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At the end of the 2000’s, people were writing obituaries for the brick and mortar retailer. With the recession and rise of “smart consumers” people we’re convinced that the high street would be a ghost town within five years as people prefer to research their purchases and find a better deal online.
While the traditional high street is dwindling, certain retailers are doing better than ever – and this is all down to those companies that were willing to invest in an infrastructure that would allow retail stores to adapt to the modern consumer, rather than attempt to cut costs and weather the storm.
The combination of increased customer knowledge and competition in the retail sector meant the storm wasn’t going away, and now 90% of consumer’s research products before buying them, 75% of customers said information on social media influenced their decision and 85% will pay more for a better customer experience. (CEI Survey: Customer Experience: Is it the Chicken or the Egg, Forbes 2 Retail TouchPoints, 2012 and Integrated Retailer.com, 2012) This doesn’t spell the end of retail, it has forced us into a golden age of retail where brands must know their customers individually and make the consumer experience their store as an extension of their online brand and presence.
An effective brand experience is built upon transferring knowledge and relationships built on the web and into the store, bringing the customers positive feeling with them. With Dynamics CRM, a retailer can learn a potential customer’s preferences, interests and budget before they even step into the store – arm a sales assistant with a surface and they can give every consumer a great customised experience and show them exactly what they need straight away, with access to other products and information available online at all times.
Combining this with dynamic supply chain management, retailers can recommend the best day to come in store, or send an automated personalised email to them when an item they are interested in is back in stock. Taking one step further, why not invite loyal customers to come and test the latest equipment for free in store as you know they would be interested? Retailers harnessing the power of data and social has led to a golden age in customer relations, and it’s a case of either get on board or fall behind the crowd.
risual has worked with successful retail brands such as Paul Smith amongst others. We are attending an event on the 11th June and will be speaking about our work. if you would like to know more about retail and technology, or attend the event, please fill in the form or comment below.