Your channels have to deliver a seamless, effortless, personal experience of your brand at every single customer touchpoint. Online, in-store, and in-app experiences are unique role players in the ecosystem of touchpoints for your brand.
Think about the unique characteristics of your online and offline channels this high season. Appreciating the entire ecosystem of touchpoints will help you improve each channel and deliver a more powerful and holistic customer experience.
Retail has been reshaped.
Replicating the feeling of an in-store experience online is a challenge that retailers have tried to hurdle many times in recent years. IBM has found that even the youngest generation of adults born in the mid-to-late 1990s still prefer physical shopping to its digital counterpart - with 67% of respondents claiming to prefer making purchases in-store.
67% is considerable; that figure challenges the perception that ecommerce convenience trumps experience when it comes to most purchasing decisions, even among younger consumers.
Generally speaking, in-store experiences have more potential to create a memorable purchasing environment. There’s a greater capacity for things like ambience, lighting, and staff salesmanship to come into play. The environment and connections that come with face-to-face interactions are romanticised by the traditional feel of taking time to cross the threshold into a physical retail outlet. The inherent strength of brick and mortar shopping has resulted in an increased drive to capitalise on these qualities - a model being referred to as ‘experiential retail.’
The physical store, or at least the idea of it, is still a key touchpoint of your shopper’s experience. Replicating the experience of the physical store in digital channels (where customers are influenced) is a must to make them effective touchpoints in your ecosystem.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s 2018. Socially (and legally, thanks to the GDPR), customers should always be in control of the way retailers and technology approach them. Which is one more reason why it is so important for retailers to get to know their customers and their preferences when replicating the in-store experience online.
Live chat for retail (aka conversational commerce) has the potential to create that familiar, personal, and efficient form of customer experience that’s often necessary to securing a purchase. Okay, we may be a little biased, but a well integrated, AI powered live chat service will go a long way to providing a memorable touchpoint that’s both ‘human’ and ‘digital’ to your customers’ purchasing journey.
Responsiveness plays a key role in the pursuit of bridging the gap between bricks and clicks. In-store queries are resolved in real time and with a personal level of support. It’s been found that having staff to hand has a marked increase on purchase volume, with 90% of consumers advising they’re more likely to buy when aided by a knowledgeable assistant. So as well as being excellent best practice for your online customer experience, the live chat approach will have a direct impact on your conversion rate if deployed appropriately for your customers to engage with the service.
Just as every touchpoint needs to serve a memorable, sales-enabling experience, every touchpoint needs to feed back to your customer management tool. Every encounter reveals more about who your shopper is. The more you know about your shopper, the more you can personalise and engage with them.
Don’t neglect the information each touchpoint provides. Ensure you have a way of surfacing and refreshing customer records at every step so you can serve the most relevant information and collect new data to facilitate more conversions across channels.
Your ecosystem should work for your shopper. Every touchpoint of every channel should nudge them closer to conversion.
Powerful customer insight gathering and refreshing, AI-enabled customer information surfacing, and a 10x higher conversion rate with an average ROI of 12x?
That’s a way to make your ecosystem work, despite the post-Christmas dip. Get it working across your channels in 4 weeks.
Want to see how to grow your ecommerce activity by increasing conversion 10x? Access the case study.