The bar has been set. And it’s higher than most realize.
Customers expect service like they’ve had in the past: the butcher who has your rashers ready every Saturday, the tailor who has fit your suits since prom, or the salesperson who calls when your size comes in. The catch is that customers aren’t behaving in linear and easily predictable ways anymore – they’re on-the-go and marketers have diminished visibility and control over when, where, or how customers interact with their brand.
Let’s Get Personal
The need to deliver the right experience at the right time cannot be overstated. What started as self-checkouts for shoppers in a hurry has turned into digital direction displays – screens of all sorts are appearing more frequently, and they leverage existing technology investments to provide a more personalized experience. Every step your customer takes is either an opportunity to further engage them or to lose them: whether it’s presenting customers with loyalty discounts, ease of checkout, or having fitting rooms prepped before they arrive, customers demand their lofty expectations be delivered on, otherwise they’ll go elsewhere.
Every analyst will tell you that mobile use is on the rise – no revelations there. It can also be assumed that a Baby Boomer is going to behave differently than a Millennial when they shop. However, the next wave of change cresting the retail landscape is tailored interactions based on individualized data, rather than painting broad strokes based on age or gender. Of course, insights from traditional customer segments still exist, but there’s a level of regionality, or granularity, that you can now tap into with a mobile customer engagement platform that provides a holistic view of your customer. The next wave is about individualization, not personalization.
Mobile customer engagement will play an increasingly significant role in the customer journey. Done correctly, it promises to sew together the mobile moments in which a customer interacts with a brand into a cohesive series of brand experiences, ultimately resulting in increased revenue for retailers. It’s human nature to choose the path of least resistance, which is being led by mobile. The next few years will be full of disruption – adopting a customer-first strategy is the only way to future-proof your business, capturing higher rates of loyalty, retention and customer lifetime value.
In retail, the winners are always the ones who get closest to delivering an exceptional customer experience. What’s exciting now is the opportunity to integrate the capabilities of mobile with traditional sales models. Retailers can engage strategically with their customers, in whichever way the customer wants: email, social media, push notifications, or an app – and that’s just the beginning. The retail landscape has shifted dramatically, and if you’re not considering what role mobile engagement is going to play for your customers, there’s a significant risk they will walk right by you.