It’s natural that all businesses want to match the needs, desires, and expectations of customers. However, with the rapid development of technology, shoppers now can access an enormous amount of information before they make any purchasing decision. In the retail sector, it’s vital for retailers to address all rising behavioral trends among shoppers in order to adapt and thrive.
Customers are more demanding than ever
Brands nowadays need to be aware that the expectations of consumers have been raised continuously - they demand upgraded experiences that are worth their engagement. Among many ways to meet this never-ending requirement, the try-before-you-buy approach is widely used by several successful companies. For instance, Netflix and Warby Parker are two of the first businesses to offer free test use of their products. Google also decided to release its at-home try-one kits for Google Glass, which allowed shoppers to try the product out before they spend a large sum of money on it. This method is becoming so popular that people start to expect it as a new norm. It’s time for the other traditional retailers to consider if they want to utilize this try-before-you-buy approach to present transparency and build trust in customers.
Mobile-purchasing is on the rise
According to a recent report by comScore Inc., America has more shoppers using tablets to purchase than any other market in the world. Meanwhile, around one-third of global online retail orders are made on mobile devices. It’s evident that companies nowadays need to polish their omni-channel to ensure a perfect buying experience. In particular, consistent engagements and services across all channels are the best way to gain loyal customers, of which sites optimized for mobile devices should be the top priority. The fact is many businesses still fail to realize how important a mobile-friendly interface is to perfect customer experience. Among the retailers surveyed in the SDL study mentioned above, only 40% were confident that their channels were uniform and cross-functional. This number indicates that there is still a considerable gap that members of the retail industry need to fill in order to reach the recommended level of technological advancement.
Personalized experience is the deciding factor
Today, customers are aware that retailers constantly collect their personal information and preferences during the purchasing process, therefore, a general marketing strategy for all cannot be accepted anymore. Marketers now must find ways to meet the specific needs and interests of individuals on a more personal level. Many businesses were already ahead of the trend and experimented methods to innovate both in-store and online shopping experiences of their customers. The application of cloud-based, point-of-sale systems instead of the old checkout processes is one of the successful innovations. Besides, retailers can also showcase more tailored home pages, recommend relevant products, or provide shoppers with more tools to customize their content, etc. In the digital era, the most essential thing is that businesses need to discover the most suitable personalization tools for their line of products and customer lifecycle.
Real-time customer service is extremely crucial
The way consumers communicate and interact with retailers has changed significantly. Nowadays, customers demand more responsive customer service systems that connect them with a company representative to help solve their inquiries at all times, or allow them to actively decide when and how they will be contacted. It is a must for businesses to build a self-service platform with relevant and easy-to-navigate links to tailored tutorials for common issues. Social media, with their explosion in popularity in recent years, should also be made use of as an ideal platform to perform customer service and reach potential customers. The instant and personal touch of these channels far surpasses that of others, and when done right, can not only show the brand’s ability to quickly assist customers, but also broadcast its customer-focused attitude.
⁃ Reference source Chain Store Age
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