How is the in-store retail customer experience evolving?
American retailers appear to be facing a crisis. Brands like JC Penney, American Apparel, and Sears are all closing stores and customers there...
Imagine if 93% of your customers said they all want the same thing. Would you build a strategy around ensuring you deliver this? Of course, it makes sense. If 93% of customers say that this attribute is important then how can you ignore what almost all of them want?
This 93% figure actually relates to customer experience. According to a new research report that studied 1,000 British consumers, 93% said that they are more likely to make a purchase if they have a positive customer experience. With a response like this, it’s clear that CX planning needs to be at the top of every executive agenda.
My colleague Helen recently blogged about the disconnect between CX being a strategic priority for most executives and their failure to actually deliver a really great experience.
But customers say that the experience they have varied according to the channel used. Under half (47%) of consumers said they were happy with the experience received on the web, email, social media and chat and under a third (32%) of consumers were satisfied with retail service on Twitter, 38% on Facebook, 51% on chat, 56% on the web and 59% on email. In-store, by contrast, 78% were happy with the service they received.
Those figures are a disturbing read. Under half of online and social customers enjoy the experience they are getting from companies. Even the 78% of customers happy with in-store experiences is not very close to the 93% who say that a great experience makes them more likely to purchase.
In a different, but also recent, research report, it was noted that only 38% of companies are personalising their approaches to customers. This is also concerning. Customers are increasingly sophisticated. They have seen brands like Amazon offering personalised recommendations and offers for years. Why are only a third of other brands offering personal choices today?
Both these research reports show that customers are expecting more than most companies are offering. There will always be a lag between what the most switched-on customers expect and what can really be offered, but some of these numbers are concerning. It’s time to put CX on the board agenda as a #1 priority – the 93% statistic highlights that it’s now essential to deliver a great experience.
Can retailers afford to ignore the needs of today’s connected customers? In very many ways, the omni-channel future has arrived; the omni-channel customer certainly has. This paper examines what a truly omni-channel experience delivers to customers, why it’s good for business and the steps needed to achieve it.
What do you think about these research findings? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.