Within the shopper journey, there are different tactics retailers can deploy to turn a prospect into a customer. And while not every shopper takes the same path to purchase, technology plays a role across every step. An efficient omnichannel strategy can help you deliver great experiences that engage customers via their channels of choice, and with 88% of shoppers expecting companies to have accelerated digital initiatives because of the pandemic, knowing how to meet increasing expectations can give you a competitive edge.
Historically, customers have expected basic things like quality service and fair pricing, but modern shoppers demand an experience that is fast, proactive, personalized, and connected. For businesses that are prepared, there’s some great news: 91% of shoppers are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience, and 71% of shoppers will make an initial purchase decision based on their experience.
So how can retailers win more new shoppers and generate repeat business?
Shoppers expect your business to be there for them exactly when they need you. Connected to a feed of live updates, social media has sped up the time consumers expect a business to reply to a message. So, while fast service has always been appreciated, the bar has been elevated.
An intuitive website with online chat support allows shoppers find and learn about items at their pace. And with flexible online payment options, customers can self-serve. Whether they want the benefits of PayPal, or they want to apply for online financing and checkout with their approved line of credit in the same session, speeding up the time it takes to get the shopper to their desired result is a win for you and a better experience for them.
Customers expect proactive service and proactive sharing of information. A quick Google search today can tell us just about anything we need to know; consequently, consumers have little patience when companies don’t know something. There’s also a breed of consumer who like to find information on their own and look to the internet to answer all questions.
Your website is a great place for you to anticipate customer needs and provide them with information they want to know before they even ask. You can equip shoppers with data like prices, stock status, what’s on display in-store, and estimated delivery dates to help them decide to purchase from you and prevent them from going elsewhere. While maintaining this data is a bear of a task if done manually, technology makes this easier with smart integrations that will allow your website to ingest important fields, and automatically update as information changes.
Shoppers want to feel unique and valued when they interact with a business. To quantify, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, yet 66% say they’re generally treated like numbers. Delivering this desired personalized experience, especially when shoppers are online, is impossible without the right technologies in place.
An intelligent website that asks shoppers to introduce themselves and creates consumer profiles unlocks powerful tools. This type of technology enables things like relevant product recommendations based on a user’s search history, tailored ads, and relevant marketing emails that indicate you know what the shopper is interested in. With 52% of shoppers expecting personalization in the offers and ads they receive, this insight can help you reach more shoppers in a more meaningful way.
To tie everything together, shoppers want a connected experience where they can interact with you in a variety of ways while receiving a consistent experience that feels like one conversation. They want to be able to jump from a target email into a website. Or from the website into a chat. Or into the store where the staff know who they are and what they’re interested in. And consistency between each of these jumps is key.
It’s a thoughtful omnichannel toolkit that will help ensure that at every touchpoint, you get closer to converting a prospect into a customer.
As shoppers evolve, assess your ability to deliver on these expectations and know that technology is there as a tool to make things easier for your business and better for your customers.
Genna Majuta is CEO of Retailer Web Services.