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How to Know What Customers Want Next

Two thirds of Australian retail customers are interacting with brands online and know what they want to buy before they shop in-store.1 But many retailers are not aware of what customers want until they arrive at the store – which is often far too late. With digital’s massive influence on store sales, retailers can use this to their advantage to drive a customer-centric strategy to win more sales, however many are not doing this very well yet.

To meet market demands today, retailers need to understand customers intimately, and delight them with personalised offerings, in both digital and in-store environments. To really capture customer interest and keep them loyal, retailers need to deliver a seamless experience across all channels throughout the engagement-to-purchase journey. With the right approach, you can not only keep up with current trends, but claw back precious sales and really make your competitors uncomfortable.

How to achieve this? It’s not rocket science. Firstly, it is crucial to see things from the customer viewpoint. Today, there is no omni-channel business, it is just business.1 To shoppers, your brand is your brand is just one store – not physical stores, a website and a mobile app. Across all channels of a retail business, customers want to be understood and serviced according to their preferences. This means your customers expect to be recognised when they arrive in-store, or if they log in to your website or mobile site, with a detailed history of their previous interactions and purchases – no matter whether they were made online or at one of your stores locations.

With digital technology driving most customers’ buying behaviour, it is very difficult to satisfy a customer’s needs in-store when their online pre-purchase behaviour is not visible to store staff. 1 To provide expected services, in-store staff members are incredibly empowered if they are given the ability to see customers’ online purchases, wish lists, orders and personal information. To provide more than expected value, top-performing retailers intently listen to customers, watch their behaviour, and offer them things they like at appropriate times. If you are operating a retail business, and have not prioritised these objectives, then your profits are most likely dwindling, and competitors are snapping up your market share.

To really get to know your customers, it is important to collect and analyse their information, and be able to access it in real-time from any touch point. But no-one wants provide their details to any organisation more than once. It’s annoying – enough to make a customer leave your website, not proceed with a purchase, hang up the phone, or walk out of your store.

How do you get this right? Integrate all your channels and touch points, to deliver compelling, engaging customer experiences. Digital enablers are key. Imagine having full visibility of inventory, orders and customer information across all touchpoints, in real-time. This is not only possible, it is now vital for a retail business to meet current and future customer expectations. With the enormous power of integrated data, and customer information visible from anywhere at any time, you can effortlessly profile and understand your customers. You can then target your market segments very effectively with far better value propositions, and your brand can have a highly profitable two-way interaction with your customers – both online and in-store.

Need help with customer-centric business strategies? Want to know more about the latest retail systems and mobility technology to drive integration and efficiencies across your business?

We can show you how. We understand retail – industry trends, supply chain operations, merchandise management, store processes – and your challenges. We have the expertise, the strategies and powerful technology solutions that will help your business grow.

Contact us for a confidential discussion about your business needs.

Sources:

  • 1. Deliotte Digital Report 2015, ‘Navigating the New Digital Divide’, Digital Influence in Australian Retail.
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