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The true value of having a single view of an order, item, or customer is much more than just transactional. Increased insights from aggregate data help retailers deliver on overall business objectives through a deeper and richer understanding of customer behaviors. Closing the data gap with omnichannel retail solutions helps retailers to enable more personalized offers and promotions, increased sales, and greater customer loyalty.
As customers continue to evolve the omnichannel retail journey, retailers can provide shoppers with engaging, seamless experiences while refining operations across point-of-service, ecommerce retail, inventory management, and order management systems.
In today's consumer-driven world, brick-and-mortar retailers must use innovative digital technologies to connect with consumers along their path to purchase, which often ends in the physical store. According to recent consumer research, 71 percent of shoppers stay loyal for service speed and the checkout experience.
Connecting the digital and physical worlds to deliver seamless omnichannel and cross-channel experiences will define the companies that thrive with today's hyper-connected consumers. Leveraging connected omnichannel retail solutions will help retailers know, engage, and convert more consumers and help their stores with a competitive advantage.
Consumer shopping habits continue to change and evolve. The role of the store and the store associates needs to morph to serve a new shopping experience. And, as new customer journeys and shopping experiences emerge, execution is everything. Embark on a retail digital transformation that will keep up with consumer shopping habits.
McKinsey research reports that brands that can improve the customer journey may see revenues increase by 10 to 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve by 15 to 20 percent. While a traditional digital journey (order online, ship to home from a distribution center) is the least expensive journey, we saw firsthand that digital alone is not the answer.
The key to success for retailers is a flexible, sophisticated, omnichannel retail operation. Traditionally, Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) is the most profitable for the retailer, if not necessarily the least expensive. If the consumer comes to the store, the average order value increases by about 35 percent. Seventy-five percent of consumers who come to the store are likely to make an additional purchase, and 49 percent of shoppers make unintended purchases while picking up their item in-store.
New journeys emerged that respect social distancing (consider contactless retail experiences) and still allow for discovery in the shopping experience. The risk of a poor customer experience rises as the permutations of the shopping experience develop, but so will innovations in process and technology that help ease and enhance the journey.
Retailers need an integrated, coordinated experience that creates transparency and flexibility to fulfill orders from multiple locations to meet customer needs. In a time of uncertainty, consumers want a predictable shopping experience, not delays. With a foundation for digital transformations in retail that not only addresses customer engagement, retailers can also leverage data science to better inform customer shopping journeys.
How important is inventory to customers? Nearly half (47 percent) of consumers associated out-of-stock items with a negative shopping experience. What's more, ongoing retail supply chain issues could burden retailers with inventory shortages. Retail inventory management is crucial to winning customers over as they fluctuate between online and offline shopping with expectations for superior customer service. With greater insight into retail inventories, retailers can accurately assess what's in stock and where inventory is located to meet demand, regardless of channel.
Seventy-one percent of consumers feel that speed of service—including checkout experiences and delivery options—are important to stay loyal to a retailer, while 33 percent report a delay of goods equates to a bad shopping experience. As the pressure increases to offer a positive shopping experience at all points in the buyer's journey, a robust retail order management system is the cherry on top of a seamless transaction. Retailers need granular visibility across the life of a transaction to deliver exceptional customer service to retain and gain customers.
There's never been a time when the cost of new customer acquisition has been higher, and it's equally never been easier to lose a customer from a bad experience. Not only do consumers expect a consistent and seamless experience across all touchpoints, but they also want their experience to be individualized—they don't want to see irrelevant offers. Shoppers expect offers that are both targeted to their preferences and relevant to what they're doing now. Real-time relevance for a retailer can result in positive business impacts—from being able to rescue an abandoned basket online in a store to converting additional sales from identified traffic.
Say goodbye to the notion that retailers should only reward customers for the purchases they make. Technology and social media are in a constant state of flux, so retailers should get ahead of this trend and seek opportunities to recognize and reward their customers for demonstrating brand advocacy beyond the purchase.
More times than not, customer engagement is a concept directly intertwined with customer loyalty. When consumers feel engaged with a particular brand, they become more likely to return to that brand time and time again. Force of habit is a powerful agent. The competitive field of retail necessitates a relationship with the consumer that keeps them returning to your business, not hopping over to your competitors. Fortunately, with the right tools and strategic insights, retailers can focus their marketing investments on high potential customer segments and better inform decision-making in the critical areas of merchandising and operations.
Your employee is your best brand ambassador. Consumers are empowered with their smartphones in hand and equipped with more information than many store and contact center associates. Retailers must arm store and contact center associates with tools, data, and knowledge to create a superior experience. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it also increases employees' motivation, job satisfaction, and retention rates.
According to one report, it costs $3,300 to find, hire, replace and train a minimum wage employee. Part-time hourly store employees have the highest turnover rate of all retail positions, with about 81 percent on average in 2018. This churn rate is a significant drain on resources. Still, companies that make a concerted effort to improve their customer experience are seeing employee engagement rates go up on average by 20 percent.
Level the playing field for your team and empower the store associate with the tools and the data needed to create a superior experience. Tap into artificial intelligence and machine learning to anticipate the needs of the consumer and elevate the experience for your customer and team, driving new levels of satisfaction for both.
Conceptually, cloud-based omnichannel retail solutions enable retailers to create unforgettable cross-channel customer experiences. These solutions seamlessly integrate ecommerce, POS, order management, and loss prevention systems. By streamlining operations, you will reduce costs, improve efficiency, empower associates, and enhance customer service.