With information at their fingertips from anywhere, at any time, today’s connected shoppers control interaction and transaction with a single touch. It’s no longer “Buyer beware” but “Retailer beware.” Or more importantly: retailer be more “aware” across all channels, and down every aisle. Consistency, communication and customer-centricity are no longer buzzwords but buzz generators, driving greater brand value, market share and customer loyalty.
To deliver a consistent customer experience across all channels, store personnel, from associates to
management, need to be well-informed, well-trained and equipped with better technology to access product
and competitive information to make the sale or handle a return. Shoppers expect store associates and managers to know what goods are available whether on the shelves, in another store location, on the retailer web site or accessible from a distribution center.
One study indicates that a typical retailer loses about four percent of sales due to out-of-stocks, translating to a loss of $1.73 per shopping trip. Compound that with tens or hundreds of millions in annual sales, and suddenly that $1.73 means the difference between profit and loss. The study also states that 42 percent of consumers, when confronted with an out-of-stock situation, will make the purchase at another store or will not purchase at all.
Retailers must identify each touchpoint where the customer experience can be enhanced and exponentially
expanded for greater basket size. Blurring the lines between virtual and physical provides critical
differentiation shoppers desire.Just because a customer purchased a new skirt online doesn’t mean she can’t wear it that same evening.
Jdai found that 68 percent of North American consumers desire purchase-online/pick-up-in-store
service, yet 48 percent of retailers don’t currently offer this option. By inhibiting the immediacy of the customer experience, opportunities to upsell or cross-sell (e.g., new shoes to go with the skirt) are lost when the customer has less reason to walk into the store.