With summer now officially upon us, it’s time to take a look at some of the great Customer Experience (CX) stories that caught our eye recently.
The state of omnichannel shopping behavior. The different technological trends impacting the Retail industry. The impact of your website’s loading speed on its success. Here are just some of the CX stories, articles, and stats you should check out as we step into the second half of 2019.
The purchase experience is becoming increasingly omnichannel
What are the chances you took out your smartphone to look at product reviews while at the store, or price shopped online before trekking to the store?
Odds are, you take part in some omnichannel behavior when shopping, according to recent research.
As reported by eMarketer, a study by RetailMeNot found that 69 percent of US shoppers prefer looking at customer reviews on their smartphone than speaking to a store associate. This was followed by “finding information on comparable products” (58 percent) and “product specifications” (53 percent).
“Finding information on the return policy/product warranty” (33 percent), on the other hand, is where shoppers were most likely to turn to store associates.
Also, research from CouponFollow found that only 39 percent of US Millennials prefer to browse and purchase online only. This shows that the in-store experience still plays a key part in this group’s shopping experience.
Annette Franz, Founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc., recently delved into great detail about how “customer understanding is the cornerstone of customer-centricity”, where they highlight the importance of listening, characterizing and empathizing with your customers.
With this in mind, it’s essential for brands striving to offer great omnichannel experiences to have the tools in place to measure both the online and offline experience across the customer journey. This means determining their customers’ needs, expectations, and preferences at each stage of their journey. These insights are key to their Customer Experience Management (CEM)
Retailers look to digitize the in-store experience to stand out
Speaking of the omnichannel experience – this is something that many brands, particularly retailers, are looking to beef up and use as a way to differentiate themselves. Gartner has reported that 81 percent of companies now compete based on Customer Experience. This means that brands must now look as to how they can deliver exceptional CX.
CMO.com looked at some of the trends impacting retailers, one of which is empowering customers to do more in-store, and make their in-store visit more memorable, enjoyable and, ideally, productive.
Whether it’s using VR or AR to visualize products in unique ways, or using smartphones to more easily find items in nearby stores, or even finding ways to upsell customers already picking up an order in-store after using BOPIS (buy online / pick up in-store), technology is enabling retailers to flex their creative muscles to offer experiences to their customers that stand out from the crowd.
Among the other trends examined include how many retailers are:
- Increasingly leveraging progressive web apps (PWAs) as a way to curtail lagging conversion rates on Mobile
- Using more resources to nurture the post-purchase experience and build loyalty
It’s exciting to think about what retail will look like just five years from now. One thing is for sure, however. It will be essential for retailers to listen to their in-store customers to determine how well these new technologies and approaches are helping them meet their needs, wherever they may be in the customer journey.
Millennials expect more from brands than other groups… and quicker too
Millennials are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers in the US in 2019. In other words, brands can't take Millennials for granted.
In an article for Forbes, Nicole Martin (NR Digital Consulting) looked at research by Adobe that found how Millennial’s expectations of the CX are higher than ever before. Martin asserts that this key group craves instant gratification more than other age groups, alluding to how Adobe found nine out of 10 Millennials share their bad experiences with others, either online or offline.
To deliver great CX at every stage of the customer journey for their Millennial audience, brands must understand what they need and expect at each of these stages. Just as important, they need to tap into this need for instant gratification when it makes sense.
For example, engaging customers right after a bad experience to try and remedy any issues they experiences can go a long way to turning a bad situation into a good one. Or at least improve it, at the very least. That’s why having the measures in place to collect customer feedback across the customer journey, and to close the feedback loop whenever necessary, can be critical to a brand’s overall CEM efforts.
Infographic you should check out: How Speed Affects Your Website
How often have you left a website or stopped using an app because of how (excruciatingly) slow it was? You’re not the only one, and it can have massive repercussions for brands who don’t fix this issue.
Multichannel Merchant featured a massive infographic by HostingTribunal.com that shares a comprehensive list of stats that highlight just how much slow loading times can impact your website (and in some cases, your bottom line).
Some of the stats that stood out to us include how:
- 75 percent of users won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load after four seconds
- 79 percent of users are less likely to buy from a site again if they experienced a bad website performance
- Of those who had a negative shopping experience, 43 percent of buyers will go to a competitor next time
iperceptions Blog Post: Closing the Customer Feedback Loop: 6 Essential Elements You Need
Closing the feedback loop is as important as collecting feedback itself. Some would argue that it’s even more critical, especially when dealing with a customer at risk of switching to a competitor as a result of a poor experience.
Closing the customer feedback loop effectively and promptly means putting in place a few measures to ensure poor experiences have less time to linger and percolate in the minds of your customers.
Kathleen Browne, Applied Analytics Strategist at iperceptions, recently looked at six key ingredients brands need to put in place to effectively close the loop with their customers, and minimize the amount of time that poor experiences linger in the minds of customers. From the way you collect customer feedback to what you use to track your closed-loop feedback efforts, this post provides a recipe every CX professional should check out.
Banner image source: bruce mars on Pexels