A shopper may want a pair of size 8½ sneakers immediately but may not know exactly which brand and style to buy. With hundreds of brands available in a $6.9 trillion retail market, customers have difficulty choosing—so much so that American psychologist Barry Schwartz has dubbed the phenomenon “the paradox of choice.” When customers are presented with too many options, it requires more effort (and time) to decide, and it can even leave them questioning or feeling unsatisfied with their choice.
This observation has also been validated by Forrester Research, who found customer confidence decreases across the lifecycle from researching to purchasing and even using the product, as a result of the uncertainty and complexity of the entire experience.
Given the low switching costs between retail brands and the paradox of choice, how can you build confidence, and subsequent loyalty, with your brand?
Use Appropriate Omnichannel Communications
The key is to leverage real-time, contextually accurate communications that cut through the noise. But what does that mean?
Less is more — “Real-time” doesn’t mean all the time, and “omnichannel” doesn’t mean blasting customers on every channel. You need an intelligent and complex decisioning engine that offers up the right choice, on the right channel, at the most relevant time to make it easier to achieve the desired outcome.
Sales notifications — If a customer hasn’t purchased anything in a few weeks, you can determine which type of sales promotion to send based on the customer’s buying and browsing history. Then send a personalized ad over the channel (e.g., email, push, text) where the customer is the most active and responsive. Don’t stop there—after their purchase, follow up with a customer satisfaction microsurvey to garner real-time insights on the experience.
Shopping cart abandonment follow-up — If a customer placed an item in the cart and then abandoned the site, determine whether to send a reminder or promotion to encourage completion. Send an email or SMS with a link, making it easy for the shopper to complete the purchase. If the person purchased the item, continue sending them cart abandonment reminders in the future (when contextually appropriate).
Web content personalization — With consumerism growing more and more digitally driven, your website is integral to a successful omnichannel strategy. Dynamically changing landing pages are key to pushing customers down the funnel. For instance, if a customer was looking at patio furniture in a past session, when they return to the website again, the first page they land on might have a call-out to outdoor furniture and deals.
Take Full Advantage of Customer Data
To win the battle for customers’ attention and decision, an updated customer data profile is essential to determine which products or services customers are looking for, and to determine when items are left in their cart or which purchase they should make next.
Synthesize customer data and interactions from multiple channels and segment this data on an individual level. Using this real-time data, customer journey management software determines and triggers the next best action, automatically sending the right message, in the right channel, at the right time. Then journey analytics acts as the continuous improvement gauge to measure how customers flow through every interaction, helping you optimize future communications.
Tilt the Paradox of Choice in Your Favor
Understanding your customers begins with understanding your own internal customer experience capabilities and touchpoints that build or destroy customer confidence with your brand. From there you can identify opportunities for improvement across the customer lifecycle to realize “quick wins” that drive greater customer satisfaction and positive return on investment. But bringing it all together requires a customer engagement solution built for retail.
RELATED GUIDE: Retail Experience: Orchestrate Compelling Communications That Capture Consumer Attention
CSG Xponent Ignite for Retail was created with all these fundamentals in mind. This customer engagement solution offers prebuilt customers journeys complete with all the above best practices (i.e., intelligent decisioning, sales notifications, cart abandonment communications, web personalization) and leverages an industry-leading customer data platform within its system of intelligence. And getting started is easy with pre-configured integrations to overlap into your tech ecosystem.
Contact us today so we can collaborate to understand your CX maturity and where you can increase customer confidence and brand loyalty.