Last week, the e-commerce giant OTTO rolled out a new feature that aims to further improve the usefulness of product reviews. The focus is on strengthening the customer experience, making the purchase decision process easier and more seamless and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. The customer is at the centre of this and further developments because, as we know, a customer-centric approach is a must to stay competitive in times of digitalisation.
This is only one example of how companies are adapting to the new demands of the digital shopper. But what other strategies and aspects should retailers take into account in order not to lag behind and disconnect from their customers?
Customers speak Mobile
The smartphone is an extension of many people’s bodies and many cannot live without one. In Germany a large majority of millennials buy via mobile (73 %) and 3 out of 4 elderly people own a smartphone (72 %). Since the online shopper becomes mobile, retailers are called to act accordingly.
Simply adjusting the website to smaller screens it is not enough anymore to differentiate yourself from competition and retain customers. It is not a surprise that many retailers have lost their connection with part of their customer base because of this. Instead, the way to follow is to understand the customer journey and to figure out where, when and how potential and existing customers can be reached.
According to the Adobe report “2017 Digital Trends in Retail”, 62 per cent of companies want to increase the budget for mobile marketing this year and 57 per cent plan to invest in email marketing. Other digital disciplines under consideration were social media marketing and search functions. Context-based marketing and push notifications are also in vogue.
Relevant data enable better personalisation
One of the ways to understand customer behaviour and improve customer experiences is to effectively use all the data generated by delivering personalised offerings and omnichannel shopping experiences.
Zalando is one of the best examples to describe how retailers can benefit from a mobile, data-driven culture. Their app is a monument to usability, best-in-class personalisation and cutting-edge features: Customer can take photos of street style looks and find similar ones in the app as well as receive recommendations based on favourite brands and previous purchases.
Rumour has it that Zalando has set the stage for taking the leap to the stationary world, what confirms the big bet the Berlin company is placing on expanding their channels. In another field, Spotify have been captivating their eager listeners thanks to the new personalised mix tapes.
Be open to new technology and try out
The third pillar of every retailer’s digital strategy is technology. Advanced technology helps organisations and humans to continue to make progress. Brands and retailers that are leading the way towards innovation don’t hesitate to experiment with new solutions and test their effects on customers.
Adidas is equipping some of its stores with high technology and tracks the results. For example: They have installed interactive displays that produce 90 per cent of awareness and are connected to a mobile app, or deliver well-tailored services through low-cost body scanners.
Step by step, chatbots are being implemented by retailers to reduce costs and improve the quality of customer services: speediness and recommendations. Artificial intelligence in combination with the appropriate data can help retailers to build strong and excellent customer relationships. Virtual reality and augmented reality are also in the spotlight.