The predictions are in and it’s encouraging news for retailers this holiday season. The National Retail Federation predicts a U.S. sales increase of between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent over 2017 figures, with consumers spending more than $1,000 per person. Online shopping is expected to realize the highest gains, with Adobe estimating a 14.8 percent upturn over last year for a total of $124.1 Billion.
Are you ready to cash in? A winning strategy that delivers during the holidays and throughout the year is so obvious it’s often overlooked: Make it easy for consumers to do business with you.
• Easy to Purchase
Shopping can take the happy out of the holidays for many people. In fact, Nerdwallet reported that 29 percent of Americans experienced stress, 25 percent were overwhelmed, 17 percent frustrated and 7 percent confused by holiday shopping.
Retailers can help alleviate some of that stress by adopting a digital strategy to provide an integrated customer experience online and offline. For example, give consumers the ability to purchase online but pickup and return instore. Notify them when their items have shipped or are ready for pickup. Send them a reminder or incentive when they have unpurchased items in their online shopping cart.
• Easy to Pay
The days of cash, check or charge are long gone. In an age where you can pay with the swipe of your phone, and with mobile payment revenue expected to surpass $1 trillion by the beginning of next year, it’s critical to keep all your payment options open. Keep up with payment trends to give customers a hassle-free experience and attract their digital dollars.
• Easy to Trust
Customers want a personalized shopping experience but find it hard to strike a balance between personalization and privacy. Research indicates that 62 percent of customers are more afraid of their data being compromised now than they were two years ago. Keep customer data safe by employing best practices in cyber security and fraud notification.
• Easy to Communicate
Customers want to be communicated with on their terms. Some may want payment notifications via text but offers over email, while others wish all communications via instant messaging. To do that you need to build actionable customer profiles that detail preferences and purchase history and make them visible across your entire organization. And remember, communication doesn’t need to stop after they purchase. Add value with delivery notifications, post-purchase tips and warranty reminders.
• Easy to be Loyal
Everyone wants to feel appreciated, it’s human nature, that’s why loyalty programs work so well, increasing customer lifetime value by up to 30%. Show your customers they are valued and promote return visits through reward programs, anniversary and birthday couponing, and exclusive discounts. Personalize your offers by suggesting complementary products and services that fit individual shoppers.
At the end of the day, for customers, it’s all about experience and convenience, a fact that plays out at the cash register.
Consumers are willing to spend up to 16 percent more on products and services with companies that offer a better experience. PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey 2017/18
Are you making it easy for consumers to do business with you?
For more information on connected customer journeys visit CSGI.com.