A new retail world brings new responsibilities. The customer experience is the most promising opportunity for 2020, according to Adobe’s Digital Trends Report. According to the Temkin Group, companies that earn $1 billion per year can expect to increase their revenue by investing in customer experience. This is a three-year investment. Customer experience is, as it should be, the new black.
When analyzing their current strategies and planning for future ventures, retailers must consider four elements that make the customer shopping experience unique: people, products and shopability.
People are still the most valuable asset of a retailer despite the explosion in omnichannel retail. Store associates are the first and most important impression that a retailer makes on customers. According to the National Retail Federation, while e-commerce has dominated a significant portion of the retail market today, in-store shopping remains America’s preferred method of shopping.
According to a Mindtree study, 43% of shoppers who have had a positive experience with associates in a store are more likely to make a purchase . A similar study found that 12 percent of the respondents would return to a store if they had a positive shopping experience with associates. Associate’s impact lasts beyond the initial greeting. They have an effect on the store’s reputation and purchasing decisions.
The number of factors that influence a retailer’s product selection include pricing, positioning, and the socioeconomic status of their customers. In the past, retailers preferred to have a wide range of products. However, today’s customers prefer that retailers be the “master” in niche categories. Although large product selections are still important, consumers want to see a wide range of products within specific categories.
Best Buy excels in product variety within one category. According to the Wiser Retail Benchmark, Best Buy has a focus on electronics and was voted the best by customers for having the most variety of products among 15 retailers. Costco, Dollar Tree and Sears have a much smaller product range.
According to the Kelley School of Business, customers who are stressed out will result in lower sales. Shopability refers to the conditions in which customers can find products easily. You might see shelves without products, messy aisles and rude or pushy associates. There may also be long checkout lines. Consumers can feel discouraged by too many brands being on the shelves. Clear and strong promotional signage, category maps and helpful associates can make shopping easier.
Every retailer wants to be the best place in their category. Retailers must consider the perceived value of their products, pricing strategies, quality and likelihood that customers will shop again in order to win their hearts and wallets.
All the above categories contribute to the overall customer sentiment towards a retailer. Best Buy is well-known for its wide range of electronics products, while Target is known for its high shopability and bold signage. According to the Wiser Retail Benchmark, CVS Pharmacy was ranked among the top retailers for associate knowledge. A retailer cannot change the location of a store at will, but they can make sure that customers return to their store by offering reward programs, store perks, or putting a high value in providing a positive customer experience.
Retailers have many crucial moments. Adobe says that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. People, products, shopability, sentiment, and branding are all key components of the customer experience. They offer opportunities for improvement in strategy, operations, and brand reputation.
How mobile technology is empowering employees and supporting new ways of working
Untethered workers are the 70% of workers who work from home and don’t have to sit at a desk all day. This is because of the explosion in smartphones and tablets. Mobile shift is being adopted by companies who have started to migrate their IT applications to mobile platforms for workers who don’t work at a desk.
This transition to mobile work has been accelerated by three forces:
- Untethered workers: The 70% of U.S. workers don’t work at a desk have seen mobile devices unleash productivity and collaboration. Mobile devices and tablets could be a boon to these untethered workers, including maintenance workers, doctors, and tradespeople. They can access instantaneous information from smartphones and tablets.
- Access enterprise technology: The majority of people’s smart phones are more up-to-date than the technology they use at work. You can take advantage of their familiarity and allow them to use a device at work that is as efficient as their personal one.
- Digital natives – Millennials are a different mindset when it comes digital. It’s not a digital experience to do something at work on your mobile device. This is Tuesday. They expect that their digital tools and resources will be available to them when they enter the workforce.
Verizon, for instance, recognizes the importance of giving employees better technology to help them serve customers better. Associate use tablets that come preloaded with an app that provides product information for each offer. It is easy enough for shoppers to see the plans right on their screen. This allows them to have further conversations with associates. This technology enabled employees to spend 30 percent more time in contact with customers.
Three things should be considered by leaders who are looking to increase their company’s mobility to untethered workers 100 percent.
- Mobile first.
- Choose a platform. Adopting a standard platform is an important part of a road map. It is important to create criteria that reflect the future business operations and then select the platform that best suits this vision.
- Choose a partner. Vision and technology are not enough if you don’t have the ability to execute. An experienced partner in infrastructure can help you deploy solutions for your untethered workers.
Untethered workers will not be reliant on remote computers to complete their work in the future. All they will need is available on a mobile device. These simple organizational strategies result in customized plans and not reactive solutions. This new approach to working will pay dividends for leaders who embrace it.