When it comes to growing your customer base and earning repeat business from consumers, customer experience is everything. In an increasingly mobile and digital marketplace, there is a growing demand for retailers to become a multi-channel to meet the needs of buyers on the go.
Let’s take a look at 4 Ways Retailers Can Improve the Customer Experience:
Customers dread long lines in store, distant delivery dates online and difficulty locating the items they want. The goal of any multi-channel retailer should be to maximize convenience for the customer. The easier you make it for them to locate the items they want, purchase them quickly, and get them home, the sooner they can start building trust in your brand. If every step of the purchasing process is bogged down with wait times and frustration, your customer experience needs improvement.
A fully integrated multi-channel retailer will be able to track customer purchases across all of the various outlets available to them. This means that your company can build a profile for customers who make purchases in store and online, consolidate the data into one solid overview, and create marketing targeted toward that individual’s tastes and preferences. Customers who received personalized advertising that showcases their favorite brands and products are more likely to click through to make additional purchases.
In the past, a multi-channel retailer was faced with trying to balance in store sales with online sales. Oftentimes companies had a fragmented system that included a separate online retailing operation that did not work hand in hand with store associates. This became a problem when customers were faced with what appeared to be two completely independent organizations operating under the same name. Today this issue has been resolved by integrating both sides of the business into a shared database so that brick and mortar stores can access online order information, process returns on site, and provide a more consistent customer service experience to the customer. Customers are no longer forced to spend hours on the phone with sales reps for their online orders, and make a separate trip to the store for local purchases.
Any multi-channel retailer will have to decide how to handle inventory control issues. The benefit of multi-channel methods is that it provides more up to the minute information to store associates, customers and warehouses about what which items are available locally and which ones will need to be ordered online. Customers can save time and gas money by checking inventory levels from their phones or home computers before they even leave the house.
Multi-channel retailing is here to stay, and it can be leveraged to greatly improve the customer experience in multiple ways. Happy customers are more likely to respond favorably to future marketing campaigns and return to your store after having a positive experience. Retailers can also benefit operationally by having access to more customer data and important inventory information that will better help them serve their customer base.