Customers’ journeys are more complicated and varied than ever before. Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey on different channels, including online marketplaces and social media, and then frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, both online and in-store. The challenge for brands is to lure these consumers in at every touchpoint with optimized content and messaging—and it’s not easy, but new research from retail management consulting firm BRP reveals some news insights into engaging the modern shopper.
According to the firm’s new 2018 Digital Commerce Survey, 51 percent of consumers feel it’s important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand. Retailers recognize the importance of the cross-channel, personalized customer experience, as their top digital customer experience priorities are creating a consistent brand experience across channels (57 percent) and improving personalization (38 percent).
“The new retail model requires retailers to transform their business and reinvent themselves to create a successful blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain their customers’ loyalty,” said Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, in a news release. “New and innovative methods of shopping—driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods—are elevating customer expectations. The speed of these changes requires organizational agility to quickly and easily react to increasing customer expectations and changing consumer behavior.”
The challenge for retailers is to “keep up” with continually evolving customer expectations
The growth of mobile is driving demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization in the store. The gap between consumer demand for digital experiences and retailers’ current capabilities is what we call the “great digital divide,” and is driving additional changes in the industry.
BRP conducted the 2018 Digital Commerce Benchmarking Survey to understand the current retail challenges and available opportunities as we face the future of retail. This report compares retailers’ priorities with customer expectations—based on results from Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations report conducted by Incisiv and sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise—to understand how retailer priorities are aligning with customer expectations.
Key findings from the new report:
Effective customer engagement requires retailers to know whom the customer is to be able to offer personalized, relevant, compelling and consistent services across channels.
- 51 percent of consumers feel it is important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand
- 18 percent of retailers are currently utilizing customer identifying technology in the store and within three years, 79 percent plan to use it to personalize the experience
Retailers realize that mobile devices are ubiquitous and recognize that a mobile device in the customer’s hands holds tremendous opportunities to enhance the customer experience across channels.
- 75 percent of consumers use digital tools prior to their in-store visit and mobile devices are leveraged in 46% of in-store shopping experiences
- 67 percent of retailers provide online customer reviews to influence and drive purchases and 76 percent will extend mobile offers to customers in the store within three years
Through augmented reality (AR), innovative retailers are inspiring their customers and offering them the ability to see what a product looks like in their home or even on their body.
- 48 percent of consumers would be more likely to shop at a retailer that utilizes augmented reality
- 32 percent of retailers will utilize augmented reality within three years