Year of agile innovations in Retail Sector: Covid19 aftermath
November 2, 2020at6:30 PM
Believe it or not but there has been more advancement and modernization in the last six-seven months in the retail sector than what retailers might have experienced in the past 5 years. Leaders associated with the retail sector are taking a keen interest in innovations, small or big, at a faster pace today as compared to past years. There is no way the world is returning to how it used to function before the pandemic hit us, waiting for a return to uniformity as before is a path to oblivion. With changing dynamics, customers now need a better much faster response and their expectations and demands are changing rapidly, and so must your approach towards your customer base. Delivering a better experience during these times requires a better focus and agility.
Consumers spent $601.75 billion online in the U.S. in 2019, a 14.9% jump compared with 2018. Retail sales in physical stores and through catalog/call center merchants increased 3.8% last year. This means eCommerce now accounts for 16.0% of total retail sales after factoring out the sale of items not normally purchased online, such as fuel, automobiles, and sales in restaurants, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of the Commerce Department’s year-end data.
Since the year 2020 started, the model for success has been tossed upside down, charts fell on its head. None of the industries or businesses have been spared, in retail stores foot traffic is still down significantly overall. While stores are still trying to get back on their feet with various measures to retain their customers with personal shopper experience to virtual shopping assistance through video calling facility, contactless payment, and doorstep delivery facility, including micro-changes in stores like handwritten signs, markings on the floor, masks and sanitizer handouts and much more. Some retailers are even experimenting with store-front greeters to help customers with proper navigation about the changes they have made in the store to improve safety and hygiene. The McKinsey report suggests that customers have shifted to private label brands from stores like Target, Amazon, and Aldi on products ranging from paper towels and garbage bags to cheeses and clothing, etc.
While retail stores are struggling, e-commerce continues to spell disruption and is experiencing robust gains. Due to the health hazards consumers are opting more for online purchases and are preferring to stay home and get their purchased items delivered to their doorsteps, contactless.
A recent McKinsey study suggests that identified 46% of U.S. consumers switching retailers or brands in the past few months.
So, what does this statistic indicate to retailers?
In simple words, retail leaders now need to re-win their most ardent customer base, and at the same time also ensuring that they keep attracting and retaining new customers.
Generally, customer loyalty is driven by great customer experiences that fit their buying inclinations. Retaining customers to stick with your brand has become a challenge on a whole new level and adopting a digital mode of conduct will be preferred altogether along with a focus shift on improved customer experience. Retails are focusing more on customer feedback in order to improve services and retain customers and drive loyalty.
To boost profits, all the prime retailers are testing & trying every innovation with a faster approach along with immediate customer feedback and linking it to metrics like NPS for better and more improved recovery. With most of the retailers already having a feedback management system setup with them, retail leaders are simply channelizing innovations in their stores asking feedback for a greater contingent understanding. From the feedback data collected, they can then estimate the impact to enhance the customer shopping experience and the evident conclusions. Shifting focus on customer feedback and with various metrics like NPS, CSAT, etc., it becomes easier to validate the next steps for delivering a better customer experience.For Example: With the help of Feedback data, Dropthought helped a leading bookseller company to generate an average of 2057 actionable insights in a month. Immediately after deploying DT, the bookseller company saw an uprise in the NPS score from the first month. Scores & overall insights impacted merchandising decisions, call center actions, e-commerce & online marketing.
At DT we believe that to build a sustainable relationship with a customer, we must value their feedback. We believe in building a situation-based and feedback-centric customer engagement plan that will not only help retailers to leverage the data collected abundantly but also if done right this can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your customers intact and keep the revenue bar up and running. Your customers can express their opinions through the surveys and provide suggestions about your staff, product, and services, and more throughout their customer journey. By doing this you are better able to retain your current customers, give a boost to customer-first culture, and identify key elements that promote a healthy and improved customer experience.