Posts Taged customer-satisfaction

Predicted Retail Trends in 2018

Five  important retail trends to look out for in 2018 were outlined in a recent report by Synchrony using data from a consumer survey carried out in January 2018.

As you would expect technology and AI featured heavily in the list, and here are the highlights below:

1. Voice Technology – 51% Shop Using a Smart Speaker

The report shows that 30 percent of consumers now own a voice-controlled device, and this is good news for retailers as consumers are using these devices to shop.  51 percent of these owners are shopping using a smart speaker.  Many retailers are also looking into ways to use voice technology coupled with AI, such as using purchase data to automatically order regularly purchased items.

2. The Car as a Connected Shopping Channel

It is expected that by 2020, 75% of new cars will be connected to the internet.  This will mean that drivers will be able to make purchases in advance from their car.  This is an exciting opportunity for retailers and many are already investing in location technology and the connected car is a great way to use location marketing to drive additional sales.

3. Using AI to Create Customized Shopping Experiences

Many companies are already exploring this technology.  A Gartner survey of  IT and Business Leaders carried out in March 2017 found that over half of those taking part in the  study expect to be using machine learning within the next three years.

Retailers are exploring AI in connection with personalization, as studies have shown that 51% of shoppers said that receiving a relevant offer from a retailer would make them more likely to shop there more often.

Retailers are also exploring more ways to use machine learning for automating customer offers based on past behavior, managing stock and inventory levels, and personalizing offers, and gifts.

4. Retail Mobile Apps

The Synchrony Study revealed that 63 percent of those in the US, and 81 percent of Millennials, have downloaded a retailer mobile app and the time spent shopping with a retailer mobile app is on the rise.

Retailers have a perfect opportunity to find out more about customers shopping habits and preferences with an app, and are able to present further relevant information and offers through the app, and shoppers love apps because they have access to more offers and the ability to purchase items quickly.

5. Social Responsibility

Shoppers love shopping at retailers that share their values and some shoppers have said they will even stop shopping at a store that is at odds with their beliefs.  In response to this many retailers are donating to charities or disaster relief, or working with a group to help achieve their core beliefs.

So there are many considerations for retailers to take into account over the coming year, as consumers embrace technology and information in innovative ways to change the way they shop.

 

 

 

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Do You Need Omnichannel Retailing?

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Most retailers know that being able to offer their products online is an essential part of their marketing strategy, rather than an option.

However, a recent report by comScore revealed that 173 million people in the US now own a smart phone, and are using this device to check emails and text messages all day long.

They are also using it to shop.

As retailers, whether we like it or not, omnichannel retailing is here to stay, and marketing-savvy retailers have been making sure their websites are mobile-optimized, and ready to offer features and services to customers during the holiday season, so they don’t miss out to the shopping giants and big-box stores.

So what can you do to get your store up to speed?  Omnichannel retailing really means that all the places where your customers can buy … physical store, online via desktop, smartphone, ipad or tablet … work together seamlessly for your customers.

Put yourself in the position of your customer and try to buy something from your own store through all the channels that you offer.  How was the experience?  Did you get smoothly to checkout?  Were there frustrating delays or screens that didn’t display correctly, or not at all?  Once you have pinpointed the sticking points, get your tech team and staff to iron out the issues.

You have probably already figured out your holiday marketing campaign, but research is showing that email is still a favorite by many retailers.  In the study mentioned above,  it was found that 42 percent of emails sent were opened on smartphones, and an additional 17 percent opened on tablet devices.  So definitely make sure your site is mobile optimized.

Follow the lead of large bricks and mortar stores, such as Staples,  who are aggressively using email campaigns to drive customers into their stores, and tempting them with a series of coupons and special offers.

Keeping in close contact with your customers through all devices will be key this holiday season, and those who don’t will lose out on precious holiday sales to retailers who have planned their omni-channel strategy to create an excellent customer experience at all of their store touchpoints.

If you would like information on omichannel retailing for your online or bricks and mortar store, contact info@xocbox.com.

 

 

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Communication drives customer satisfaction

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I recently read an article about the top five drivers of customer satisfaction in the remodeling industry, and at the top of the list was communication.

Others in the list included sticking to a schedule, being professional and organized, trust and problem resolution.

In reality, the list above could be applied to any type of business, including retail.

How many times have you purchased something online, and waited patiently for your item to be delivered, only to receive an email ten days later saying the item is on back-order!

Don’t let this be the experience your customers receive when shopping on your site.  Nothing will drive customers away from your site more than poor customer service.

No matter how busy you are, by setting a routine that you and your staff follow when customers purchase or call in for help, you can avoid disappointment, and gain a loyal following of happy customers.

What your customer wants

  • Promptly confirm purchases via email
  • Confirm that payment has been received
  • Advise when item purchased will be shipped
  • Once shipped, let them know package is on the way, and confirm tracking details
  • Provide updates and status on late or delayed shipments
  • Always include a packing slip or invoice in every package you send out
  • Include a returns policy in the package
  • Include a phone number or email address that customers can call with questions
  • Include a FAQ page on your website
  • Return customer calls within the same day, if possible
  • Resolve issues promptly, avoiding arguments
  • Issue refunds and credits promptly

What your customer doesn’t want

  • No confirmation that order has been received
  • Difficult to find company contact information
  • No tracking information
  • Poor returns policy
  • No return phone call or email
  • To be kept on hold
  • Product doesn’t arrive
  • Slow or no refunds policy
  • Goods not as described
  • Unfriendly service

Unfortunately, sometimes a customer will have a negative experience, no matter how hard you try.  If that is the case, don’t try to hide behind your policy, don’t lose your temper, and don’t take the complaint personally.

If this happens to you, work with the customer to provide an alternative product, a refund, and even offer a small gift or discount coupon off their next purchase.  You will be surprised how an unexpected gesture of generosity on your part can suddenly change the whole dynamics of a situation.  Your upset customer then becomes your biggest fan!

 

 

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