This article originally appeared in MyCustomer.
It’s that special time of year for retailers, when customers are out in force, looking not only for a bargain but also for a shopping experience which encapsulates at least a little of the magic of the season.
This is why customer experience at Christmas tends to shift towards the personal – shoppers are focused on gifts for friends and family, as well as what they want for themselves. This mindset allows the concept of specific experiences, deals and offers targeted at them to become not only acceptable but desirable - even if it means giving up some personal data, provided it is used sensitively and for their benefit.
At a time when shops are crowded, resources are stretched and customers can become frustrated, sales associates empowered with all-round knowledge are key to providing a personalised journey with the customer at its heart – one which makes them feel like a VIP without being too intrusive. Giving them access to information about the customer’s wants and needs as well as stock availability and product information equips them to provide exactly the right level of service at a time when it’s too easy to let standards slip, from online ordering in-store to upselling appropriate products to using beacons to identify and prepare for click and collect customers as soon as they enter the store. This kind of connected customer experience can also help to stem the flow of people opting out of visiting physical stores altogether and choosing to buy all their gifts online.
Tech tidings we bring…
The level of technology inside high street stores is increasing, from consumer phones to staff tablets and fixed display screens. Connecting all of these devices to each other in real time via cloud platforms as well as to back end systems such as eCommerce and CRM means that retailers can conquer the Christmas rush by:
- identifying customers and offering personalised service and increasing loyalty by anticipating and delivering on wishes/needs
- facilitating full stock visibility and real-time product information
- enabling online ordering in-store and allowing for home deliveries as well as click and collect
- enabling seamless roaming checkouts to bust queues and remove a lot of the frustration involved in Christmas shopping
- improving their operational performance with real-time access to retail analytics
Plus, by mixing and matching device types depending on the exact situation, staff and customers can always have the experience that best suits the sale.
Happy Christmas, everyone
Connecting online with offline to make sure you get personalisation right adds up to a happy Christmas for everyone -
- Happy customer - they’re pleased with their purchases, VIP treatment and the fact that some of the stress has been taken out of their seasonal shop
- Happy sales associates - they have been empowered to give a superior service, with all the information they need at their fingertips
- Happy business – they have motivated staff, satisfied customers and increased sales
In the eyes of the customer, especially at this time of year, they just want to be able to make their purchases with minimum hassle. And if retailers want to make sure they deliver the kind of experience that meets their expectations not only at Christmas but all year round, facilitating connected experiences should be first on the list for 2018.