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Changing consumer expectations around the in-store experience have largely been driven by the more sophisticated and personalised experiences provided by online giants like Amazon and ASOS.
As a result, 65% of UK consumers now see customer experience as a crucial factor in their decision making (PwC).
This shift has led to over half of UK consumers citing thoughtful and personal experiences as more important than discounts and coupons (Walnut), while 50% are demanding a way to skip queues when they shop in-store (YouGov).
That’s not to say discounts and offers are no longer relevant – 71% of people in the UK say they would respond positively to deals, offers and discounts, but only if they are personalised and tailored to past purchases (YouGov).
With today’s shopper becoming more impervious to mass marketing, blanket offers and random discounts, heads of marketing will need to consider how they can adjust and improve their in-store retail experience.
This will require a mechanism that can (securely) gather the right customer data, which can then be easily refined and utilized to deliver on these new-found expectations.
Physical loyalty cards, points, stamps and coupons are concepts now more than 30-years-old – we can safely say the way we shop has evolved considerably since then.
What’s more, these loyalty strategies have long failed to reveal whether or why a customer is actually staying loyal – nor have they provided a tangible way to measure ROI.
Personalised, convenient and fast experiences are now considered the most valuable differentiators for shoppers, coming above loyalty schemes, brand image, or store design, according to PwC.
Indeed, 89% of consumers say they will switch to a competitor following a poor customer experience (Oracle), while 54% name customer experience as the main reason they’re loyal to a brand (Data Marketing Association).
And when eight out of 10 consumers now say they would be happy to share their data if it enables a more personalised experience (Accenture), marketing leads should consider how this data exchange could provide in-depth customer behaviour insight that reveals what now drives loyalty in 2020.
The retail journey is no longer confined to one place – our smartphones enable us to shop anywhere at any time.
UK consumers spent a record £25bn via their smartphones in 2019 – a 66% increase compared to 2018, according to data from uSwitch. Within five years, Forrester estimates that £1.1 trillion of offline sales will be influenced by mobile.
This growth is matching consumer demand – a third want the ability to buy items through an app, fast track checkout, and digital receipts (YouGov), 53% want to use retail apps to access “value-added features” like coupons and purchase histories (PYMNTS) and 70% of Gen Z expect to receive personalised recommendations via an app while in-store (CrowdTwist).
This growing reliance on smartphones to run our daily lives now makes it essential for retailers to put mobile at the centre of their marketing strategy.