Shopper Experience

Shopper Engagement delves into the latest trends and strategies retailers are using to cultivate long-term relationships with shoppers. Social media, mobile technology, in-store tablets and more are covered in this section. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

5 CX Trends To Consider In 2019

Brands are being inundated with talk about consumers’ increasing expectations when it comes to customer experience (CX). And as businesses deliver more creative and engaging experiences, forming impactful customer relationships becomes more difficult. The 2019 CX Trends Report conducted by InMoment suggests that despite evolving conversations around CX, companies are struggling to balance their own needs and changing customer preferences. While 50% of brands say they’re “definitely” doing better at delivering excellent customer experience, just 11% of customers agree.

Three Essential Tips In Preserving Next-Gen Customers

What’s the secret behind the success of today’s best young consumer-facing brands? Authenticity and personalized experience curation. Realistically, the customer isn’t always right, but without servicing them in a way that resonates, businesses won’t thrive. Seems logical, doesn’t it? Apparently not. Almost daily one could find headlines about the disconnect between legacy brands and their consumer base, whether it’s ethical discrepancies (Hey Facebook!) or basic customer service needs (à la United Airlines). While it’s difficult to quantify how much budget is allocated on average to bettering customer service across industries, clearly it’s not a top priority for many companies. If nothing else, 2018 taught us that customer service is integral to attracting and retaining today’s more discerning and fickle consumers, and that without a personalized approach your business will take both a financial and public relations hit.

What The Modern Grocery Store Can Teach Other Brick-And-Mortar Businesses

On a recent family visit to upstate New York I found myself in DeCicco & Sons, the local grocery store chain, when my niece suggested we grab a drink. I was enthusiastic but a bit befuddled as she led me through the frozen section until I saw that, lo and behold, this grocery store had a microbrewery right on the premises. Sipping my IPA and watching the shopping carts drift by got me thinking that few industries are innovating on their brick-and-mortar experience at the pace of grocery stores, and there’s a lot that restaurants, banks and any other businesses with physical locations can learn about attracting and maintaining relationships with digital-native consumers.

41% Of Shoppers Say Most Personalized Messages Still Feel Like Mass Marketing

Retailers that want to personalize the shopper experience will find a receptive audience: 49% of consumers are more than willing to opt in to receive personalized communications via SMS, email or social media from the brands and retailers that they know, according to Periscope By McKinsey. But for a significant group of consumers, personalization still doesn’t feel personal: 41% of shoppers say that most personalized messages still feel like mass marketing messages that were not created with their specific needs in mind. These shoppers noted no discernible difference in the relevance of personalized versus non-personalized communications received from retailers and brands they visit often. The study, titled: The Art of Personalization — Keeping it Relevant, Timely and Contextual, surveyed consumers in four mature e-Commerce markets — France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. in March 2019. Respondents were aged between 18 and 69 and evaluated by age, category and gender.

Why Hudson Yards Represents Retail Excellence And Innovation

Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the U.S. by area and home to more than 70 stores and restaurants, represents the best of what retail has to offer. The first of its two phases opened in March 2019 and comprises a public green space and eight structures that contain residences, a hotel, office buildings, a mall, and a cultural facility. The second phase, on which construction has not started yet, will include residential space, an office building, and a school. Both phases are projected to be complete by 2024. You can think of Hudson Yards as a living museum of contemporary retail. Each floor has a theme that highlights many of the winning trends in current retail.

More Than Meets The Eye: AR And VR’s Power To Transform The Retail Store

Retailers today are incorporating innovative technology to solve critical business challenges, while also working to refresh brick-and-mortar locations to wow in-store guests. Driving these changes in the physical environment is the idea of experiential retail, giving shoppers a desire to walk inside for something beyond their intended purchase. It could be to discover a unique assortment of products, or for the convenience of click-and-collect or grab-and-go. But in order to delight those who come inside to shop, companies must understand who the shopper is and how they navigate the store, plus whether or not the right products are on display for them to buy. The “tip of the iceberg” analogy is commonly used to underscore a concept that goes far beyond what is seen on the surface. It’s with this picture in mind that I want to discuss the depth of the customer experience — what shoppers see, touch and feel in-store, versus the amount of work retailers are doing beneath the surface to leverage customer insights through emerging technology.

Helzberg Diamonds Taps AR To Bridge The Digital-Physical Gap

Brick-and-mortar remains a vital part of the shopper journey for jewelry. While many shoppers begin online, they still need to see what a product feels like and how it looks on them before they make a purchase. Helzberg Diamonds is bridging the gap between the digital and physical with an in-store AR experience that lets shoppers virtually try on different rings.

DAVIDsTEA Harnesses Mobile Communication To Strengthen Associate Expertise

The massive selection of teas at DAVIDsTEA can be paralyzing for new customers. That’s where the company’s associates, or Tea Guides, come into play. They serve the essential role of educating and delivering recommendations to tea novices, which has resulted in 97% of DAVIDsTEA customers citing Tea Guides as a key factor in their satisfaction with the brand.

Despite Hype, 60% Of Shoppers Still Haven’t Experienced VR/AR Technologies In-Store

Although 46% of retailers say they plan to deploy AR or VR solutions by 2020, it appears that real-world deployment of these technologies remains low — at least in the eyes of the consumer. More than 60% of shoppers have yet to encounter VR or AR applications in-store, according to a report from Periscope By McKinsey. When it comes to practical applications for VR/AR technologies, shoppers say they are most likely to use them if they provided additional product information. French shoppers led the way at 65%, followed by the U.S. (62%), the UK (57%) and Germany (54%).

Study: 73% Of Shoppers Spend More In Response To Good Customer Service

Measuring the bottom-line effects of customer service has traditionally been difficult, but a new study quantifies its impact: 73% of consumers say that good customer service encourages them to spend more money than they had originally planned, according to a study by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Nor is this just a function of basket size: 57% of respondents said they would pay more for a particular item or service if they knew they would receive strong service during the shopping journey.

Stance Deploys Cashierless Self-Checkout Across 14 Stores

Cashierless checkout has for the most part been limited to major grocers thus far and is perhaps most commonly associated with Amazon Go, but one retailer — best known for selling socks — is showing that this technology can be deployed just as effectively in an apparel setting. Stance has deployed self-checkout technology from Moltin within its 14 U.S. stores, designed to let shoppers skip lines and check out via a browser-based mobile progressive web app (PWA). The goal for the technology was singular: eliminating lines, according to Paul Zaengle, EVP of Direct-to-Consumer at Stance. While Zaengle had followed self-checkout technologies for years, he said it wasn’t until 2018, when Apple allowed iOS to access cameras through a web page, that the Stance team was able to envision a realistic application.

Want To Survive And Thrive In Retail’s New Shopping Battlefield? Capitalize On These 10 Winning Trends

Almost no one can argue that the retail ecosystem isn’t changing at an accelerated pace. But a school of thought around the shift misses the mark pretty badly. Specifically, there are a lot of doomsayers out there who look at store closings (Sears, Lowe’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, etc.) as the harbingers of worse to come for retail, but the truth is that retail is just changing and sales are growing. It’s about where, when and how consumers buy goods that is shifting. That said, there’s a grain of truth to what the doomsayers think: For those retailers, marketers and brand owners that can’t capitalize on the morphing landscape and prepare themselves for and take advantage of disruption, the prognosis is pretty poor as far as their company’s survival goes. Thankfully, as winners and losers emerge on the way to retail’s jagged future, some clear trends for success are emerging. Retail and brand leaders should hop onto them fast if they want to flourish. Here are some of the biggest retail trends, and what brands can do about them:

Unmanned, AI-Powered Skincare Experience Debuts In Dubai

An AI-powered beauty startup spun off by Samsung, lululab, now provides an unmanned virtual beauty experience in Dubai. The kiosk is powered by LUMINI, an AI-based skincare assistant that provides shoppers with individually tailored skin care solutions. The installation, dubbed the AI Beauty Store, is housed on the ground floor of Galeries Lafayette, a French department store. The experience helps shoppers find new products through a three-step process: A selfie is taken by the multispectral camera in the kiosk, providing information on the shopper’s skin; The LUMINI AI analyzes the results and makes recommendations, which also can include discounts on some products; and The customer receives a follow-up report on their mobile device.
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