As Brits reach for their smartphones to ‘go shopping’, retailers need to be thinking mobile-first to provide those perfect customer experiences.
The state of the high street and retail spend in general is changing, but one particularly significant figure is that nearly half of online orders (48%) were made via mobile last Christmas – that’s up from 29% in 2017, according to Salesforce research.
Consumer behaviour has shifted and this is an indication of the importance of mobile in the wider context of the customer journey.
Every shopping experience must be personalised – and this needs to be intuitive and readily available anywhere and at any time.
“A flurry of customers are now turning to alternative channels to shop, and we’re not far off asking Alexa to actually place an order”
While I spend a fair share of my time researching online for purchases, a flurry of customers are now turning to alternative channels to shop, such as Instagram, and we are also not far off asking Alexa to actually place an order.
This explosion of channels demands a new way of thinking as customer expectations continue to evolve.
Experience builds loyalty
Whether a customer returns to a store again – either physically or digitally – is dependent on the level of service they received during their previous visit.
Anticipating and delivering what the customer wants is crucial in today's competitive retail landscape.
We've seen time and time again the impact on a brand when customer expectations are met, let alone exceeded. We also know that one bad experience can have huge implications on brand image and reputation.
Make it personal and mobile-first
Personalisation can be achieved through smart marketing, merchandising and service that creates unique experiences.
The aim is to create a moment so seamless that the customer is happy to repeat it. A potential customer’s mobile device is the perfect way to bring this to life.
“66% of digital traffic across retail came from a mobile and more than half of this number went ahead and placed an order”
UK shoppers are the most mobile in Europe.
Last quarter, 66% of digital traffic across retail came from a mobile device and our research revealed that more than half of this number (51%) actually went ahead and placed an order, compared to the global average of 45%.
It's clear to see that UK retailers need to be mobile-first when it comes to their 2019 strategy or they risk being left behind.
Making tech work for the customer
Through artificial intelligence technologies retailers can recommend products based on their understanding of the customer and also predict what they might need, before they even realise they need it.
With the right tech tools, retailers can impact efficiency right across the board, from seamlessly managing stock levels to ensuring every interaction with the brand is memorable.
It's this marriage of technology, marketing and service that has the power to create customers who are not only loyal but become advocates of the brand.
“Whether it’s buying a gift or treating yourself, the concept of going shopping has changed and the challenge for retailers is to keep one step ahead”
By understanding them at every part of their journey, retailers can become customers’ very own personal shoppers.
They can make their experience more enjoyable, but also easier.
Whether it’s buying a gift or treating yourself, the concept of going shopping has changed and the challenge for retailers is to keep one step ahead to meet customers’ needs.
That's the real opportunity: to turn those wandering customers into your most loyal.
For any retailer looking to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty in 2019, their next steps should be to review logistics processes and look at retail technology that can help improve data quality.
Jamie Merrick, director, strategic solutions, Salesforce Commerce Cloud