5 New Year resolutions to drive smarter retail customer experiences
Looking back over 2015, it has clearly been a year of advancement, enlightenment and embracement by retailers striving to enhance the customer experience despite formidable challenges, such as the mandate to boost data and information security, comply with payment regulations and stay on top of emerging technology that’s changing everything from point of sale and inventory tracking to consumer marketing strategies.
And 2016, is likely not going to be much different in terms of progress and in terms of challenges. The trick for success, I believe, is to step into the new year with a definitive focus and a few resolutions for advancing forward on all fronts. Here are a few resolutions retailers may want to consider as the new year dawns:
- Resolve not to make assumptions when it comes to embracing new tools, resources, third-party services and technology adoption. As one design guru noted during a great conference this year, there is a budget for every retailer’s needs and dismissing innovation due to fear of cost or assumption something will prove too costly is a big mistake. As many retailers discovered this year, even the smallest technology effort can pay off big.
- Learn about and understand the millennial shopper. As Retail Customer Experience reported throughout the year this consumer segment is a crucial customer base for retailers and demand not only attention but strategy, as they expect fast, efficient and various payment options to mobile marketing that helps them find what they need when they need it no matter where they are logistically.
- Resolve to make sure every employee is a brand ambassador for your business, whether they’re greeting shoppers or unpacking boxes or providing security. As experts have consistently related this year, interaction between consumers and any retail employees is an opportunity to build loyalty, to drive stronger customer relationships and achieve deeper customer satisfaction. There’s a lot of competition, not matter what retail segment, and ensuring no weak links in the customer interaction strategy is essential.
- Don’t fear the unknown or the strange. Who, after all, would have ever guessed we’d be swiping our smartphones at smart terminals to buy products or getting text messages about the status of an out-of-stock product?
- Stay personal and drive customization at every point of the retail experience. Yes, there is afine line to avoid in not giving consumers a creepy, stalking sensation. When done right, however, the consumer loves knowing when a brand cares about delivering the best product and shopping interaction. No matter how many apps, devices, new delivery systems or payment options are put out, it’s still all about a personal connection between retailers and brands and the consumer.
So, what are your resolutions for the New Year? Share here or email us at Retail Customer Experience as we’d love to gather your insight for a future article as 2016 kicks off. We also want to wish all our readers a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.www