The shopping experience: the ultimate battleground for brands and retailers
In the digital age, consumer interaction channels are becoming more ubiquitous. While this offers endless opportunities for advertisers to interact with their customers, it also poses a challenge, as the customer journey becomes more fragmented and therefore more complex. To generate more sales and increase traffic to shops, brands need to think about new customer journeys and activation across diverse and relevant acquisition channels in an omni-channel approach.
In this respect, the digital channel plays a crucial role, expanding the number of points of contact with the consumer exponentially. Today, searching on a smartphone, seeing advertising based on the search criteria, receiving notifications from our favourite Apps or concerning our wishlist are just a few examples of the journey that the consumer is now making.
Against this backdrop, the companies that are adapting best to this new reality are offering unique and seamless experiences to their customers.
The customer journey at the heart of an omnichannel strategy
The customer journey has become a major challenge for companies, as they need to opt for a customer-centric approach and optimise the customer experience throughout the buying process via an omnichannel strategy that includes all the channels that a potential customer may use.
According to a study* conducted by Tiendeo, a company that specialises in the digitalisation of the retail sector, 91.2% of marketers want to improve the customer journey within their marketing strategy.
The study reveals how important it is for brands and retailers to optimise the customer journey that unites both the online and offline experience. Today, consumers expect to experience an integrated mix of touchpoints across both channels with no friction between the two. Companies that manage to create these experiences under this omni-channel approach will gain a competitive advantage in the industry,’ explains Eva Martín, CEO of Tiendeo.
Loyalty based on experience
The customer experience is now, more than ever, as important as the items the consumer wants to buy. The average citizen has an infinite supply of information regarding products in the form of ratings, recommendations, or comments. We are now faced with a highly demanding consumer who expects not only to acquire the desired item at a good price, but also to enjoy a unique and frictionless shopping experience.
In fact, more and more consumers are taking their shopping experience into consideration when making their next repeat purchase with a particular retailer or brand. According to a study by Talkdesk, it only takes one bad service experience to reduce the loyalty of 68% of customers.
To this end, it is critical to identify the different stages in the sales funnel in order to ensure a smoother purchasing process, add value at every interaction (being relevant) and increase the conversion rate. Customer experience is emerging as a competitive and strategic advantage that needs to be managed as a matter of urgency.
Listening to consumers’ needs is still and will remain the top priority for businesses in 2022. According to the Tiendeo study, customer experience is the most relevant component of marketing strategy for 44.3% of marketers.
Technology is key to improving the shopping experience
Shops will become progressively better equipped with sensors and cameras that will make it easier to better understand consumer behaviour, control the availability of products on the shelves or identify the best locations within the shop.
‘Embracing technology this year will be an advantage for any company that wants to maintain the relationship with its customers. Digital transformation in all its forms and not least digitalisation and other cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence are no longer a trend but have become a reality today,’ says Eva Martín.
Technology therefore plays a leading role in removing hurdles and barriers for the consumer. With this approach, the consumer is no longer an anonymous person who belongs to a demographic segmentation, but an entity with different behaviours, tastes and interests, thus creating a digital twin model. A breakthrough that facilitates the generation of increasingly personalised and even channel-independent shopping experiences.
‘Customer experience has become the new battleground for retailers and brands, and it is highly competitive,’ concludes Eva Martin.
* Study conducted in collaboration with more than 500 marketers from leading consumer brands and retailers.