What do your customers really want? Customer Expectations according to Forrester research
Forrester conducted a survey recently regarding the Future of Retail. The research covered various aspects of retail, from the importance of the physical retail store to real-time data to customers’ expectations.
The results of the survey outline great insight for retailers. Understanding and meeting customer expectations are vital to retailer’s growth. Today’s blog we summarise Forrester’s findings on customer expectations.
1. Prices across channels:
In today’s digitally charged environment customer’s research, browse, compare prices and purchase using different digital channels.
More often than not they use a combination of offline and online channels throughout their buying decision. Forrester’s survey highlighted that customer expect prices to remain consistent between online and offline channels.
In fact “79% of consumers reported that having similar prices online and in-store is a critical or important requirement for retail stores”.
2. Omni-Channel returns:
When customers purchase online or offline and the item is not suitable for whatever reason. Customers expect, regardless of how you purchased the item, to be able to return the item online or offline.
The survey highlighted this as a high priority for customers as 80% of consumers surveyed agreed.
3. In-store customer experience:
When surveyed customers were asked to describe in one word what exceptional in-store experience meant to them. The result of the question highlighted the role of the sales assistant has become more than stocking shelves.
Customers appreciated a knowledgeable sale assistant that could clarify questions they couldn’t source the answers to online, like product availability, quality, best practices, return policies etc.
4. In-store technology:
Building on point three, customers want digitally enabled associates in-store. Customers expect sales associates to have the access to product information, product availability in store or other locations and perform tasks in real- time.
When retailers make use of in-store technology they optimise online and offline aspects of the customers buying journey leading to greater chance of conversion.
5. Personalised experience:
Using real-time data analytics in-store and acting on them can ensure brands deliver a personalised experience for their customers.
Brands have access to reams of customer behavioural data through online channels using this to personalise in-store experiences in real-time will provide a more relevant and convenient experience for customers.
Creating a loyalty program for your brand can facilitate data capture in-store and online to give brands a holistic view of customer behaviours.
Loyalty programs also enable brands to act on this data by offering tailored offers and rewards via multiple channels directly to your customers.
In conclusion, consumers want consistency across channels, personalisation and good customer service.
Retailers aiming to understand and meet their customers’ expectations by leveraging behavioural data will excel beyond competitors.
For the full analysis see Forrester @https://retailnext.net/en/benchmark/real-time-data-drives-the-future-of-retail/ or for more on digital technologies in the retail sectore read https://www.azpiral.com/digital-technologies-influence-retail-sector/