The retail industry is one of the most booming industries in the present era. It has a sustainable future due to the evergreen desire of consumers to shop. Besides, the intelligent blend of new-age technology and digital platforms has also played a vital role in offering a better experience to retail shoppers. However, the secret to success in this highly competitive industry lies in blending innovation with practicality to deliver a better experience. In this post, we will discuss some innovative ideas that can enhance the customer experience.
One of the best ways of offering a personalized customer experience is to anticipate the customer demands and offer them the products even before the explicit need strikes them. Technology can help here in a great way! For example, SAP’s HANA platform helped Under Armour – an American retailer for footwear and sports apparel – to collect data associated with workout habits of customers. Further, Under Armour used the platform to analyze the data to identify better ways to offer clients the most appropriate products.
Source: SAP News Center
A specific in-house process was used to strategically interpret the collected data (sourced from wearable technology) and purchase history to comprehend the preferences of these clients. It was used as one of the basic grounds for developing new products that align with the customer needs and scheduling their launch dates such that the new products hit the market at the right time when the need is ripe.
Encourage and empower the client to share insightful data
One innovative way to offer personalized customer experience without inflating your organizational homework is to empower and encourage the customers to share relevant data with you.
For example, you could build a shopping app that your customers can use for benefits such as ordering quickly, enjoying discounts, or collecting points. Such an app would not only make it easy for the customer to transact with you but also allow you to gather transactional data that might help you design better personalized experience.
Use Social Media for user profile
Apart from creating brand awareness, social media channels can be used to understand your customer persona better. These personas generally contain demographic and behavioural traits that help you personalize the service your provide. Coupled with the right approach to delight your customers, this information could be potent in providing an experience par excellence.
For example, if you are launching a new product and discover that your client shares the same birth/annniversary month, you can personalize your service by providing them with a free sample or with an exclusive preview to the product launch.
Design and communicate a customer-oriented vision
A crucial factor in providing a personalized experience is to design a customer-oriented vision that can be presented in definite terms to the employees of your organization. In most cases, you would need to design different presentation styles to communicate your ideas to top and middle management and to the frontline staff. However, you must do so with a keen focus on extracting the best deliverables depending upon their varying capabilities and roles.
Utilising this strategy, you will be able to train your employees effectively so that they can provide a differential experience to the customers.
Don’t overdo it
While it is always good to offer personalized customer experience, the retailers might unintentionally overdo the process occasionally. This could negatively impact the customer experience and you would end up repelling customers rather than attracting them.
Always remember that it is not the quantity but the quality of service that matters. For instance, when you walk into an Apple Store, you are left to yourself to explore the various products. However, at the slightest sign of you seeking help, an employee would be right there to help you.
Sell more the right way through cross-selling
You need to follow a logical strategy for selling more. One of the best ways is cross-selling! For example, if you are an exclusive distributor and retailer of a premium cigarettes brand, you also sell luxurious ashtrays along with the cigarettes! All you have to do is to place the ashtrays near those cigarettes in an elegant manner. Offer an exclusive presentation using high-end display racks. If possible, narrate a story to the customers or USP behind those ashtrays. For a better response, you can even find a common connection between those cigarettes and the ashtrays and tell the clients why they must purchase the ashtrays.
Identify similar opportunities of co-positioning complementary products to fulfil your customers’ growing needs.
Improve shopping convenience
There are several ways in which you can enhance the convenience of the shopping experience. For instance, you can design your shop in such a manner that it not only looks appealing but also offers easy movement for customers. For an even better personalized experience, you must take care of people with limited abilities, children, or senior citizens.
For instance, Pepperfry – India’s largest online furniture provider – has come up with Pepperfry Studios to improve the convenience of buying furniture online. These studios are a one-stop shop to satisfy all customer needs, right from answering queries on furniture to facilitating a smooth purchase process.
In sum, the retail industry is here to stay and the competition is only going to get more fierce. Providing a personalized and unique experience to delight the customers is what will differentiate the ordinary from the extraordinary. How else can retailers make a lasting impression in their customers’ mind? Do let us know your thoughts.