Customer experience is the key to unlocking profit in the retail industry. While keeping shoppers happy with your brand has always been a high priority for retail organizations, its importance has reached unprecedented levels.
And as economic uncertainties persist across the US and around the globe, the ability to deliver the optimum experience consumers expect in exchange for their business has become a matter of life or death for many businesses. So how do you optimize your customer’s experience – and what is the role of IT in retailing?
Examining the Retail Tech Landscape
Technology is simultaneously retailers’ most powerful asset and greatest foe. Established brands face new competition from digital natives that disrupt traditional business models with direct-to-consumer options. Technological developments in every other aspect of their lives have led shoppers to demand personalized service, rapid responses, and experiences customized to their individual needs and interests.
- Click and collect shopping options
- Data-based personalization
- Omnichannel commerce
- Artificial intelligence and virtual reality
- Links to external marketplaces
- Emerging tech like NFTs and the Metaverse
Digital technology and retail have become inseparable. Brands must embrace tools that increase efficiency and personalization to meet customers where they are – or resign themselves to obsolescence.
3 Steps to Improve Customer Shopping Experience
That list of trends and advances in retail tech may seem daunting. If your brand is still struggling to balance in-person service with ecommerce and social shopping, how will you possibly leverage virtual reality or the metaverse?
One step at a time, that’s how. Regardless of where your brand currently lives on the spectrum between legacy brick-and-mortar and fully virtual, here are three key steps to help you deliver the retail customer experience your shoppers demand.
1. Modernize Your Architecture
Identify where and how your IT architecture is holding you back from leveraging new tools and trends. Is your data still locked up in silos that prevent brick-and-mortar teams from seeing how shoppers engage online? This is a major roadblock that must be moved. Ensuring all your systems are connected and communicating – a shift to cloud-based tools and applications will support this – has a significant impact on the customer experience you deliver.
GJP Hotels & Resorts knew there was a problem when customer complaints about the lengthy check-in process increased. The negative customer experience threatened the company’s future – and they took action.
The company leveraged Digibee’s eiPaaS to integrate their existing property management tools and systems with self-serve digital portals that reduced customer wait time by 80% and complaints by 100% in the first year of deployment.
2. Empower Your Team
Maybe you’ve already started to access new retail IT solutions. But new tools often come with added deployment and maintenance requirements. Are you dependent on an external vendor to help you keep pace with digital natives? Or is the race to combine digital technology and retail putting increased load on your already overworked development team?
The IT skills shortage that developed post-pandemic is likely to persist, so a crucial part of optimizing CX is ensuring your organization can keep pace with new trends and market changes.
- Empower your developers with tools that let them deploy and maintain integrations and data knowledge in-house
- Adopt an IT infrastructure that delivers the agility and flexibility to leverage new opportunities
- Rethink strategies and solutions that leave you dependent on hard-to-find talent you might not always have
3. Simplify Your Systems
There’s a reason the K.I.S.S. principle is so ubiquitous. The shift to a fully integrated commerce solution doesn’t need to be complex or costly. Low- or no-code tools and platforms make it easy to build and deploy the applications and integrations your business needs to keep systems connected and customers happy.
Payless recognized the need to integrate their ecommerce and physical stores to deliver a consistent customer experience but faced challenges dealing with disparate legal and fiscal requirements of the 15 countries they had stores in.
They came to Digibee for an integration solution that was secure, reliable, and capable of scaling to accommodate seasonal sales spikes. Digibee delivered a completely secure ecommerce solution spanning 200 stores in 15 countries in less than 30 days.
Let Digibee Boost Your Retail IT Solutions
Digibee’s enterprise iPaaS is a full life-cycle, low-code integration solution that empowers brands to embrace the retail IT solutions they need to compete. Regardless of your organization’s current IT maturity level, we can help you modernize legacy solutions and integrate systems to leverage all the latest digital tools.
Download a complimentary copy of Fully Integrated Commerce for the Modern Retailer for details on how Digibee’s enterprise iPaaS can help improve your retail customer experience online and in-person, or book a custom demo to see our solution in action.