September has come and gone, and fall is already upon us. 2017 is seemingly flying us by, and as companies gear up towards a busy Q4, many more great articles and stats about the Customer Experience (CX) were released in September. Here are just some that caught our eye.
Holiday retail sales are expected to increase this year
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is only a few weeks away! Retailers will be put through the paces during this time (more so than usual, at least), and it appears that they can expect a growth in revenue compared to last year’s holiday season.
As reported by eMarketer, Deloitte and AlixPartners project that holiday sales between November 2017 and January 2018 will see a boost of 4 to 4.5 percent over last year’s figures, which could amount to about $1.05 trillion. Online sales are predicted to make up about 11 percent of all retail sales, or about $114 billion.
With that kind of money on the line, it’s more crucial than ever for retailers to offer a seamless and intuitive Customer Experience, both online and in-store.
Voice-controlled devices to play larger role in holiday purchases
Speaking of the upcoming holiday period, a technology that will play a considerably larger part in many shoppers’ experience are voice-controlled devices.
As part of their ‘The Future of Retail 2017 Holiday Report’, Walker Sands state that 24 percent of frequent holiday shoppers confirmed that they either “often” or “always” make purchases using voice-controlled devices, such as the Amazon Echo. In addition, 44 percent of all frequent holiday shoppers stated that they were somewhat or very likely to purchase a product using a voice-controlled device in the next year.
Every year, more shoppers leverage new or emerging technologies in the hopes of an improved, personalized or more convenient shopping experience, and voice-controlled devices are no exception. As a result, retailers are always on the hunt for new retail technology trends to meet these ever-evolving expectations, and offer an optimal customer experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can drastically impact your CX program
With the proliferation of IoT, including the connected and voice-controlled devices mentioned above, many companies are changing the way they think about the way they tackle the customer experience. After all, the convenience of this technology is impacting what people expect from their shopping experience.
CMSWire examined the implications of IoT on customer expectations, and how companies must adjust to meet these new expectations. A great point made in the article was how even companies who do not offer any IoT-capable devices are impacted by these evolving customer expectations. As well, some CX capabilities that were once considered "revolutionary", much like how IoT is being seen by many now, can eventually become capabilities that all customers expect from companies, and no longer hold as much impact as they used to.
These are factors that all companies must consider, and adjust accordingly to make sure their CX program remains effective and successful.
Customer-centricity and C-Suite buy-in are crucial to CX success
There are countless factors that can play into whether a CX program will be a success or if it will fall flat. Every organization is unique, so unfortunately, there is not a specific formula to creating the right CX program for you. However, there are certain items that all organizations should do, or not do, to make sure their CX program doesn’t fail from day one.
MyCustomer produced seven deadly sins that all organizations should avoid during their CX transformation journey to make sure their program stays on track and keeps momentum over the long term. Among these sins were Worthlessness, which speaks to having a lack of buy-in from your C-Suite, while another deadly sin mentioned was Heedlessness, or not identifying and focusing your efforts on what matters most to your customers.
Naturally, all CX programs must put the customer’s needs front and center. Throughout your entire CX transformation journey, it is crucial to have a system in place where you can continuously gather customer feedback and always keep a finger on the pulse of their experiences, as well as track their evolving needs and expectations so you can align your CX program more effectively over time.
Infographic of the month: An Inside Look at The Habits of Millennial Shoppers
Millennials are not only spending more and more every year, but they are also using the latest technologies to do so, which is leading companies to try and adjust as quickly as Millennials’ expectations are evolving. To know how to appease to Millennials’ shopping habits, it’s crucial to gather as much information on this crucial generation of shoppers as possible.
MarketingProfs reported on an infographic published by MergeIn, who generated a detailed infographic that compiles data that examine Millennials’ shopping habits. From being significantly more likely than other generations to make a purchase using smartphones, to being highly likely to use their phones for shopping assistance while in a store (84%), this infographic provides some key stats that provide a good introduction to this increasingly impactful generation and how they approach the shopping process.
Blog post of the month: CX Metric Series - Visitor Intent
Motivation is the fuel that drives all our actions. Every decision we make is based on a complex series of pros, cons and what-if’s, which ultimately lead us to take a specific action. When you’re looking for ways to optimize the performance of your digital properties, whether it’s a website or a mobile app, you must first consider what your individual visitors are looking to accomplish while they’re there.
This month, William Braün, Director of Analytics at iperceptions, looked at how the Visitor Intent metric is crucial in helping you understand your visitors’ needs and expectations so you can tailor your efforts around this knowledge, and the key role that customer feedback plays in confirming why your visitors are on your website.
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