The results of the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey by Boston Retail Partners are in. The findings reveal that in several areas of the customer experience, there are significant gaps between customer expectations and the current priorities of many retailers. These gaps also present a significant area of opportunity. Every step in the customer journey offers an opportunity for retailers to engage patrons and strengthen the retailer-customer relationship.
As the industry enters an age of customer-centric retailing, retailers are searching for ways to enhance the customer experience through digital transformation. The walls separating “brick and click” are coming down and the most proactive retailers are abandoning siloed-commerce systems for unified commerce platforms. Most retailers still have a long way to go, but if their transformations are successful, they may see an increase in market share.
Download this whitepaper to learn more about the fives areas of the customer experience that were examined in this survey; what customers’ expectations are and how close (or far) the industry is to meeting those expectations.
- Education – Customers are doing their research. Going online to research products and brands beforehand, checking reviews/ratings, and interacting with their friends for recommendations. How are retailers facilitating this process?
- Engagement – More and more, retailers are saving purchase histories for customers, and taking note of personal preferences for each individual patron. More and more, customers want and prefer this if it means an easier checkout process, or if they gain access to a more personalized customer experience. How are retailers using this information as a “hook” to reel customers in?
- Execution – Once a customer has done their research, and a retailer has engaged them, the success or failure of the shopping experience is determined by the execution of an order or purchase. What kind of cross channel capabilities do retailers currently have, do they match customer expectations?
- Enhancement – Retailers are trying to find ways to improve and enhance the in-store customer experience. With hyper-discerning customers of the technology age, it’s increasingly important that retailers do so. How many plan to improve their in-store experiences, and how do they plan to gather customer feedback necessary to do it?
- Enablement – Retailers who intend to meet customer expectations will need to have a robust and capable technology stack. It’s the foundation of the modern customer shopping experience. Custom integrations and patchwork configurations of disparate systems are not cutting it. The solution is unified commerce with a single platform that supports all customer touch points and store processes. How close are retailers to implementation of such systems?