Delivering Superior Customer Experiences: 3 Key Retail Trends

Lori Mitchell-Keller, SAP Global Manager of Consumer Industries offers her insights on customer preferences and the potential opportunities for growth they offer for the brands

In today’s connected world, delivering an exceptional customer experience will determine the success of any company. According to American Express, 68 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

In order to ensure consumer satisfaction, retailers are redefining their marketing strategies. They are relying on new innovative technology to collect information and deliver superior shopping experiences. Businesses are staying ahead of the curve, and their competitors, by leveraging data in the moment to offer personalized products, anticipate consumer needs and establish relationships with their customers.

Personalized Customer Shopping Experience

Today, consumers expect unique, personalized shopping experiences. To maintain business, the most successful retailers are focusing their efforts around customer needs — and many are doing so by transforming their processes on the front end.

According to Forrester, 91 percent of marketers are prioritizing improving customer experiences through personalization over the next year. With new, innovative technology, retailers are catering their services to individual consumers through personalized emails, discounts and even products.

Brands like Maui Jim are using collected analytics to elevate their customer experiences. The sunglasses retailer puts the control back in the hands of the consumer. Maui Jim developed a website that allows shoppers from across the globe to browse its extensive online catalog and create their own versions of Maui Jim sunglasses. Using e-commerce to expand its sales, the retailer is able to offer personalized services, while still providing products that are consistent with the company brand. Through its use of technology, Maui Jim has experienced an increase in orders, revenue and overall social awareness.

Anticipate Customer Needs

Consumer expectations are changing constantly, and in the digital marketplace, customers can find virtually any product online. To ensure brand loyalty, retailers must understand the evolving needs of their consumers.

According to a report by EKN, retailers need to invest in analytics tools to gather customer insight and orchestrate major business decisions, including product development. Instead of waiting for a new design trend to hit the market, retailers need to predict consumer demand and develop products that fulfill customer expectations.

Retailers like Under Armour are using technology to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Through dynamic software, Under Armour collects and analyzes data in real time to understand consumer workout habits. The retailer leverages information gathered from wearable technology and previous shopping histories to anticipate the needs of their customers and develop highly sought after products, including its HeatGear, ColdGear and AllSeasonsGear. Additionally, Under Armour plans to use its advanced insight to cut its 18-month supply chain by up to 40 percent — further heightening its customer experience.

Establish Customer Relationships

Delivering a positive customer experience is important for more than just retailers. All consumers want to feel some type of a connection to a brand. If they are spending money on a product or service, customers are invested to a certain degree.

Some of the most successful businesses are the ones that prioritize consumer relationships and make the customer feel as if they are directly interacting with, and influencing, the company.

The NBA understands this — in fact one of their priorities is maintaining the relationship between a fan and a team. To ensure fans feel as if they are a part of a team’s journey and success, the NBA uses advanced technology to collect more than 70 years’ worth of statistics into a database, which is accessible by fans online. Currently, close to 1 billion people have instant access to ground-breaking statistics, allowing the NBA organization to engage with its fans and develop a deeper understanding of each individual player and team. Providing fans access to the NBA experience has led to a 65 percent increase of usage of the interactive NBA statistics website.

Delivering New & Improved Brand Experiences

More and more companies are using data to enhance their customer experiences. The verdict is out, recent martech trends prove that using the right technology, businesses can improve consumer satisfaction and maintain brand loyalty by personalizing products, anticipating customer needs, and establishing strong relationships.

To thrive in this era of unprecedented innovation, businesses need to gain a 360-degree view of their customers by transforming their operations and implementing a digital core — delivering exceptional customer experience depends on it!

I am looking forward to seeing how companies adapt additional practices in 2017.

This article was originally published on MarTech Advisor

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