How retailers can embrace the power of digital

By 2020, customers will manage an estimated 85% of brand interactions without speaking to a human. The prevalence and richness of digital touchpoints means that companies are accumulating a huge volume of measurable information about their customers.  

This information is power, and leaders are using it to learn from their customers and provide outstanding experiences. This is digital transformation, and those retailers wanting to emulate the success of industry leaders need to implement a digital Customer Experience (CX) strategy to get there.

Effective digital strategies

A retailer’s digital CX strategy is the way it understands and adapts customer interactions with digital touchpoints (website, mobile applications, chatbots) throughout the customer journey. Done successfully, it will drive action, helping companies provide new value to customers and understand which innovations have impact.

There are five key ways that retailers can look to embrace a digital CX strategy. These are as follows

1. Enrich behavioural data with customer feedback

Insight into how customers interact with digital touchpoints allows retailers to better understand the behavioural context for each customer at the moment they provide feedback. When companies hear the story behind the numbers, they gain a deeper understanding of the overall customer experiences they deliver. This feedback helps retailers uncover why customers act the way they do, unlocking powerful insights that lead to action.

2. Integrate data across channels for a single view of the customer

Leading companies also recognise the power in an omnichannel approach to learning from their customers; linking data from across the customer journey and visualising it all in one place. In retail, the challenge is in providing seamless, frictionless experiences as customers switch back and forth between digital and in-person channels.

However, by integrating customer data across channels, companies surface insights that would otherwise be trapped in organisational silos and enable teams to take coordinated action. Retailer ‘City Beach Australia’ did just this with good success – integrating both feedback data and web analytics to provide a single view of their customers’ behaviour, resulting in a 30% increase in sales and a 25% increase in conversion rates.

3. Enable personalised customer experiences

Delivering personalised experiences enables companies to meet a diverse range of customer needs and ever-changing expectations. Retailers that engage with users at the right place and right time, designing digital experiences that respond to context, are able to optimise the customer experience and drive meaningful results. Indeed, personalisation strategies have been shown to lift revenue by up to 15%.

4. Empower employees to take action

When employees are empowered with data, they have both the expertise and the means for fast, effective problem solving. In fact, companies that see gathering and distributing customer feedback as critical for collaboration implemented nine times more new innovations in a single year than companies that don’t.

5. Power innovation through advanced analytics

A well-designed digital CX strategy incorporates advanced analytics, including text analytics as well as predictive and prescriptive methods that help companies identify their next move. Leading companies rely on predictive modelling to see around corners, using patterns of past behaviour to understand what will likely happen next. And they use prescriptive analytics to take action based on these insights; for example, proactively reaching out to customers who are at risk of churning.

Consumers use technology in every part of their lives to make things easier. They expect frictionless experiences and demand more personalised, context-relevant interactions. This mean retailers must devise strategies to understand their customers at a deeper level and adapt quickly.

The most impactful digital CX strategies balance human and machine solutions to continuously provide great experiences and drive business outcomes. By harnessing digital insights, retailers can grow their enterprise and enable their teams to rally around the customer – and thrive.

Kareena Uttamchandani is a senior manager and solutions consultant at Medallia. Medallia realises the pace and impact of changing demands is unrelenting and companies often have difficulty keeping up with their customers. It aims to help businesses ‘win’ by improving customer experiences.

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