Delivering Positive Online & Superb In-Store Experiences to Increase Repeat Business – Part 1

Thanks for shoppingOnline sales in lifestyle and fashion brands may be soaring, but retailers have to balance the risk of pushing customers away through the excessive or inappropriate use of their personal data while trying to engage.  The “tyranny of the algorithm” is how one senior retail executive described it. 

As retailers pour money into developing online and digital marketing techniques, the basic concepts of great customer service and the importance of delivering a positive and memorable in-store experience should not be forgotten.

Taking Advantage of Your Customer is Bad For Business

As customers, our online shopping experience is no doubt improved through the use of algorithms to identify our needs and to guide us smoothly through the purchasing process.  At least, this is the theory.  It can be very frustrating, however, when a one-off transaction turns into an unwanted long-term relationship.

Personal data captured during the original purchase can be used repeatedly to remind customers about other purchases or to offer complementary products – and of course, this means that customers can be bombarded with ads and recommendations every time they go online.

This is not only irritating to customers, when they have already bought the product they wanted, but can be damaging to the retail brand as well. 

Clicking the buy now buttonThere is much hype about the rapid growth in digital and online sales, yet retail information specialist Verdict claims that online sales currently represent only around 13% of total sales (this figure is set to reach 17% by 2020). 

The fact is that a growing number of customers will research products and check prices online before visiting the store to inspect a product’s physical attributes – and so in most cases, the purchase is made at the store.

According to PwC, “the steady growth of online sales is breathing new life into the physical stores of some retailers” – all the more reason why your in-store experience should deliver a superb customer service that encourages repeat business. 

Championing Customers Service With Your In-store Experience

In-store queue busting can be a crucial part of this. We all recognise that feeling of dismay when we see the length of a queue and the frustration as you wonder with growing impatience how long it will be before you just turn around and walk out.

Customer paying at the store tillSo speed at the till is crucial. The customer who walks out may complete their purchase online. But once online there is every likelihood that they will be lured away from your website and may complete their purchase elsewhere.

Thinking like a customer and developing the store accordingly should remain at the core of everything you do. That means engaged and informed staff to champion customer service but at the same time queue-cutting technology at the till to free up staff time, capturing customer data, and empowering staff to provide useful advice.

The Correct Stock in The Right Place at The Right Time

To support this approach, Futura’s retail management technology has predictive stock control to ensure that out-of-stock products and empty shelves are a thing of the past and that the right colours and fringe sizes – based on intelligent analysis – are readily available.

Retailers such as Lulu Guinness, Cath Kidston, and Oliver Bonas already use this technology and are benefitting accordingly from improved management control, stock allocations and merchandise planning.

Futura will be attending this years Retail Technology Expo (RBTE), drop by and see us on stand 556 or if you would prefer to pre-book a meeting please don’t hesitate to contact us.
   We look forward to seeing you.

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