“Customer is the king” is a well-known adage that has been the driving principle for brands to build their customer led initiatives with visible success levels. Today, in the context of the connected world, wherein customers are sharing their desires online, exchanging reviews and views, shopping while travelling or connecting to brands across multiple digital touchpoints – this factor needs to be at the center of all the strategies planned by retail businesses.
For retailers, the challenge lies in crafting an optimum digital customer retention and engagement initiative that will be easy to deploy, manage and is measurable. All this becomes a pre-requisite as brands are increasingly leveraging the power and influence of digital tools in various forms. There is also an interesting trend that seems to be emerging in how pure-play brick and mortar retail brands are implementing digital.
There are some instances where the traditional in-store retail brands are setting up interactive digital tools inside the stores, thereby giving customers a futuristic experience as they walk on the aisles. From our discussions with customers about extracting actionable insights from analytics on social media data, we’ve seen very interesting use cases emerge, for instance – an apparel retailer is now able to co-relate its sales with the social media buzz, thereby, predicting the demand for their next product launch. Moreover, solutions are being developed using Wi-Fi analytics for brick and mortar retailers to gain the same level of insights as the e-commerce players have on the customer behaviour.
Alternatively, there are online retail brands that are going the extra mile in the way they are talking to their customers – call it social listening and analytics or creating multiple channels to shop from; via the website or the mobile applications; e-tailers are doing it all!
It is clear that digital is here to stay and grow – it is a platform that helps retailers build higher profits and healthy bottom-lines. Digital can also help in building a brand seamlessly, and driving a brand’s popularity across a new customer-base if used smartly.
But for this to happen, retailers need to address the following key factors before going ahead with the implementation of their new digital led customer experience strategy:
- Selection of the vendor – Most of the digital retail tools are offered by IT companies. Your IT service provider should be good at understanding your existing IT set-up, and building a customized digital retail solution for your needs.
- Focused business outcomes – Going digital needs to result in visible increase in ROI. Having a partner who understands your specific business objectives is an imperative.
- End-to-end solution – Your digital tool needs to be a combination of analytics, agility, and platform agnostic features and it should easily integrate with your existing systems. All these factors are very critical in determining the efficiency of the final roll-out of your digital strategy.
Happier customers are now within your reach across the digital space, if the tools are implemented with clear set objectives, backed by expertise!
Author: Krishna Ramaswami, Head of Digital Enterprise at Zensar