How To Meet Today’s Consumer Expectations
With the ease of access to information at the touch of a button the power has drastically shifted to resting in the hands of the consumer. There’s a new set of rules for retailers to abide by to cater to their audience, and when prices can be compared between a shirt on your rack and every other store in the county in a matter of seconds on a phone, it’s a new game entirely to keep on top of.
So how do you do it?
Customer Experience (CX)
You want customer loyalty? Simple, give them a better experience than the competition. Regardless of whether you are a brick and mortar, social media based, or online drop shipping company / store, this can be the keystone to client retention for many businesses.
Forrester has performed a number of studies on just this over the past several years and has found that leaders in CX grow their revenue base much faster than the laggards. The connection between revenue and CX has been hard to draw, and often been regarded as more a correlation than a causation effect, but as of January 18th, 2017, the most recent report by Forrester on the subject suggests that excellent CX does indeed drive revenue. If you do not have access to the full article, see the analysis of it at Customer Think.
Quality Product Information
The Chicago based company Shotfarm surveyed over 1,500 consumers regarding online shopping habits and the value they placed on the product information they were provided, and how it affected their purchasing trends.
What did they find? Product information has a direct impact on in both future purchasing decisions and immediate brand equity.
Depending on the product being bought there are different expectations held by the customer, and for that, different reasons for abandoning a cart before checkout, especially online. Those being, from most common to least:
- 61% – Cost
- 33% – Delivery time
- 30% – Poor product description
- 26% – Poor quality images/too few images
- 25% – Lack of reviews
- 25% – Lack of trust of the retailer or brand
- 15% – Lack of trust of the third-party retailer/website
Notice a pattern? All can be reduced down to some shortcoming of the product information quality. Quality content matters.
The “Wow” Factor
Yes, it sounds like a cheesy game show title, but it’s real, and you need it. So, what is it, and how do you get it?
How many times have you asked a sales clerk where a product you want was in the store and have been told what aisle to find it in? The Wow Factor, here, is when that salesperson escorts you directly to what you were trying to find.
DIY patio building project, baking a cake, or anything in between? This is the difference between the clerk taking you to the appropriate aisle in the store and asking about the details, and giving sincere and educated feedback that may help your project by better fitting your needs.
When’s the last time you were at a car lot being pitched too vs’s speaking to a salesman who asked about your needs, to understand what would help you, and offering genuine suggestions that fit your lifestyle as you describe?
Each one of these contributes and leaves a lasting impression on a customer. Treat every customer like they’re special, and make sure they feel it, and they’ll remember you. The same goes for online – make the process as simple as possible with as much information as you can provide them in just the way you would like to be catered to. They’ll notice.
What’s cross-promotion / cross-channel promotions? It is where customers of one company are targeted with offers from a second company on behalf of the first company. Both companies push the promotion, and thus, both companies gain access to the client pool of the other.
One of the most famous examples is the partnership between Nestle and Google. Nestle created 50 million KitKat bars with Android’s branding on the wrapper. Each wrapper offered a chance to win Google Play gift cards or a Nexus Tablet. So, you have customers of Google jumping to Nestle in thralls for the chance to win their products, and you also introduce Nestle customers to Google products; Both companies win.