‘Accurate information is vital to effective decision making.’ (From Retail Bulletin’s ‘Future of Retail’, issue 7, 2019)
Disruptive technologies: the Holy Grail?
OmniChannel, through the integration of disruptive technology, is the connected, seamless, hyper-personalised customer shopping experience, whether online (desktop or phone) or in-store. It has never been more crucial for retailers to have a totally integrated solution for this.
The potential of this approach is enormous, and retailers look to improve the customer experience as they move from ‘channel to channel’. This could involve a smartphone app, same-day delivery, personalised recommendations, mobile or contactless payments, and so on. And of course, customers should be able to seamlessly interact with this network and ‘hop’ the channels. In an ideal scenario, they should not even be able to perceive that they are hopping from one to the next. Their context, shopping habits and history go with them. The process should be personalised, integrated and frictionless. This is not a selection of random post-it notes on an infinitely large bulletin board. It’s a personal, one-on-one conversation with an individual that could build a ‘friendship’. Or worse, end it.
Indeed, there are many dangers here. As some retailers strive to be everywhere at once, they end up being nowhere. The key is an integrated disruptive technology strategy that will allow our retail business to offer the customer what they want, where, when and how they want it. He/she doesn’t care how many channels we offer them. They simply want to engage with us in their preferred way at any given moment. Research, browse and buy online during a bus journey, complain by email or live chat, obtain a refund by bank transfer for a item bought for cash, pop into a store at lunchtime, order a last-minute home delivery for a dinner party that evening. The customer too often experiences a disconnect between these interfaces, and it’s crucial that every step of their journey through our channels will intelligently inform their next steps. The worst scenario here is a frustrated reaction like ‘do they ever talk to each other over there? I feel invisible.’ How many times have we received notifications or advertisements for products or offers we have only just purchased? This customer journey does not simply end with a purchase. The post-purchase phase can be equally powerful and important in prompting them to return.
How can external productivity improvement strategies help to achieve this?
So how can retailers achieve this seamless OmniChannel relevance, differentiation and footfall, real or virtual? First, there is the importance of defining what the customer journey is. He/she expects personalised service, immediate access to up-to-date information, relevant offers, and much more. Productivity improvement specialists such as SWL are essential to achieve this transition from fragmentation to seamless integration. SWL’s suite of products offers an holistic and data-driven strategy for driving change. For example, our innovative forthcoming CCX (Continuous Customer Experience) solution provides a key missing link between retailer and customer, at the heart of their shopping experience.
SWL are specialists in productivity improvement, based on accurate information and data fact. SWL transform your data into transparent, operational productivity improvement. Through our long-running retail specialism, we engender continuous improvement, with an agility to manage change. SWL provides solutions tailored to your business, built from your DNA up.
Call us today on 01527 895020 to arrange a discussion on CCX and other services, and how SWL can help you achieve a more productive, hyper-personalised customer experience.