3 questions smart retailers are asking themselves now

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1. Are we offering an omni-channel experience?

More and more retailers are striving to build a true omni-channel experience that merges at-home, in-store and mobile commerce into one seamless experience. In other words, if a customer wants to view an item online, purchase it using their phone and pick it up in-store, they can do so in a smooth and effortless way.

Omni-channel is all about continuity of experience and provides the perfect example of merging digital insights with in-store physical experiences. The look and feel of every channel, from mobile to desktop to in-store, should feel the same to the customer.

2. Are we leveraging the right technology?

Smart retailers are saying goodbye to boring, antiquated layouts. They know that if they want to keep people in their stores, they need to make their locations interactive and engaging. This can be done in a number of ways, the most basic of which is by leveraging the right technology. Tablets and smartphones are versatile and can be used in several ways, including taking payments from the customer where convenient rather than making them wait in a checkout line, demonstrating product features, offering more information and encouraging social sharing.

In addition to tablets, smart retailers are implementing interactive experiences with the use of large displays that are meant to fully engross customers to the point where they even forget that they’re inside a store. To the customer, the experience is interactive, engaging, and powerful.

3. Are we collecting actionable data to help personalize the customer experience?

According to a study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions, 54% of marketers have already invested in data solutions to date, and nine out of 10 marketers plan to do so in 2014. Why the focus on data? Because smart retailers know that in order to provide truly personalized experiences, they need to gather as much information about the behavior, history and whereabouts of consumers as possible. Collecting this actionable data through customer loyalty programs, point of sale data and online shopping behavior ultimately enables retailers to implement dynamic browsing, customized displays, personalized recommendations and shopper-specific discounts.

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