Delivering an exceptional, personalized customer experience (CX) requires more than a whizz-bang website and an intelligent chatbot (as engaging as these may be). The reality is that the customer experience is ongoing and forever. Yes, the biggest hurdle is converting an initial website or store visit into a sale, but the CX doesn’t end there. It’s really just beginning.
The First Date: Page Speed & Load Times
Of course, establishing a positive and memorable first impression is paramount, especially when you consider how little it takes to drive a customer away.
For example, a minor lag in page speed and load times are common triggers for a customer to part ways with a retailer. In fact, a whopping 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy online.
When you consider that the average web page has doubled in size, with stable connection speeds, the time to load on mobile is about 15 seconds. Yet most visitors leave a page after 3 seconds. In fact, just a one second delay in page load time reduces customer satisfaction by 16%.
Page speed and load times aside, a successful first impression requires a baseline commitment to your customers, including a fast website, effective delivery and return policies, and other customer-friendly services.
Going Steady: A Full-Cycle Retail Customer Experience
Consumers are notoriously fickle, but once a relationship has been established, diligence is imperative to maintain customer loyalty. While the initial transaction is a positive result, it is simply a starting point.
Opportunities to win (and lose) customers are ongoing. According to an Ipsos study in May 2022, 85% of online shoppers attribute a poor delivery experience as a reason they would not order from an online retailer again.
The returns process is also a frequently negative experience, with 75% of shoppers rating returns as the most painful part of buying online.
To sustain ongoing relationships with your customers, you must invest in the tools and technology that enable a true omnichannel CX strategy. With the right technology, retailers can monitor every interaction and identify where improvements can be made, proactively responding when the experience falls short.
Making a Commitment: Digital Transformation
To continually delight customers, you must ensure every interaction is connected, gathering information across channels so you can understand each shopper’s journey and preferences, while managing inventory accordingly. This omnichannel customer experience model has become table stakes within the industry.
In response, businesses are undergoing unprecedented digital transformation, rapidly adopting modern solutions to keep up. Today, along with CRM, ERP, and other traditional technologies, it’s not uncommon for retail operations to rely upon:
- AI-powered recommendation systems and pricing tools
- Web scraping
- Headless commerce solutions
- Mobile apps
- Supply chain visibility tools
- Warehouse automation technologies
A composable technology stack supports the rapid integration of contemporary ecommerce and retail applications, allowing retailers to combine the core fundamentals of CX with the progressive technologies they need to deliver these results.
Delivering a Consistently Excellent Experience
Enterprise integration is a critical requirement in connecting all of these moving pieces, supporting the collection of real-time data from every customer interaction to help improve the CX over time.
Busy seasons, such as Black Friday and holiday sales in December often present the biggest challenge for retailers. With high volumes of traffic and rapid depletion of inventory, delivering a smooth and positive shopping experience is difficult. Of course, the other side of that coin is to manage non-peak times in a way that’s less resource intensive as say, Black Friday.
Payless, an international, self-serve footwear retail chain with almost 4,500 stores in 30 countries, wanted to replace its existing ecommerce platform to help improve the customer experience. The retailer implemented Digibee’s enterprise integration platform as a service (eiPaaS) technology to roll out and integrate a new ecommerce platform within its existing infrastructure.
The solution streamlines customer interactions, consolidating the information generated by retail data systems across multiple channels–even during surges in sales on Black Friday and other high-volume days.
Listening to Feedback
Retail, hospitality, and really, every customer-facing industry, must actively listen to feedback from its shoppers and patrons. While most people understand that mistakes happen, failure to act upon an issue once identified often leads to negative reviews and customer churn.
One Digibee customer, a hotel chain, is a perfect example of a business that backed up its commitment to its customers by implementing new technology.
Guests were complaining about the frustrating and time-consuming check-in and check-out processes. Even with a reservation in advance, many clients endured a long wait at reception.
The hotel chain listened, implementing eiPaaS technology to refine its check-in process. The company was able to digitize workflows and integrate backend systems to quickly achieve an excellent CX. Today, wait times have reduced by 80% and operational cost savings tied to the project after one year have exceeded $300K. The company has since gone on to add Digibee integration into other areas of the business where inefficiencies were hindering growth.
How to Enhance Customer Experience
Digibee works with retail and hospitality organizations intent on evolving and optimizing the customer experiences they deliver. Our clients leverage Digibee’s low-code eiPaaS to integrate modern systems with existing technologies, significantly reducing the time and resources needed to achieve outstanding service every time.
If you’re interested in how Digibee can help your retail organization, we’d be happy to show you. Book your choice of a discovery call (15 minutes), custom demo (30 minutes) or a deep dive (60 minutes) to learn more.