Your customer care is only as strong as its weakest channel.Multi-Channel Becomes Omni-Channel Not long ago, the industry buzz in the ecommerce world was the concept of "multi-channel" shopping. Retailers had to adjust to the fact that their customers were shopping in more than one way. They weren't just making purchases online. Nor were they only buying products in-store. Consumers were coming at the retailer from several different touch points; as a result, customer experience became fragmented and confusing. As time progressed, and consumers' love for all things digital grew, the "multi-channel" concept morphed into "omni-channel" - or "all channels". Yes, customers today are still using multiple channels, but no longer are the channels engaging with the customer independently of each other. The silos have been torn down and all channels need to work together as one in giving the customer a seamless shopping experience.
Even though personal customer service is the ultimate in online customer experience, let's remember the nature of shopping for holiday gifts online: you're doing it alone. When people sit down with their laptop or tablet, they are probably the only one looking at it. It's a solo affair unless they have someone looking over their shoulder. But even so, only one person is in control of the journey.
Whether on their desktop, tablet, or smartphone, online customers are going to seek out assistance from a real human being when making a purchase. Even the savvy self-servers may need a little help if they’re not finding the product information they need on the site.
So, ask yourself the following questions to see if you have the right kind of assistance for customers on your retail site:
One year ago this month, we posted a blog entry about the immediacy mindset of the online consumer. At the time, the concept of anticipation was foreign to modern consumers who had grown used to getting what they want almost instantly. That article is still relevant today, one year later, but the mindset of the online consumer has shifted over to a "mobile mindset" which has grown exponentially with ever-improving mobile technologies for customer engagement.
According to Market Live's Performance Index Q2 2014 Report, share of revenue from smartphone shoppers is growing 335% faster in 2014 and is expected to steadily rise through the holiday shopping season. One reason being that smartphone traffic makes up 24% of online traffic. Yet, revenue from tablet users is almost twice that of smartphones. While mobile phones are the preferred device for browsing due to mobility and easy access, tablets seem to be easier to use when closing the deal.
(Today’s Mobile Shopper Might Not Think So.)
For many of us, the first day of school marks the beginning of the downward roll towards - you got it - the holidays! Suddenly our minds begin to shift towards fall festivities, family gatherings, and that gift-giving holiday-palooza in December. Gift shopping starts out at a moderate pace, but before you know it, Black Friday is here, and this annual activity becomes an all-out frenzy of getting the right gift at the right price - and hopefully without pulling your hair out!
Why is customer data so important to your retail business? Because each business has a set of data that is unique. Businesses need to leverage that data to reach out to each customer in a way that is specific to only them. You'll get their attention, and you'll gain their loyalty.