Part 4: Recommendations
Shoppers have been disrupted, forever changed by applied technology, and they like their new capabilities. In the digital space, they are having new and compelling experiences and they see how those concepts could work everywhere. They notice if something that delighted them in one place is missing from the next place, virtual or physical. Retailers must remember that customer expectations are set not just by other retailers, but also from any number of industries looking to connect with and delight their customers.
To that end, retailers must:
- Grant meaningful “places at the table” for online and mobile and embrace the differences in each medium. As consumers turn more and more to digital shopping, the ability to provide a rich and seamless experience from medium to medium will be critical to both attracting and retaining customers. Ability to have immediate one-on-one interactions will be increasingly important to continue the growth in digital transactions.
- Collect (or, by analytics, discern) insights to generate context and combine those customer insights with merchandising acumen to craft and execute hyper-personalized messaging. Pushing out generic messages to “customer segments” no longer applies in today’s age of advance analytics. Shoppers have been disrupted, forever changed by applied technology, and they like their new capabilities. Retailers now have the capability to know exactly what customers want – sometimes even before the customer knows. This information must be used wisely to communicate specific messages to specific people, at the right time and through the right medium. The key is to know, understand and play by the customer’s rules.
- With context in mind, invite eager customers to join in your experimentation, clearly communicating specific benefits. Entice the right customers, encourage them to join, find out if they want to play and make sure that the results or the insights gleaned from these experiments are broadly distributed, not just within marketing but in all affected areas of the business.
- Revisit your customer-engagement roadmap with special attention “on-the customers’ demand” messaging, in and out of the store. Wise tech-enablement of stores and store personnel will deliver much against the highly noticeable and less-tolerated gaps between digital and physical.
This concludes our 4-part series of “Emergence of Technology-Enabled “Smart Consumers”