Creating the ultimate digital retail experience for your customers

Creating the ultimate digital retail experience for your customers Omar is Senior Director of Marketing at Mapp Digital, one of the largest, global independent marketing technology companies. Our Customer Engagement Platform, with integrated Data Management Platform and customer-centric services assist mid-market and Fortune 500 companies maximize return from digital marketing executions.

Shopping is no longer about simply going into a shop. It’s all about engagement.

It is the age of the customer and in this fast-paced, competitive, dynamic digital world, customers are bombarded with between 3000-5000 messages daily via numerous channels.

New digital technologies and channels have multiplied and will continue to do so. Even in store, customers are using a multitude of different devices to research, review and ultimately purchase goods and services.

All these touch points present an opportunity and a challenge for retailers to add value with personalized engagement. The goal is to progressively shift the customer from someone, who may be agnostic, to a passionate advocate of your brand.

With the explosion of channels and choice, successful retailers need a combination of specialist knowledge and advanced technology – a customer centric marketing ecosystem – that uses every digital touch point and adds value where customers expect it least.

Embrace the age of smarter shopping

The impact of digital technology on commerce is powerful and fast moving.

Today’s shopper is 100% connected digitally 100% of the time. The proliferation in mobile devices means that customers can browse and buy whenever and wherever.

“Today, the vast majority of shoppers research online before they buy from a store. This means that every business [needs to be] a digital business because every customer is a digital customer,” says Peter Fitzgerald, Director of Google UK.

the vast majority of shoppers research online before they buy from a store

A recent report from Internet Retailing calculates that more than £150bn ($187bn) of retail sales are now influenced by digital and that retailers whose services don’t meet customers’ expectations could lose more than £12bn ($15bn) a year.

That challenge is supported by new research by Kibo, which reveals that six in ten shoppers are ready to stop using retailers that are unable to cater for their digital expectations, such as next-day click-and-collect.

So, with this ‘always on’ digital shopping street, there is a clear need for retailers to transform their marketing functions and connect with more digitally-savvy customers.

The ultimate digital experience combines all the separate digital touch points so customers can interact with you in store, on the web, via mobile devices or through call centres in a seamless way – with the flexibility to connect, research, shop, receive and return merchandise as they like.

The ultimate digital retail experience

The key is adding value to every single customer interaction.

Modern, connected and responsive brands need to utilize all their different avenues of marketing in the most targeted way possible.

To communicate the most relevant and powerful messages to their customers, whether that’s through contextual emails, responsive websites, mobile marketing, real-time social media advertising, ambient proximity and big data.

It has become mission critical for the modern marketer to create a sense of the truly connected customer.

the key is adding value to every single customer interaction

By having a two-way conversation, companies will find that they have customers that are so integrated with their brand’s products and services that they will not shop anywhere else and help to increase sales and revenue.

At the same time, you can capture, collate and interpret both known and unknown data along the way, building a picture of each individual customer, creating personalized, relevant, content-rich engagement opportunities, whilst streamlining operational processes. Now that sounds like smarter shopping.

Today’s consumers are already multi-channel shoppers. It’s now time for retailers and brands to live up to their expectations.

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