We all know that the spread of digitisation and the access to online information has changed the way we see the retail industry. Today’s shoppers have become more demanding about the ability of big brands to keep their promises, they have more access to information & opportunities to share their experiences while in stores. Because of the higher expectations of customers, it is harder for businesses to stay ahead.
Despite the media coverage about the brick-and-mortar store death, the latest research shows the opposite.For example, Retail Technology Review pointed that in 2017, 90% of purchases still happened in brick-and-mortar locations and the U.S. retailers opened more new stores than they closed.
But how can traditional retail still survive in this digital era?
Firstly, they need to create experiences.
According to Forbes, customers are still looking for social experiences, which can be achieved in physical stores, even though online shopping is more convenient for them. They also expect highly personalized experiences and are typically willing to spend more if they receive tailored services.
Having this in mind, digital transformation presents an opportunity for traditional retailers to improve the overall shopping journey. They need to create a unified experience between digital channels and brick & mortar, so they can have a big advantage over their competition.
So, if you’re not delivering a personalized experience, it’s time to do so!
Secondly, they need to focus more on reducing effort.
Customer effort is still an increasingly important topic when it comes to improving the customer experience, and it is strongly correlated with Customer Loyalty & Engagement.
According to HBR, 94% of the customers, who reported low effort, expressed an intention to repurchase, and 88% said they would increase their spending.Also, truly understanding your customers’ pain points (for example, waiting at the checkout) and trying to solve them, could be the trigger that solidifies the customers’ decision to buy more from you.
Brick-and-mortar stores are far from going extinct. They continue to be an important pillar of the retail world, but it is mandatory that they adapt to the customers’ needs. In other words, it’s all about putting the customer first and creating a more personal in-store experience. Now, ask yourself this question: is your retail business ready for a friction-free customer experience?
If you are keen on exploring the subject further and finding out how neuroscience can help the retail industry, we invite you to read more here: Friction Harms Your Brand Loyalty. This article is about customer expectations and how companies should calibrate the level of effort expended to create amazing customer experiences throughout the customer journey.
Stay tuned! Our next piece will explore digital transformation & online retail.
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