Posts

Customer experience – doubling down

Essential Retail – Retail is evolving rapidly – no big secret. It seems an eternity since retailers’ main challenges were ‘just’ delivering excellent customer service and ensuring product availability. Compared to yester-year, today’s smartphone-clutching consumer can shop anywhere, at any time, for almost anything. They have a wealth of information available to inform their choice of products and services. And whatever they purchase, they can often take delivery, consume and enjoy it at a time and place of their choosing.

“The digital world is infiltrating bricks and mortar stores where consumers want full transparency on product pricing and availability. Miss a step on any of these data points, and your customer can immediately shop the competition, even while still in your store. This is the new normal.” – The Future Store Manifesto, BRP, retail consulting firm.

When combined with mobile apps, and mobile loyalty programmes; “…these technologies enable identification of the customer before they make a purchase decision, which allows the retailer to tailor the shopping experience and influence the purchase decision” – BRP.

Read Full Article: Customer experience – doubling down

Most in-store shoppers anonymous until checkout: Report

Fibre2Fashion – Customer identification is the first step necessary to personalise the shopping experience, yet most in-store shoppers are anonymous until they check out, according to a recent report. It further adds that merely 13 per cent of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store and another 10 per cent identify customers pre-checkout.

Retailers fare better online, as 30 per cent identify customers when they enter the website and another 30 per cent identify customers pre-checkout, as per the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey by BRP, an innovative retail consulting firm.

“While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalised experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president, BRP, retail consulting firm. “Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalisation and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store. This is tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – turning anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.”

Read Full Article: Most in-store shoppers anonymous until checkout: Report

Turn Anonymous Customers into Loyal Customers

At what point in the shopping journey do you identify your customers? If it is not until they reach the checkout, you might be in the majority, but that is too late to influence their purchase decisions.

Creating a more personalized shopping experience is one of the highest priorities retailers are facing, and the first step towards that personalization is customer identification.  However, an inability to identify customers early means that most in-store shoppers are essentially anonymous until they check out. According to BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, only 13% of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store and another 10% identify customers pre-checkout. Retailers fare better online, as 30% identify customers when they enter the website and another 30% identify customers pre-checkout.

While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalized experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers. Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalization and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store. This is a tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – turning anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.

The logical question is: How can I identify customers before they get to the checkout? As with most challenges in 2018, there are both technology and business process solutions to address this gap.  From a technology perspective, the most effective solution lies with your customers themselves – the fact that nearly all of them will be walking into your stores with mobile devices. Many retailers are taking advantage of this by using in-store WiFi as a way to capture customer sign-on information, while others are using their mobile app log-ins, or identifying customers by their MAC addresses on those devices. From a process perspective, forward-thinking retailers are providing their associates with mobile devices and placing them on the sales floor in order to increase their engagement with customers and to capture information early in the shopping visit to provide suggestive sell recommendations or other purchase incentives.

Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities, such as clienteling and guided selling, which can increase sales and deliver an enhanced customer experience. Even more concerning is that 20% of retailers still have no ability to identify their customers in the store, even at checkout, which eliminates any opportunities for improving the post-purchase experience or customer loyalty.

Are you identifying your customers early and personalizing their shopping experience? What ways have you found most effective for capturing customer information?

As always, I am interested in your opinions on this topic.  Please share your comments below.

Ryan

Retailers’ in-store customer identification efforts are lagging

Chain Store Age – Customer identification is the first step to personalizing the shopping experience, yet most customers remain anonymous until they check out. Only 13% of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store, and another 10% identify customers pre-checkout, according to the “2018 Customer Experience/ Unified Commerce Survey” from Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm.

“While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalized experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, senior VP, Boston Retail Partners.

“Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalization and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store,” he added. “This is a tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – and turn anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.”

Read full article: Retailers’ in-store customer identification efforts are lagging

Customer Identification Key to Creating Personalized Shopping

Convenience Store Decisions – BRP finds customer identification in the store continues to challenge most retailers. How well do you know your customers? Customer identification is the first step necessary to personalize the shopping experience, yet most in-store shoppers are anonymous until they check out.

According to BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, only 13% of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store and another 10% identify customers pre-checkout. Retailers fare better online, as 30% identify customers when they enter the website and another 30% identify customers pre-checkout.

“While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalized experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president, BRP, retail consulting firm. “Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalization and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store. This is tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – turning anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.”

Read Full Article: Customer Identification Key to Creating Personalized Shopping

Customer Identification is Key to Personalizing the Shopping Experience, Yet Most Customers are Anonymous until Checkout at Stores

Only 23% of Retailers Identify Customers Before Checkout in Stores Compared to 60% Online, According to BRP Report

Boston, MA – October 17, 2018– Customer identification is the first step necessary to personalize the shopping experience, yet most in-store shoppers are anonymous until they check out. According to BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, only 13% of retailers identify customers when they walk in the store and another 10% identify customers pre-checkout. Retailers fare better online, as 30% identify customers when they enter the website and another 30% identify customers pre-checkout.

“While most online retailers are able to identify customers early in the browsing process in order to create a more personalized experience, identifying customers in the store continues to be a challenge for most brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president, BRP. “Those online experiences have heightened customer expectations for personalization and they now expect the same level of service while shopping in a store. This is tremendous opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience – turning anonymous shoppers into loyal customers.”

It is critical to identify the customer early, as soon as they enter the store or begin researching online. This allows retailers to personalize the experience and influence customers’ shopping behaviors. Unfortunately, in most cases customer identification still happens at the point of checkout in the store, which is too late to empower associates to influence the current purchase decision. Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities, such as clienteling and guided selling, which can increase sales and deliver an enhanced customer experience. Even more concerning that 20% of retailers still have no ability to identify their customers in the store, even at checkout, which eliminates any opportunities for improving the post-purchase experience or customer loyalty.

To download 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey, visit: https://brpconsulting.com/download/2018-unified-commerce-survey/

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks

Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Retailers Want Your Data: Here’s How They Get It

PC Mag – If you’re a business owner, knowing your audience is key. But how best to collect data on customers? According to Boston Retail Partners, 37 percent of retailers use more personalized service as an incentive to have consumers identify themselves, while another 37 percent offer no incentives at all. About 30 percent offer product-based incentives (such as buy one-get one free), while others dangle easy returns or exchanges—if you sign up for an account.

The more a retailer knows about you—from products you’ve purchased to those you’ve browsed, favorited, or put in your cart for later—the easier it is for them to find ways to get more of your dollars. There is a whole industry filled with products, information services, and agencies designed to reconcile and act on much of the anonymous browsing conducted on retailer websites.

Read Full Article: Retailers Want Your Data: Here’s How They Get It

Most Retailers Haven’t Mastered Personalization Yet

eMarketer – Much has been written about value exchange and the push-pull of consumers’ willingness to give up personal info for personalization, offers or other supposed special treatment. Many US internet users, however, are reluctant to reveal anything more than their name and email address to marketers. 

At the minimum, a retailer should be able to discern and differentiate a consumer at some point during a shopping journey. An April 2018 BRP (Boston Retail Partners) survey of retailers in North America found very different capacities for identifying customers in-store vs. online. That’s not completely surprising since digital activity has been easier historically to track than behavior in-store.

Read Full Article: Most Retailers Haven’t Mastered Personalization Yet 

What are the Best Location-based Services Technologies to Enhance the Shopping Experience?

Within the last few years, a plethora of new location-based services (LBS) have been created for retail applications, however, selecting the right technology for retail applications can be an overwhelming task. To help retailers navigate the sea of options, BRP published this white paper: Cracking the Code – Deciphering Retail Location-Based Services Technology. 

Why are Location-Based Services Important?LBS_White_Paper_Cover

Location-based services are critical to identifying customers as they enter the store, which creates the best opportunity for retailers to personalize the customer’s shopping experience through clienteling and guided selling. In Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey, 53% of retailers plan to have the ability to identify customers when they walk in the store via their smartphones within five years. That’s an 883% increase over the 6% who indicated they could already identify their customer in this way. Understanding the different technologies and how to best utilize them in conjunction with the customers’ smartphone is critical for the future store.

Deciphering the Key Technologies

With the growing interest in LBS technology comes a complicated path for selecting the optimal system. Coupled with the ever-increasing capabilities of LBS, even the savviest ‘techies’ have been left wrestling with the challenges of deciphering this complex technology. This white paper provides an overview of the nuances of the various LBS options and the pros and cons of the respective retail applications. The primary location-based technologies assessed in the white paper include: GPS, Wi-Fi, RFID, NFC and Bluetooth.

I encourage you to download and read the complete white paper to learn more about location-based technologies.

DOWNLOAD NOW:

Cracking the Code – Deciphering Retail Location-Based Services Technology

As always, I appreciate your insights and comments on this topic. Please share your comments below.

David