Focusing on Individualization to Satisfy Today’s Digital Consumer
Today’s digital consumer no longer differentiates between channels. They expect a cohesive blend of online and in-store experiences, and will easily gravitate from one retailer to the next to satisfy their purchasing demands. The consumer now holds all of the cards in the shopping journey, leaving many retailers and branded manufacturers to ask the question of how to effectively tackle enhancements to their commerce experience strategy to satisfy today’s digitally demanding consumer.
Kibo recently conducted a study titled, Consumer Trends Report — 2017 Edition, which sought feedback from almost 3,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K., ages 18 to 65-plus, to answer this very question and identify areas of opportunity where retailers can implement technology enhancements into their omnichannel strategy to meet consumer demands.
Consumers’ answers to top priorities retailers should focus on include the following:
1. Individualized shopping experiences: Personalizing a consumer’s experience can have a big impact on their path to purchase, with 85 percent stating they're influenced to complete their purchase by personalized homepage promotions, and 92 percent stating shopping cart recommendations influence them to complete a purchase. Additionally, the study found that top influencers on completing an online purchase include interactive content (92 percent), product reviews (82 percent), simplified shopping cart (78 percent) and multiple fulfillment options (66 percent).
When it comes to personalization, remember to focus on each of your customers as the true individuals they are, and offer unique experiences that interact with the consumer based on their individual needs. Do not segment customers into broad categories such as millennials or sports enthusiast; rather, look into all of the diverse interests of each customer to provide a truly unique product and experience.
2. Pricing is a top factor in the purchase decision: Price was a top factor for consumers when considering a purchase, with 70 percent of consumers marking price as the most important factor when making purchases online, followed by product brand and retailer website brand. The survey indicated that 76 percent of consumers regularly price check competitors, up from 66 percent from last year’s survey. To reel in customers, be sure to offer pricing transparency and real-time updates on sales and promotions.
3. Online and in-store as one seamless experience: Ninety-four percent of consumers stated they do research online before visiting a store, and nearly three-quarters of consumers expect store associates to be able to access their customer history when they visit a store after purchasing online. Additionally, almost half of consumers surveyed had store associates find an item in another store for ship-to-home delivery in the past six months. Be sure to implement the proper technology that follows your consumers across their shopping journeys and enables store associates to answer individual needs in-store without a glitch.
4. Inventory and fulfillment: Eighty-one percent of consumers said they've looked up inventory on a retailer’s website before visiting the store, and 80 percent are less inclined to visit a store if a website doesn't provide current in-store product availability. By implementing an advanced order management system solution, retailers can provide consumers with real-time inventory visibility on their online channels, pushing them one step closer to the purchase decision.
A seamless experience starts with holistic consumer insights into all online and offline behavior and interaction with your brand. Unfortunately, technology silos are still prevalent in the industry, but retailers and brands alike must look to unify their technology through strong platform integrations. Silos will fail. The path to a global view of the consumer and unification of their experience starts with linking data across all of your buying touchpoints.
Tushar Patel is the chief marketing officer of Kibo, a cloud-based unified omnichannel commerce platform.