What strategies should retailers implement in 2021 to promote a better customer experience?
Closer scrutiny of the global retail scenario will reveal how the industry has undergone a dramatic evolution over the years. With the passage of time, brands have come up with new and innovative marketing strategies. Consumer behavior and even customer experience have undergone radical changes. Almost every customer today is more informed and technology savvy than ever before. To add to that, with the emergence of e-retailers and e-commerce platforms, customer experience has transformed drastically.
The retail landscape and the COVID-19 pandemic
The events of 2020 have had a far-reaching impact on the evolution of customer experience. The pandemic reinforced the importance of digitization in the minds of retailers and customers alike. With the enforcement of lockdowns all over the world, online sales skyrocketed. Studies predict this trend to further rise in the post-COVID world.
In 2020, we saw several retailers reaching out to their customers through virtual platforms and select offline touchpoints. Retailers who embraced technology have reportedly experienced an increase in their sales. This will further evolve in 2021, and marked by more developments in the retail industry, the relationship between retailers and customers could undergo more changes.
The needs of consumers – when it comes to purchasing new products or services – will never be the same in the next normal. Retailers should personalize their services more, and their strategies need to be well-thought-out and highly competitive. With more innovators penetrating the market, retailers need to be mindful of the fact that, unless they can ensure unique and positive customer experiences through their offerings, they might be ousted by competition just as easily.
Five quick strategies to improving customer experience in retail
Customers are the backbone of any business. Winning their trust and satisfaction is paramount to retaining their loyalty in the long run. Businesses understand the importance of customer retention and why it is absolutely necessary to deliver to customer expectations – yet many fail. How can retailers deliver differentiated and powerful experiences in 2021 to keep customers from flocking to their rivals?
Here’s a quick starter guide for 2021.
1. Having an accessible and fully functional website is the first step.
Ever visited a website that’s full of unwanted pop-ups and keeps hanging every time you click something? Not twice, for sure. Slow-loading websites cost retailers billions in losses every year! This is why retailers should continuously test and upgrade their website performance. Every aspect of the website needs to be kept in check. This includes the fundamentals, like loading times, as well as the finer aspects, like accessibility for differently-abled persons. Google going mobile-first means websites should now also provide identical experiences on desktop and mobile apps – this one will be critical for 2021.
2. Every offering must be personalized and flexible.
Retailers are often privy to certain insights, like the purchasing preferences and browsing habits of their target customers. They must leverage this information to build products or services that are relevant to their customers. The product strategy should be tailor-built, focused on solving the challenges customers are facing or the unfulfilled needs they have. It must also be periodically revisited to accommodate rapidly changing customer preferences.
3. In the internet era, it pays to invest in new marketing trends.
Fuelled by YouTube, influencer marketing emerged as a trend over the last few years. As a digital marketing strategy, influencer marketing could really work wonders for your brand – provided it’s done right. Retailers can look at marketing trends that leverage next-gen technologies, like AI, AR/VR, webcasts, and live streaming, to call attention to their products and services.
4. Value-based packages and special offers still attract buyers.
Everyone loves a really good deal. Retailers are fast-realizing how easily bundled pricing and bulk subscription plans can be used to build traction with customers. Zero-EMI-based pricing, limited-time discount offers, and special occasion price slash can give products or services much-needed fillip, and they also help to keep the buzz alive!
5. Customer service continues to be a definitive factor.
A HubSpot study reveals: “62% of customers want to communicate with companies via email for customer service. 48% want to use the phone, 42% live chat, and 36% "Contact Us" forms." What does this mean? Customer service in 2021 needs to be omnichannel. If you’re not everywhere your customers are, you’re missing out on a lot of potential opportunities.
One sure-shot way to keep your product or service relevant to customers, while also building strong relationships with them, is through customer feedback. Instant feedback platforms, like Dropthought, can help retailers understand the needs and grievances of their customers better. The feedback obtained from customers should always be translated into action, especially if they suggest improvements or upgrades. Acting on them in a responsible manner helps build customer confidence – which is fundamental to the success of any brand.
At Dropthought 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 client engagement plan that will not only help businesses 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.
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