How Retailers Can Go Digital and Build a Seamless Customer Experience

Retailers have a problem – their customers are adopting technology at an ever increasing rate and they can’t keep up. Showrooming, online research and warehouse-style retailers have margins at an all time low and consumer expectations at an all time high.So how can the same technology, that is putting the squeeze on their bottom line, help retailers to increase brand awareness, convert effectively and have a seamless purchase experience? For a digitally savvy retailer, their online store may already achieve this. However, when it comes to translating this to bricks and mortar, the majority are still fumbling in the dark.

Retailers are now more aware that “going digital” is not about sticking an iPad on the wall of their store and waiting for the dollars to pour in. Digital isn’t a thing businesses do, it’s a tool used to empower and connect to customers more effectively. So, this article is aimed at helping retailers identify several areas they should focus their digital spend on in bricks and mortar spaces.

  1. Allowing customers to access all available stock in every store.

Store formats are limiting. It just isn’t possible for a smaller format store to have the same level of stock and range as a store three times it’s size. However, the problem for retailers is that their customers don’t understand this. They now want to buy products at any touchpoint, with seamless access to click-and-collect or home delivery to be fulfillment options.

  1. Creating consistency of brand.

Online and bricks and mortar should look and feel similar for your customers. Many retailers view these as separate parts of the business and run them in silos. Creating consistency between your online channels and physical spaces has become extremely important. Your customers view your brand as a whole, so you should present it that way. Retailers can now utilise digital integrations to update store visuals with the same frequency as other channels. As well as this, they can elevate their sophistication to target messaging to meet key customer groups based on time of day, weather or any other applicable metric. Bricks and mortar stores are valuable real estate for creating a tailored brand experience, that experience should be controlled in real time to maximise the effectiveness of the space.

  1. Enabling your stores to take analytic data of your customers.

What areas of the store have the highest concentration of foot traffic? What products do customers linger on? What areas are bypassed? All of these questions can be analysed via in-store analytics. Also consider how you can create a holistic customer profile for anyone who shops in your bricks and mortar outlets and your e-commerce store.  

  1. Empowering staff to communicate your messages.

The vast majority of the time customers are going to research before they buy. In physical stores retailers have the opportunity to present their products and communicate information as it’s intended before a customer turns to their phone. Retailers can utilise technology to provide enough information and satisfy a customer before they decide to consider their competitors. Bring product information to life and allow customers to see more than a price tag.  

To step back and look at the bigger problem, all of these ideas sit under the umbrella that is easily forgotten when we become bogged down by business processes. Put your customer at the centre of your business and build a seamless experience around them, that you control.