Consumer and Retailer Marketing Opinions Towards One Another Don’t Add Up
There's pressure for brands to compete on customer experience (CX) in nearly every industry. Retail marketers, in particular, are pressured to meet growing expectations from today’s empowered customer for an experience tailored to their preferences at every stage of their specific journey. For retailers, this change may seem daunting, as companies must update their business strategies and improve functional issues such as data, system and organizational fragmentation that are creating a gap in CX between brands and consumers.
According to a recent survey conducted by RedPoint Global and the Harris Poll, which will be referenced throughout this article, 63 percent of consumers expect personalization as a standard service. It's no longer enough for retailers to connect with customers on generic levels; they must engage customers by personalizing offers based on their previous shopping history and preferences. However, marketers overall agree that they're struggling to create personalized experiences for shoppers. Per the Harris Poll, 61 percent of marketers agree that all worlds must collide to create a seamless customer experience. This can be achieved by improving personalization through transparency and privacy with consumers.
Seeing Eye to Eye is Harder Than it Looks
In 2019, marketers’ confidence for success has been consistently high across all four dimensions of the customer experience index score (measuring customer understanding, personalization, omnichannel, and privacy). However, there's a clear contrast with consumers, who average a 15-point drop from the marketers’ own view in each of the four CX index dimensions. Additionally, shoppers are expressing the following CX frustrations: irrelevant offers (33 percent), failure to be recognized as an existing customer (31 percent), and receiving an offer for an item that has already been purchased (34 percent).
There's Always Room for Improvement
Retailers that are not creating a strong customer experience have an opportunity to fix that problem. In fact, 76 percent of marketers and 78 percent of consumers both agree that there's room for improvement in the CX space. Those retailers at a crossroad of where to take their business strategy to create a better customer experience should consider adding a business focus on personalization, transparency and privacy.
Personalization is key to creating a modern CX. Forty-three percent of survey respondents feel satisfied when a brand recognizes them as the same customer across all touchpoints. Consumers have revealed that they expect brands to consistently keep pace with them at every stage of a dynamic path to purchase that has individualized beginnings, middles, and ends. Thirty-seven percent of consumers even indicated that they will no longer do business with a company that fails to offer a personalized experience.
Transparency creates a sense of trust among consumers and the brands they engage with. Fifty-four percent of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for personalized experiences. As part of this relationship, 72 percent of consumers ask that brands disclose what information of theirs is being collected. When a company is transparent about how a customer’s data is being collected, stored and used, the customer is more willing to share the personal data that's necessary to personalize experiences.
Privacy was rated by consumers as the most important among the four CX dimensions. Marketers are looking to move beyond table stakes to create differentiated sources of revenue, which is likely why they were split — citing privacy and customer understanding as equally important.
Closing the gap in CX between brands and consumers won't happen overnight. However, if retailers shift their marketing strategy to include personalization, transparency and privacy, they have the potential to keep pace with their customers and provide an experience worthy of gaining the modern consumer’s business.
Patrick Tripp is vice president of product strategy at RedPoint Global, a customer engagement technology leader.
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