The evolution of technology within the retail and e-commerce space is shaping how consumers behave and interact with brands and savvy, smart retailers know that understanding shoppers’ behavior is key for success. These retailers realize they can utilize technology to capitalize on consumer needs and customize offerings to help significantly increase their bottom lines.Here’s how companies are using technology to provide added value to consumers:
Improved Customer Service
It is no secret that customer service is key in sustaining business growth – especially when you consider the fact that according to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience
. Retailers such as Lowe’s and Zappos know this as well as anyone and have been internationally recognized for their outstanding customer service, excelling in areas such as enhanced in-store experience and free, effortless returns. Technological advancements in customer service, such as improved use of digital channels, are leading to heightened consumer expectations and higher standards for retailers. These retailers and others like them know that when they focus on the happiness and well-being of their customers, it is reflected in profits.
Retailers are streamlining the digital path to purchase, providing convenient services such as one-click ordering, secure billing information storage, and direct purchasing from alternative retail channels, such as print circulars. By eliminating obstacles at the point of purchase, companies like Amazon and Pounce are catering to the modern user-experience and directly impacting ROI through higher checkout completion rates.Avital Yachin, CEO of Pounce believes the checkout is the most important part of the interaction with customers. “It’s the point where customers make the final decision to move forward with making a purchase,” he said. “Essentially, this is just a ‘technical’ step of transferring payment from the customer to the merchant, and inform the merchant as of where to ship the order that’s been placed. Any failure to complete the process will cause in a cancellation of the sale.
Real-Life Shopping Experience
Improvements to e-commerce websites and services will be a primary growth factor behind the US online retail market’s massive $370 billion projection for 2017, according to Forrester. Enhancements such as rotating, interactive product displays and dynamic personalization are enabling retailers to deliver an online experience more aligned with consumer preferences. Companies such as RotaryView and RichRelevance are utilizing technology to create an online experience similar to what consumers encounter in-store. The convenience of online shopping paired with in-store personalization provides customers with the best possible experience.For RotaryView CEO Gev Rotem, the key factor for retailers is to make the online shopping experience as real as possible. “Whether it’s personalizing the site appearance for each specific user, enhancing product views, or highlighting key product offerings – as vibrant SALE signs do in-store, the goal is to make the online shopping process as easy and intuitive as possible,” he said. “ A vital factor that sometimes is overlooked is the way products are presented. By offering consumers a more engaging shopping experience, retailers will increase conversion rates and reduce product returns due to confident purchasing. The equation is simple: show more, sell more.
Value- Added Services
When companies offer value- added services, they are more likely to cultivate strong customer loyalty providing a competitive advantage. By utilizing modern technology, retailers are now offering value-added services to transform shopping into a comprehensive, enjoyable experience. IKEA Catalog, utilizes its mobile app to provide added services with an augmented reality feature to give consumers a virtual preview of furniture in a room, allowing for a digital test-run of brand-name products.
Find Out More
Contact The Clarion Group for dynamic print and branding solutions for your stores or visit www.clarion.co.za
for insight into our products and services.Republished with permission from author: Steve Olenski. First published on Forbes.com