Meeting the needs of the modern shopper
It’s not just the running of a retail or wholesale business that has become more complicated – your end buyer is now behaving in more complex manners than ever before.
Understanding what shoppers want from their buying experiences is vital to success, particularly in today’s highly competitive environment. Here are five consumer behaviours that your organisation needs to know about, in order to maximise sales and grow long-term relationships.
- The consumer doesn’t care about channel
- They are more impatient than ever
- They want bricks-and-mortar to integrate with their online experiences
- They expect you to know them personally
- They are fickle – and WILL vote with their feet
Within the industry we’re constantly talking about channels – individual channels, multichannel, omnichannel – but this concept is lost on the consumer. They simply want great experiences, and do not care how difficult it is for the retailer to deliver them.
Successfully reaching the modern shopper involves more than offering channel consistency; it means making each interaction relevant to the channel the consumer is shopping in, and optimised for that moment in time.
The tolerance level shoppers have for ‘slowness’ in retail is at its lowest ever level. They want quick loading websites; quick answers to queries; quick service; quick delivery.
For retail and wholesale organisations, this means having the technology and processes in place to respond rapidly to whatever it is that the consumer requires – from robust bandwidths and business networks, to seamless distribution and logistics networks.
One of the biggest challenges facing the retail – and to some extent the wholesale – industry today is how to integrate physical and digital shopping.
The modern shopper does not stop using technology when they enter a store, so why would they expect the brand they are shopping with to do the same? The most successful retailers are using point of sale technology to incorporate digital capabilities like endless aisle browsing, product availability checking, on the spot ordering and ‘anytime, anywhere’ checkout to the bricks-and-mortar environment.
Personalisation is a big talking point in our industry, and there is huge variation in the level of customisation that retailers and wholesalers are currently achieving.
Most shoppers today expect some appreciation of their individual value, whether that’s a special discount email on their birthday, bonus benefits for being a loyal customer, or tailored product recommendations based on their previous purchases. The challenge for businesses therefore is to convert the data consumers are generating with each interaction into a personalisation programme that can deliver this level of tailored response.
Even the most forgiving of shoppers will tire fairly quickly of a retail or wholesale company that cannot meet their expectations – and start to look elsewhere as a result.
It’s no secret that customer loyalty is at an all-time low, and fickle consumers will shop around to get the best deal and best service, trying new brands if necessary. Retailers and wholesalers therefore need to focus on listening to what shoppers want and responding quickly, in order to nurture lifetime value. After all, it is much more cost effective to incentivise existing customers than to attract new ones.
Create agile customer experiences with BlueBridge One
If your business needs to invest in better technology to optimise consumer encounters, BlueBridge One can help. Our award winning cloud-based business solutions can integrate online, in-store, wholesale distribution and machine to machine to enable connected, seamless customer experience.
From implementation and integration to ongoing support, our aim is to ensure you increase efficiency, reduce costs and enable flexible and agile control of the supply chain. Click here to find out more.
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