Ever gone to a retail store and completely fallen in love, but when you visited their website, it looked like it was from 2001?
Or maybe you made an online purchase from a store and signed up to get their email newsletter–only to find that it wasn’t mobile-friendly. You could barely read the text, so you sent it straight to the trash.
What’s happening? You’re experiencing disconnects from that initial positive customer experience you had.
Customers fall out of love with retailers every day for this very reason. That initial magic is lost because of a few bumps in the customer experience road.
So what can retailers do to remedy the situation?
In this post, we’ll first look at the importance of customer experience, and then explore some marketing strategies for retailers in which apps and integrations can be leveraged for a more consistent customer experience across all touchpoints.
Why customer experience matters
First things first: Let’s get on the same page about why customer experience is so important. Of course, we all want happy, satisfied customers – but today, it’s a bit more involved.
In an extremely competitive online marketplace where customers have endless options for making purchases, customer experience has become one of the main differentiators between retailers.
In fact, data from Gartner says that by as soon as 2017, 89% of businesses will compete solely on customer experience.
The social aspect of the modern shopper makes customer experience a top priority, too. 59% of 25-34 year-old share poor customer experiences online, according to New Voice Media. The positive side of this, however, is that customers who have a positive experience online are three times more likely to recommend a brand, according to Harvard Business Review.
So what can we glean from these statistics? A few key things:
- Experience matters. Customers want a consistent, cohesive experience across all brand assets that’s user-friendly and thoughtfully designed.
- If certain aspects of your customer experience are lacking, frustrating, or forgotten–you’ll lose customers–and they’ll tell their friends how disappointed they were in the process. On the flip side, if your customer experience is a home run, you’ll attract new customers as your evangelists gush over your amazing, seamless processes.
The lesson: A consistent, positive experience across all customer touchpoints is extremely important. You can’t have an awesome website, but then disappoint customers with a lackluster email or disjointed checkout process. These disrupt the customer experience–and can hurt your bottom line.
Better apps & integrations = Better customer experience across all touchpoints
Now that we know how important customer experience is–the question is, how can we go about improving it with the right apps, integrations, and tools?
There’s lots of buzz in the marketing world right now about marketing technology stacks, and a recent study we conducted showed that 82% of marketers are using best in breed technology to get the job done.
Basically, that means instead of going with all-in-one solutions, they’re hand picking the best tools to get the job done.
Think of it like this: When a retailer wants to create a more personalized, cohesive follow-up experience for a customer who just made a purchase, they might find an integration for their eCommerce store, their CRM, and their email marketing platform.
By pairing these three tools, they could send a highly relevant, personalized message that utilizes customer and purchase data for each individual customer–all while taking advantage of automation features via unique customer journeys.
Examples of cohesive customer journeys at work
Let’s look at a few more marketing strategies for retail stores that can help create consistent customer experiences across all touchpoints.
Shopify data for a personalized customer journey
Leveraging a Shopify integration with your email service provider, you could launch a specific customer journey that is automatically triggered to send out a personalized email after a purchase is made. You can also design an email template that is cohesive with your company branding and also complements the tailor-made experience your online customers expect.
Mobile-first across the board
Over 53% of emails are now opened on mobile devices so creating mobile-friendly experiences for customers at every turn is more important than ever before. Make sure your website, online retail store, and email templates are cohesively designed with a mobile-first mentality.
NPS survey to gauge customer satisfaction
Net Promoter Score (NPS) can help retailers gauge customer satisfaction at a high level. By letting customers rate how likely they are to refer the brand to a friend or colleague on a scale of 1 to 10, gives customers a voice in a quick, easy format–and it makes it easy for retailers to have a finger on the pulse of customer sentiment, too. From here, retailers can take a deeper dive into different aspects of customer satisfaction, follow up with unhappy customers, and can begin to correct customer experience problems.
However, these are just a few of the ways retailers can leverage tools, apps, and integrations to begin to improve the overall customer experience across all touchpoints. As you can see, once you start to put these tools to work, the seamlessness of a smooth process makes for a more professional, polished brand that wows customers again and again.
Creating a more consistent customer experience across all touchpoints (thanks to these handy apps, integrations, and back-end systems) will be a differentiator of successful retailers from others in the online space. Put these resources to good use, and your customers will thank you by becoming evangelists and loyal supporters for years to come.