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How Digital Transformation is Improving Retail Customer Experience

We’ve pulled together some examples of digital trends that are transforming the retail customer experience (CX). Read on and get inspired! Great customer experiences have always… View Article

COMMENTARY

How Digital Transformation is Improving Retail Customer Experience

We’ve pulled together some examples of digital trends that are transforming the retail customer experience (CX). Read on and get inspired!

Great customer experiences have always been at the heart of retail, but digital transformation is taking things to the next level. Omnichannel shopping is on the rise. Social media is the new window shopping. Customers are increasingly used to frictionless retail experiences. In 2021, 60 to 70% of consumers researched online before making in-store, website or app purchases. In this new retail landscape, embracing technology is the key to standing out from the competition with the great shopping experiences your customers expect. 

The role of technology in shaping today’s retail customer experience

Although the retail digital transformation comes with many benefits and challenges, it’s the customers who decide whether it’s worth it. And with the rapid adoption of retail technology since the pandemic, it looks like digital retail is here to stay. 

If you’re looking for strategies to boost revenue by reimagining customer interactions, digital transformation should be at the top of your list. Here are just some ways that digital is improving the retail customer experience and helping businesses thrive.

Making it seamless 

Previously an added extra, a good omnichannel experience is now a must-have for retail businesses to survive. Connecting all online and offline channels and engaging with your customer at all the touchpoints on their journey to purchase, creates a seamless shopping experience and builds brand loyalty.

Examples include:

  • In-app rewards: Mobile apps can be used to promote relevant special offers and earn points with in-store purchases which can then be redeemed for free products. This creates more personalised experiences and improves customer loyalty. 
  • Linking purchases: Whether it’s through an app or in a brick and mortar store, purchases can be linked to a customer’s account. Being able to browse a comprehensive purchase history makes repeat orders or recommending a product to a friend even easier.

Increasing convenience

New omnichannel shopping experiences provide a great opportunity to get to know your customers better. While your digital customers are browsing, data can be gathered in the background. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can then be used to learn how your customer interacts with your brand on their journey to their purchasing decisions. And, these insights can be turned into streamlined and convenient customer experiences. 

Examples include:

  • Chatbots: AI chatbot applications can transform the way retailers communicate with customers. They can provide the same high-level personalised customer service anywhere across multiple channels and anytime, 24/7. 
  • Cashier-less stores: AI technology can also be used to streamline the in-store experience. Cashier-less stores automatically track and register the products consumers pick up and eventually charge them when they leave the store. 

Personalising the experience

Technology can be used to reinvigorate store sales with customer service that’s not just personalised to someone’s interests, but also their location. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology can collect data on an entire product and shopping lifecycle and then use this to drive more personalised customer experiences.

Examples include: 

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags: RFID tags can be used for much more than security. This technology can offer a quicker and more personalised service through devices providing more information or recommendations when a customer picks up a product. 
  • Personalised discounts: IoT technology can be used to send personalised discounts to customers at specific triggers. If they’ve previously viewed a product online, when they enter the store, a discount can be sent to the store’s app. 

Engaging customers in new ways

Technology allows customers to engage with products in completely new ways Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two examples of technology enabling customers to visualise products in relevant contexts to give them confidence in their purchases.

Examples include:

  • AR at home: AR experiences allow customers to interact with 3D visual representations of products. That could mean trying on clothes or seeing a product in their own homes. 
  • In-Store VR: VR experiences can enhance in-person customer experiences and even draw people back into brick and mortar stores. VR stations enable customers to explore products in a variety of different environments and help them overcome potential barriers to purchase. 

Want to find out more about these examples of retail innovation? Take a look at our blog on the Retail Digital Transformation Trends. 

Final thoughts

Digital transformation is taking customer retail experiences to the next level. Embracing these new technologies and creating a digital transformation strategy is essential to meeting the expectations of modern customers with truly seamless and personalised shopping experiences – online or in-store.

From AI through to VR, new digital capabilities (plus plenty of acronyms!) are changing the retail landscape and, in turn, what customers want from a shopping experience. But don’t get carried away with the latest tech or digital trends. Focus on what your customers really want – speedy, convenient, relevant and engaging retail experiences. 

Getting a clear picture of your key customer priorities and developing an effective roadmap for how you’ll achieve them will make sure you’re investing in the digital capabilities that make the difference. 

Discover how you can improve retail customer experiences by attending our flagship Retail Conference. Register today!

 

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