The retail industry spent the last decade investing in and expanding “how” a customer can shop. Many were successful with what became termed “omnichannel” retail, blending on- and off-line product access and focusing on convenience for the customer.
Without question, this was a critical advancement, but what often got lost in the adoption process was its one-dimensional nature.
Retailers need a more holistic focus. They need to better understand the “why” a customer would shop with a particular retailer, rather than merely seeing them as an on-line or in-store shopper.
So where should retailers now focus their creative energies? Good question, and it’s one that Ron Lutz, EVP and chief client officer at Miller Zell, answers in an article for Retail TouchPoints.
Notes Lutz,“the industry should set its sights on creating the ‘complete customer experience,’ which is richer, more memorable and personalized. And this process begins long before the customer steps into a store or shops online.”
“the industry should set its sights on creating the ‘complete customer experience,’ which is richer, more memorable and personalized. And this process begins long before the customer steps into a store or shops online.”
This is about a multi-dimensional and complete customer experience: relevant, immersive, memorable, convenient and thoughtful. Yes, having the product available regardless of channel is an important part of the complete experience. But to truly surprise and delight the shopper -- and to gain a competitive advantage in a sea of shopping sameness -- the “why” is even more relevant today than a decade ago.
Lutz hits three areas that will help retailers develop a “why?” focus:
- Truly understanding the customer;
- Leveraging on-line and in-store relationships;
- Being bold – and thoughtful – with innovation.
The stakes are high. Surveys show that bad customer experiences cause companies to lose an estimated $41 billion a year in the U.S.
So give Lutz’s insights a read by clicking here.