When we surveyed* 500 shoppers a few weeks ago, the majority (70%) cited that having a good overall shopping experience is important to them. Following a bad customer experience in the last year, around one in three (31%) consumer respondents confirmed that have stopped using a retailer and over half (53%) have stopped purchasing from a retailer at some point due to a bad experience.
Our research report examines how retailers ensure they provide consumers with a positive experience in order to retain their custom. Here are four of the key findings
Improving the customer experience is becoming a key brand differentiator – but execution against plan is proving problematic Retailers view the delivery of good customer service as a strategic priority with increased sales, greater brand engagement and a higher spend per transaction identified among the top benefits. Yet a third (30%) of retailers surveyed with a company-wide strategy to improve customer experience already in place, confirm it is not working as hoped.
Delivering a consistent customer experience across every touch point and at peak demand periods is proving challenging, but while retailers perceive they’re performing well, customers tell a different storyMaintaining a consistent service across all touch points is a challenge retailers are aware they need to address as their omni-channel initiatives - such as reserve online and pickup in-store - become commonplace. Brand reputation – and revenue - stands and falls on how well retailers respond to periods of peak consumer demand and retailers believe they’re performing well when it comes to meeting the challenge. But consumers beg to differ and will vote with their feet if expectations aren’t met. In the last 12 months around one-third (31%) of consumers confirm they’d abandoned purchasing from a retailer because of a poor customer experience.
The in-store experience still matters in the digital age. The ability to see, feel and try has significant appeal for consumers, with half (49%) confirming the option of being able to access a physical store to view and/or purchase items is important to them. In the next year 80% of retailers that offer click and collect predict demand for their click and collect service is set to increase by an average of 15%. This means the in-store engagement experience is set to become even more pivotal, yet 56% of retailers are struggling to identify which improvements they need to make to improve the in-store customer experience.
Technology investment is critical to enabling compelling customer service.
Retailers need to adopt technologies that enable a higher level of service across every touchpoint. But, when it comes to delivering the perfect physical shopping experience and an environment in which customers feel valued and every sales opportunity is captured, retailers remain unclear as to how best to orchestrate their technology investments or marshal in-store customer behaviour intelligence to make improvements to the customer journey.
Read more on these topics, and more in the full report, “Great Expectations: Delivering the Retail Experience Consumers Want Online, Mobile and In-store”
* This Qmatic survey was conducted in February 2014 by Vanson Bourne, an independent, trusted and specialist technology market research provider. The company conducted online interviews with 100 UK retail decision-makers in organisations with 500 or more employees and which have both online and offline sales channels. Online interviews were conducted with 500 consumers who shop using online and offline channels.