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91% of retail activity still takes place inside stores, yet much of the attention on customer experience innovation has been focused on how to personalise websites and apps. The most profitable customers are those who switch easily between the in-store and online environment. But how well do you understand the behaviour of those customers you can actually see in-store?
Analysis in Retail Customer Experience recently suggested that 79% of customers appreciate it when a retailer gives them a discount or recommendation based on their purchase history. This is relatively easy when online because the customer is usually signed in, but how can retailers start to approach this level of personal service in-store?
The approach will change from one retailer to the next, but I believe there are three key steps that all of them need to take to make this work in-store:
Coffee giant Starbucks has had enormous success with their own app because it allows the customer to order a coffee and then pay for it before they even arrive at the cafe. This means that their in-store experience is dramatically improved – they can arrive and pick-up their order immediately. No waiting for the Barista and no waiting to pay. It’s this kind of advantage that you need to consider – using apps in a way that allows personalisation, but also directly improves the in-store experience.
In-store and online service have often been considered to be entirely different functions. Often they are managed completely separately and to customers it can appear as if the two are competing and not just a part of the same company. Take that first step and acknowledge that an omni-channel strategy is essential and you will be starting along the path to creating a greatly improved in-store customer experience. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.