The holidays are coming and we’re all looking for a good deal. Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the U.S. followed by the infamous Black Friday sales and, of course, Cyber Monday. Regardless of whatever season we’re in, everybody wants products at the best price and, more importantly, we all need help finding just the right gift for the special people in our lives.
Meanwhile, let’s face it: consumer visibility into reviews and ratings combined with the multitude of sellers and buying channels have made it hard for retailers to compete for loyal customers who will repeat business with them. Armed with smartphones, tablets and laptops, most of us start by researching online and comparing prices before completing any in-store or web purchase.
Connecting the online and offline customer journey (aka omnichannel) is the key to success. Retailers need to focus on continuity as well as providing personalized shopping experiences in real-time. According to the state of omnichannel shopping trends and statistics, the key takeaway is that we, as consumers, want the retailer to know what we’ve been researching, what we’ve purchased before and what conversations we’ve had prior to this transaction whether in-store, via the web, a mobile device and/or an app.
Loyalty Increases with Omnichannel Customer Experience
Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain approximately 89% of their customers. Anybody in sales, marketing or service knows that’s a very impressive average. So, for retailers, it is arguably imperative to improve the customer experience via omnichannel. Yet, some are and many aren’t.
For example, I recently received a phone call from a company asking me if I had any questions regarding the report that I downloaded from their website. Immediately, I thought: “Thanks, but I’m not shopping for any of your services." Much to my surprise when I said I didn’t have any questions, the representative told me to have a good day. I felt like she actually cared and I now have a very favorable brand impression. It was a minor gesture but she used the analytics from the web and made a personal connection without requiring any effort on my part.
I also recently enjoyed a positive personalized customer experience when I shopped for a new lamp. I was searching for a specific type of lamp that would go well in my living room and found one that I liked but it cost more than I wanted to spend. An associate sent me a message via live chat asking me if I had any questions. I told her that I liked it but it was too expensive. She suggested that I leave it in the shopping cart. Two days later, I received an email telling me that the price of the lamp was 30% cheaper and, with one click, I was back into my shopping cart. The retailer made it very easy for me to purchase the lamp and have it delivered to the store. An, as a result, I’d happily recommend that retailer to my friends.
In contrast, another retailer seems less concerned with my needs. I've been on their website several times in the last week looking for deals. As an existing customer, I would expect the retailer to know that I’m looking at some specific items (since I’m logged in) and that they should push a personalized promotion to me via live chat or a follow-up call, email or other proactive engagement channel. I wonder if the company realizes how much money is potentially being left on the table.
Watch this video of a true omnichannel shopping experience. CaféX Live Assist for Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps retailers deliver personalized customer journeys that eliminate friction for customers and empower Dynamics 365 agents with the right tools to resolve customer issues faster, upsell/cross-sell and increase customer lifetime value.