To respond, retailers need to embrace what PwC is calling Total Retail. Total Retail means two things: a unified brand story across all channels that promises a consistently superior customer experience and an integrated back-office operating model with agile and innovative technology.
Here our Coin Excelsior story, you can also visit the store here:
The ways in which users interact with your brand are varied and unpredictable.The future will see this trend increase over time.
Smartphones are set to overtake computers as the medium for most website visits and unusual suspects such as television browsers, game consoles and wearable technology are already after a chunk of this traffic.
In this ever-changing technological landscape you need to be careful in using multiple channels. Users now jump between touchpoints under the assumption they will see the same data and options across all platforms.
According to this year’s Insights 2014 report by SapientNitro, 53% of consumers prefer shopping in-store vs other channels. 81% of these shoppers want to interact with their phones in-store, and 61% want to use “any device” (PC, smartphone or tablet) to help them shop.
Accenture found 73% of North American consumers have showroomed at least once in the last 6 months, and 49% think integrating stores with online and mobile touchpoints is where retailers need to improve the shopping experience most.
Consumer behaviour is changing
This changing consumer behaviour has resulted in the role of the UX professional growing from an initial consideration of web, mobile and email screens towardsaccommodating customer journeys that switch between many channels in a single transaction.
For instance, a consumer may do desktop product research before visiting a store,use a smartphone to check customer reviews and competitor pricing while in store, and later purchase via a tablet or even by calling a customer care.
Putting users at the centre of your multi-channel design is key to a successful omni-channel UX approach. It can transform your business strategy to achieve that esclusive and brilliant experience for every user, regardless of how they have chosen to interact with your brand.
Some rules to bare in mind in a multichannel environment
Your customers expect the same experience every time they interact with your brand, and each experience should build their trust and strengthen your reputation.
If any channel fails to reach the standards set by your best channel, your brand’s credibility will suffer. You must be consistent between your channels.
Each interaction a customer has with your brand is one piece of their overall experience. Every time an action isn’t available, a mode becomes unfamiliar, or a button isn’t where it’s expected to be, your reputation takes a small hit.
Availability means giving your customers options. People want to be able to choose when, where, and how they access your services.
This is the reason you don't have to make the mistake of limiting common activities to specific channels.
While availability is key, context-optimisation is also important. The Starbucks website, for instance, allows users to top up their Starbucks loyalty card and the mobile app allows users to pay for their coffee on the fly.
Design each channel to impress even if it’s the first or only touchpoint a customer will have with your brand. Also consider, though, how different channels might be better suited to different interactions, and how the context of those channels will influence those interactions.
How the store has to change
In a Department Store like the ours we have to offer the standard services formultichannel retailers such as click and collect to support the Ecommerce sales.
But there are still a lot of improvements we can make and it’s about finding that right balance so we’re not just pushing one service to the customer.
For customers who live within the vicinity of a store we need to look more at how we can engage them and convert them online but also get them to come in-store.
We have a loyalty program and our customers tend to be very passionate about the brand. So what we’re investigating more deeply is how we can connect the customer online and in-store.
We have totems in store but they’re not transactional, they’re more for information.
We’ve been experimenting with iBeacons in our retail network.
The stores have beacons installed in them that work with a third-party app called Checkbonus. If a customer has this app the beacons tell them the promotion of the store.
We’re using it at the moment to see whether there’s any appetite for customers to engage with mobile in-store.
I think that number is only going to increase, so mobile is still going to be the device that connects our in-store and offline channels and we need to bear that in mind with everything we’re doing.
In our case we launched the mobile APP to make the real loyalty card virtual.
And not only, wwith the new app our customers will be able to:
- create new digital card
- virtualize the old physical card
- play with gamification to collect points
So to conclude here the key factors for a successful Multichannel Customer Experience:
1) Make the Shopping Experience Extraordinary using technology (on line / offline)
2) Make the Customer satisfied
3) Consider the Shopping as Entertainment
4) Engage the Customer
5) Create Quality Value Relationship with your Brands and your Customers
6) Using In-store Technology
7) Bare in mind that your customer is Always Connected
8) Make your Loyalty Program the connection between your Customer and your Brand