Gaining and maintaining loyal customers is essential in the ever-changing world of retail. Consumer needs and demands are constantly changing, and in order to gain the trust of customers, retailers need to provide an exceptional experience, meeting and exceeding their expectations. Doing this provides a higher chance of customers purchasing again in future and considering customer retention can be five times cheaper than acquiring new ones, it’s something that’s hugely important to retailers. So, what are the best ways for retailers to develop strong relationships and build customer loyalty?
An omnichannel experience
Experts once predicted that the future of retail was online, but we’re increasingly seeing online retailers open physical stores. Despite the staggering increase of e-commerce, brick and mortar stores still have the edge in the world of retail. This can be put down to factors such as being able to see and feel merchandise, and the engagement with technology and staff when purchasing a product. Therefore, the most successful retailers are revitalising their in-store environment, to create an omnichannel shopping experience, ensuring they meet every need of the customer – which ultimately, leads to customer loyalty.
As digital capabilities develop, there’s an opportunity for retailers to blend offline and online strategies to deliver the ultimate shopping experience. For example, HMY’s digital store solution offers its customers real-time information on its full catalogue, available stock, current prices, personalised offers and promotions, as well as recommended products, encouraging cross-selling.
The solution allows HMY customers, both brands and retailers, to develop a robust omnichannel strategy, adopting the capabilities and characteristics of every channel to transform sales spaces into authentic digital stores.
Meet individual needs through personalisation
An important part of omnichannel marketing is personalisation – the buzzword on all brands and retailers’ lips. In order to keep up with, and complement the customised on-line experience, retail brands must use data capture to provide personalisation, better interactions and a more streamlined offline shopping process. Smart technology is helping to deliver this.
Whilst the growth of personalisation has been facilitated by advances in technology, a big driver has been the collection and use of data. Retailers can harness data collected in-store to better understand customers’ preferences and tailor offerings accordingly. This is key in helping shoppers feel like the set up of physical stores is designed with their specific needs in mind.
HMY’s Digital Store solution offers customers real-time information on a retailer’s full catalogue, including available stock, current prices, and importantly, personalised offers and promotions, as well as recommended products tailored to the particular individual, encouraging cross-selling.
Engaging with artificial intelligence
The traditional display signage concept has recently evolved into more interactive versions using holographic and augmented reality (AR) technology. This is another way retailers can truly excel at maintaining and developing strong customer relationships – through artificial intelligence (AI).
In order to differentiate themselves from competitors, retailers should look at the ever-evolving consumer purchasing journey and how technology is disrupting the traditional business model to bring real-time, personalised experiences to either facilitate the process or creatively engage with the consumer. Amongst mobile apps, smart shelves and new POS systems, retailers are learning more about their customers to entice sales and enhance individual experiences with AI.
HMY has started to implement this technology via its Digital Mannequin, a solution that shows a brand’s garments and accessories on a digital model, so that the consumer can see the product moving.
This can segment the campaign by gender and age, tailoring the experience to each customer. Also,
all garments worn by the model, has an associated QR code connected to website, resulting in digital sales.
Putting the right solutions in place, exceeding customer expectations and ensuring they feel valued is achievable at any scale. If you’d like to find out how we can help build customer loyalty to your brand, get in touch.