deliverables, and also to sustain those efforts and exceed expectations when necessary. This will foster customer loyalty and help build goodwill via positive word-of-mouth, which retail businesses can also benefit from.

Your retail business is making an impact on every step of the customer journey.

The impact of digital transformation on business processes

The digital age offers retailers the opportunity to engage with customers and acquire new customers. It also allows them to reduce costs and motivate employees.

Digital is a technology-enabled combination of resources (can include tools, devices, bots and teams, protocols, processes networks, methodologies, protocols, protocols, methods, methodologies, protocols, protocols, etc.) that enables users (employees or customers) to access content (can be data/social reviews, reports or analysis) in order to be more productive (can impact cost or time) and make better decisions.

There have been fundamental changes in business models due to the ability to process large amounts of data and share it. These are the key factors that have influenced this shift:

Convergence 

The boundaries that are used to separate sectors are eroding. Innovation is occurring at the borders of certain sectors, such as payment systems (Financial Services & Telecom), eCommerce (Retail & Telecom), Industry 4.0(ICT and Manufacturing). Businesses are fundamentally being disrupted by digital transformation. A multidisciplinary approach to digital transformation in retail must be taken. It should include creative and analytical capabilities.

Customer Centricity.

Organizational boundaries are being dissolved to better align with customer needs. This process is further expedited by digital data, which makes it possible to analyze customer behavior and personalize delivery formats to meet individual consumer needs.

Collaboration: 

This is a new way of thinking that combines collaboration and competition. Retailers and suppliers are not competing for scarce resources, but working together to benefit from the enhanced customer value being provided. Many instances of cooperation between retailers, even in India (e.g. Future Group and Flipkart

Shared ownership:

Customer Experience in retail allowed retailers to monitor and control the quality of franchising agreements. This allows them to align the business model with shopper needs, allowing them to scale up quickly without having to compromise on their brand promise.

Collaboration: 

The digital shopper of the future is interconnected with many of his peers on social media and more open to sharing his/her experiences with products/services and letting others benefit from them. The value proposition is co-created by consumers through their willingness to share feedback that helps improve delivery models.

Retail experience

Consumer demands for digital retail experiences in all stages of the customer journey in retail by the COVID-19 crisis.

It’s a fact you have heard before: The COVID-19 pandemic radically changed how people shop. With physical stores closing, customers are now more likely to shop online.

Online shopping was the only option for consumers at first. Even though lockdowns began to ease, many customers continued to shop online as it was safer. Some customers stopped visiting the shops after a while because they were impressed with the ease of shopping online.

This has led to an exponential rise in e-commerce sales. Recent data shows that the revenue generated by European eCommerce increased twofold in 2020 compared to the previous year. Instead of trying to replicate or replace shopping in stores, many of the digital retail experiences created during the pandemic were simply points of purchase. They are a means to an ending. Although online shopping may not be the same as in-person, it is fast, secure, and in most cases easy.

Initial disappointment at shop closings across the globe led to many locked-down customers experimenting with digital retail experiences. When asked how COVID-19 restrictions had affected their consumer behavior, more than half of the respondents to a PwC survey stated that they had become digitalized by June 2021. Digital retail experiences have irreversibly changed consumer behavior and are set to have a long-lasting impact on the retail industry.

Poor digital retail experience deter customers

Even though digital retail experiences were a priority for retailers, they had to drastically reduce their innovation timelines due to the COVID-19 crises. The stores were closed overnight, which left retailers with little time to ensure that their products were accessible to an unprecedented number of online customers. This meant that some retailers had to create e-commerce solutions from scratch. Others had to increase their capacity or offer new services such as click and collect.

Taking advantage of an existing trend towards digital

Although many retailers had difficulty creating exceptional digital retail experiences in short term, the hard work they put into reevaluating their innovation timelines in the long term will pay off. The reason is that the digital shift was not a new trend sparked by locked-down customers. It has been happening organically long before the first COVID-19 cases were reported.

High Risk Mean High Rewards

The face of retail is changing, and technology is enhancing customer experiences.


There are many digital retail opportunities to invest in. These include optimizing eCommerce platforms, developing retail apps, and investing in AI. How can retailers determine if an investment will pay off or not? Prototyping is the key. Just like Amazon Go supermarkets were initially tested in small areas, retailers must get their products into the hands of customers to see what works for “Customer Experience in Retail”

Create a “Customer Experience in Retail” that is memorable and loyal to you.

BRISK allows retailers to test new ideas and scale them up for larger brands by using a test-and-learn approach. A comprehensive approach to quality has changed the way you think about the digital experience. Consumers expect exceptional digital experiences in every interaction with your brand online and offline.

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