The blitzscaling success of e-commerce giants creates the impression that retail is dying. Far from it, retail remains a benchmark for picking brands—six out of ten shoppers prefer brands that have a retail presence than those that are exclusively online. Positive customer experience is the new competitive battlefront, and storefronts present opportunities to offer experiences that are impossible online. Purchase decisions of customers involve trade-offs to get the best deals. The preference is for brands and stores that permit customers to weigh multiple options.
Storefronts resonate with customers on a level that is hard to replicate online
Store fronts are starting points of the customer experience. From value addition, curation of products, human touchpoints, to the tactile, sensory experience, the in-store experience is the runaway winner. Certain products require checking out before the purchase decision—and retail stores are the only options. Customers also visit stores to check out products physically before purchasing online, or digging out reviews. Customers need experiences that are loaded with choices, convenience, and digitization to meet expectations.
Shoppers day out – how technology will help to read the minds of buyers
Customer experience design has changed with disruptive technology. ORION is working towards offering retailers insights into customer behaviour, from every conceivable angle. This will involve metrics that will be granular, delving deep into the subsets of why, when, where, and how of purchase decisions, building accurate customer personas. The ERP solution will decipher entire cohorts of customers, identifying the influences that sway decisions. With ORION ERP, retailers will get to roll out offers that will appeal to specific personas during various festive seasons.
Customer experience and relation to lifetime value
Businesses that fail to reimagine customer experience design are clearly underestimating the critical nature of CX and its effect on sales, expansion and customer advocacy. The emotionally connected customer is more likely to stay with a brand for 5 years, with a whopping 306% life time value. Studies have also clearly established the link between customer retention and high profit margins. Stores that retain customers enjoy higher sales volumes—loyal customers represent 20% of customer base, but account for 80% of total sales.
Win the battle of engagement with omnichannel
Customers crave the convenience of a unified interface, looking for integrated touchpoints. ORION ERP – in advanced stages of development – promises to change the manner in which customers interact with stores. Customers making online purchase will enjoy the convenience of interacting with retail storefronts for queries. Businesses need to move beyond point-to-point interfaces, and multi-channel engagement to the convenience of omnichannel engagement. ORION ERP, when deployed will offer a refreshing and seamless experience where loyalty, points redemption and special offers –will not be confined to specific channels—phone, store, app or website—customers will have the options to use any channel.
Swing purchase decisions with deals that add real value to customers
The power of analytics needs to be harnessed to offer customers discounts and promotions of real value. Forty-seven percent of respondents in a survey rated personalization as important in the customer experience journey. However, many businesses have missed the point—for instance, credit card companies offer complimentary access to airport lounges as promotional offers. This is typically offered to all customers, regardless of flying frequency. ORION ERP is designed to fill this gap with powerful analytics that will help companies to identify and offer promotions, discounts that customers expect.
Transform the in-store experience with technology
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can transform the customer experience journey with immersive experiences. Customers get to see detailed ‘inside-out’ views of products, and the composition/mechanisms of products. Interactive assistance with detailed specs of products helps customers take informed decisions, enhancing the experience and reducing returns. Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence offer timely inputs—for instance, an individual with a specific colour and material preference is most likely to respond to an input that matches preferences. Analytics can foresee demand during festive seasons, and narrow down the demand to geographic locations, or demographics to optimize operations.
Tame the markets with an outstanding in-store experience
Retail growth is no doubt stunted, but it is not out. It is hard to imagine a scenario where purchases are made exclusively online. The only possibility is repeat purchases being made online, and even here, repeat purchases are enabled by the initial purchase in the retail store. Effectively, this creates an in-store dividend that contributes to repeat online sales. Retailers need to transform the in-store experience, through the right customer experience design. Technology is pivotal in understanding the needs of customers to offer the best options. There is a clear need for frictionless post-purchase interactions. Richer experiences translate into possibilities for forging stronger, extended relationships.