Retailers Can Only Be Saved With Great Customer Experience (CX)
Consumers shop in brick & mortar stores not only to buy but to have fun and an entertaining experience. With online purchasing the customer experience is not a tactile ‘experience’. Does the convenience and safety of digital purchasing outweigh the fun of in-store shopping?
Before you answer that, let’s delve into the next big development in consumer purchasing. Enter the new digital shopping experience, which will be advanced by Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Apple, and other content streamers in the near future.
How It Will Work
Netflix, for example, could use the time-code data it has in every one of its productions and connect it with AI driven ‘shopping functionality’ for merchandize pictured in every on-screen scene. Viewers wishing to purchase a ‘viewed product’ would simply click on that product. The chosen product’s information would be sent to a second screen (smartphone) to complete the purchase transaction.
This new development, let’s called it the “ultimate in product-placement purchasing”, has already been tested and is doable. Amazon could even suggest alternatives from its own brands or other items that “viewers like you” previously purchased.
Back To The Question
Now lets answer the question of whether digital shopping outweighs the fun of in-store shopping? Granted, ‘pick n’ click’ purchasing still doesn’t deliver on the experiential aspects of in-store shopping, but its impulse buying advantage will be an additional factor for retail stores to overcome.
What Retailers Will Need To Do
To combat ‘pick n’ click’, retail stores must innovate and personalize the shopping experience.
First, retailers must use the treasure of their customers’ data. Being in constant contact with their customers. Highlighting upcoming fashion trends, having in-store shows and demonstrations, conducting ‘live’ video chats on products coupled with in-store only promotions. Having virtual classes on products using manufacturers’ representatives.
Second, having as broad a roster of conveniences. Ease of product delivery and pick-up, in-home installation, etc.
Third, having a courteous and knowledgeable staff. The big advantage retail has over online shopping is that the customer can interact with a salesperson to discuss the product. Its proper use and maintenance. Tips on its advantages/disadvantages over similar products. Having a trained and skilled sales staff cannot be stressed enough. Remember: the number one reason people leave retail is due to poor service.
The purchasing experience is constantly evolving. In the future online shopping will simply be a click on a product in a movie or TV show you are viewing. For retail, the advantage of providing the tactile experience is still formidable but must be enhanced and broadened.
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