Hermes explores the benefits of a seamless shopping experience and why getting the customer journey right and all the experiences along the way is more important than ever.
The Future of Retail report, which was recently published in The Sunday Times, contained an excellent article on the importance of the whole customer experience. It pointed out that retailers must provide a seamless shopping experience whether it is for online or in-store shopping – or risk losing sales.
This need to have an omnichannel approach has been well documented within the retail sector but this article also pointed out, quite rightly, that customers are increasingly omnichannel too. This obviously reflects the way in which they actually purchase, with many choosing to buy both in store and online through a number of different devices depending on factors such as mood, time constraints, convenience and location.
However, it also refers to the increasing number of ‘touchpoints’ a consumer will have with a retailer or brand before purchase such as browsing, gathering ideas, checking product details and prices. A report commissioned by WebLoyalty found that, just 15 years ago, the average consumer typically used two touchpoints before buying an item and today they use an average of almost five touchpoints. It seems that research is increasingly important with consumers now spending 97 minutes thinking about a high value purchase compared with 38 minutes in 2000, according to stats from DigitasLBI.
Getting that customer experience right at every touchpoint is key, not only in terms of the immediate sales, but because of the loyalty it engenders, which can translate into positive endorsement and repeat purchases. In fact the customer journey and all the experiences along the way can be a key brand differentiator that may well be as important as price and product.
At Hermes we understand that home delivery is a vital part of this journey and as a business we have been investing heavily in both our infrastructure and our people as we focus heavily on the customer experience. We work closely with our customers to ensure that our services are aligned with their overall approach and strategy.
Our recent advertising campaign entitled ‘Send-sational’, highlights our industry leading 98.2% first-time delivery rate and the benefits of our local courier network. We have also set up a section on our main Hermes website that features videos of our clients’ customers talking about their experiences of Hermes’ deliveries.
Keeping control of the quality of the elements of the customer journey is no doubt a key challenge for retailers moving forward, particularly when it involves third parties. Getting the right partners in place has never been more important.
- Mark Pettit is commercial director at Hermes