How customer experience is the key differentiator for retailers?

The digitally connected customers can find whatever they want, whenever they want, at the click of a mouse or a swipe of the screen. The key differentiator that makes customers stick to particular retailers is customer experience. By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Where is customer experience most vulnerable?

While customers do understand that the capacity & capability of a brick and mortar store will not be the same as online, they at least want to be able to order something if the shelf is empty. But not all retailers have digital information point in store nor do they have store associates equipped with mobile technology. This raises a key vulnerability in the store experience: front-line staff.

Empowering front line staff to be the product experts that customers expect them to be, is the most important step towards enabling them to serve customers better. This also infuses confidence among customers and makes them receptive to the store associates suggestions.

Associates must be able to answer detailed questions beyond what shoppers can learn on their own using digital devices. Store associates, armed with a tablet or mobile device, can have access to product availability, price comparisons, offers & promotions, loyalty points and videos at their fingertips. Chances are this information is already available but distributed across several sites, back-office systems- inaccessible to your associates.

Mobile technology offers tremendous opportunity to make this data available to store associates and them to more effectively guide the purchase decision of How customer experience is the key differentiator for retailersshoppers in store.

How can retailers create better in-store customer experiences?

In-store retail technologies can supplement the shopping experience, and many retailers are seeing the benefits of them. In-store technology can help retailers reach more customers, as well as have better informed in-store employees. Not only that, mobile store technology can bring store associates out from behind the counter, to build experiences around the customer. While the goal is to offer customers a seamless shopping experience across all retail channels, the trick is to find the best way to combine online with in-store shopping to create a connected retail experience.

Providing a superior customer experience also depends upon how seamlessly the technology can integrate within the existing retail environment and how well trained are the store associates using the technology to deliver a superior service experience.

What are the benefits of a better customer experience?

While convenience can drive incremental sales, a great customer experience provides a true differentiator ensuring repeat sales, customer advocacy and giving a competitive edge.

To attract more customers it is not necessary that retailers position themselves as the cheapest in the market, rather they should aim at offering customers something that makes it worth their while and a personalized experience can provide that value. The ability to go beyond and make the experience relevant to the customer needs can help in fostering long term relationships.

Sales associates equipped with Mobile POS, provides them the flexibility to meet customers anywhere on the floor with access to information required to answer all customer queries enhancing the overall experience.

Senior Vice President of Sales for Asia Pacific and the Americas, for CitiXsys, Paula Da Silva has more than 10 years’ experience in the retail industry associated with delivering innovative software solutions to mid and large sized retailers. Known for her strong track record of operational excellence and managing a global ecosystem of technology partners, Paula has been instrumental in building the iVend Retail into a global market leader in the retail industry and plays a major role in the Company’s overall performance.

Paula Da Silva