You’re a successful retailer. You’ve worked hard to win customers’ loyalty. But the market has changed and their loyalty is suddenly at risk. Instead of delivering products – as you’ve always done – customers now expect you to meet and exceed expectations at every touchpoint. And this isn’t easy to do profitably.
Welcome to the new economy of emotion. The 4 P’s of marketing are being eclipsed by the most complicated P of all: people. Their relationships with you are now being made (and lost) on the emotional connections you make with them at every contact.
Happiness is contagious. Dissatisfaction is viral.
We’ve all read about it. If an organization isn’t in sync with how consumers think and feel, those unhappy people tell others – and do it very loudly. But if a retailer shows true concern for shopper preferences, they’ll take notice and feel understood, maybe even validated. Because they’re happy, they may become your best advocates.
So how do you make, and keep customers happy? By creating a differentiated brand promise that starts with the first engagement and doesn’t end until…well, ever. Your goal is to delight customers by converting them, fulfilling their order to their complete satisfaction, and then continually driving them back to your store where you engage them again. Through this virtuous cycle, you can start to see a significant impact to your bottom line.
Steve Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer at TGI Fridays UK told us, “We’ve increased repeat visits from members of our loyalty program by 61 percent, boosting revenues attributed to those customers by 66 percent. Those customers are also becoming far more likely to recommend us to their friends, and we’ve seen a dramatic 300 percent boost in the number of guests referred by loyalty customers.”
It all comes down to seamless connections, again and again.
What customers now expect is a personal relationship delivered through a consistent, integrated omnichannel experience. If they see something online, they expect the store representative to be able to immediately locate it for them.
Keir McIntyre, Director of Direct to Consumer Technology, for Eileen Fisher says, “Whether they engage online, in-store or over the phone, consumers expect a seamless shopping experience. But for retailers, knitting together these channels behind the scenes can be a tough challenge.”
What used to be a tough challenge can now be achieved through the smart application of new processes and innovative technology. Retailers can offer personalized, consistent services throughout every phase of the customer relationship to:
Fulfill expectations: A solid customer relationship begins with the fundamental purpose of the interaction: customer fulfillment. Flexible product delivery and quick promises are what compel customers to regularly choose one retailer over the competition.
Engage prospects: To keep stimulating customer interest, you have to meet their needs with personalized offers and content, at the right time, on the right channel. “We want to unleash the power and creativity of our entire company, says Colby Walker, Senior Manager of Soccer.com Digital Experience. “We were able to come up with some really innovative solutions to bring content and commerce together in a very short amount of time.” 1
Convert to customers: You need to remove friction from the buying process with experience-driven commerce. This means providing local content and integration throughout the process. A Forrester report revealed that 69% of retail customers expect in-store sales associates to be armed with a mobile device so they can look up product information or check inventory levels.2
IBM helps you overcome the challenge of change
With the power of AI, you can integrate and manage data across the ecosystem of vendors and clouds. You can break down silos and rebuild processes to provide a consistent, omnichannel customer experience that brings happiness again and again.
Digital disruption may have created a crisis for incumbent brands, but it’s a growth opportunity for the businesses who embrace it. IBM offers the full range of products you need to create open, secure, AI-powered customer experiences. Learn more about how IBM can help.
Visit our NRF web page. Or stop by booth #2119 for a chat. You’ll be happy you did.
Social media links:
- IBM, Sports Endeavors Inc. case study, https://www.ibm.com/case-studies/soccercom
- Forrester Report, Customer Desires Vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding The Omni-Channel Gap, January 2014, https://cx.sap.com/medias/sys_master/formsCollaterals/formsCollaterals/h21/hfa/8808382529566/Hybris-Accenture-Forrester-TLP-OmniChannel.pdf
- V12, 25 Amazing Omnichannel Statistics every Marketer Should Know, https://www.v12data.com/blog/25-amazing-omnichannel-statistics-every-marketer-should-know/