3 Tips for Navigating the Crossroads of Online and In-Store Performance
Smart retailers know the value of providing their customers with an integrated, seamless shopping experience no matter the channel. On average, those with strong multichannel strategies retain 89 percent of their customers. Furthermore, those customers who shop with a business both in-store and online have a 30 percent higher lifetime value compared to those who only use one or the other.
While it’s important to ensure your customers can interact with your business across multiple devices and touchpoints, it doesn’t end there. Whether your customers are shopping in-store or on your website, you hope that they come away equally satisfied. It pays to analyze customer feedback from a multichannel viewpoint.
Not only can you gain valuable insight into how stores are performing, but this level of customer feedback leads to meaningful and relevant improvements to your overall customer experience. Use the following tips to holistically capture customer feedback and drive growth of both in-store and online retail sales:
- Opt for cross-channel measurements. If you’re operating across channels, then you need to be collecting customer feedback from each of those channels, while also looking for ways to connect any dots between the two. The key is to not measure feedback in silos. Instead, evaluate online and in-store feedback together to understand the overall state of your business. Want to gain insight into how webrooming or showrooming may be impacting your bottom line? Measure feedback across all channels to discover the browsing preferences of your customers. Regardless of a purchase being made in-store or online, many consumers conduct research online prior to buying. Make sure you know where the preferences and behaviors of your customers lie. It may well help you identify a new business need, such as click-and-collect or customer-controlled delivery.
- Ask the right questions. Gaining access to actionable insights for your business starts with asking the right questions in the right way for each channel. The needs of your customers while browsing online are likely to differ vs. what they need while shopping in-store. The questions you pose to customers have to reflect these differences and be segmented appropriately. For example, to learn more about your store layout, you may want to ask your customers about how easy it was to locate an item or to rate how neatly the merchandise was presented. For online shoppers, however, it might be more important to know how easy it was to navigate the site or how well the search functionality works.
- Analyze and adjust. Taking a holistic view of your customers’ feedback allows you to target both strengths and areas for improvement, and then test changes before applying to your entire business. Analyzing customer feedback isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Be sure to adjust your strategy based on the validated customer feedback from all channels. This will help you avoid the mistake of fixing a problem that may not be relevant or overlooking an issue that’s hurting customer engagement.
The more customer feedback you collect about your business, the better — but make sure it’s giving you a clear picture of the needs of your customers across all channels. With that knowledge in hand, you can continue to deliver the multichannel retail experiences customers have come to expect.
Georgina Nelson is the CEO and founder of TruRating, a customer feedback solution. Headquartered in the U.K., TruRating has operations across Australia, Canada and the U.S.
Related story: 5 Questions That Can Improve Your In-Store Experience
Georgina Nelson is the CEO and founder of TruRating, a customer feedback solution. Headquartered in the U.K., TruRating has operations across Australia, Canada and the U.S. With a background in law and an eye for the consumer, Georgina saw the need for reliable, validated customer reviews that would better serve businesses, thus launching TruRating in 2014.