Stop being stubborn and start considering customer-focused solutions.
As offline and online worlds continue to converge, it’s become increasingly important for businesses to adapt to changing market realities. Those realities include major upgrades in how products are showcased, shopped, ordered and shipped. And, of course, while protecting customer data too.
Don’t believe us? Consider this 2018 study released by Salesforce, in which 80 per cent of consumers indicated that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Ninety-five per cent of respondents also stated they are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust.
Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, here’s a few reasons why digitally transforming your business will not only improve your bottomline but enhance the experience of your customers.
Retailers who have not converted to the cloud are falling out of line with today’s market and negatively affecting their business in three critical ways: speed, scale and storage.
Simply put, speed refers to the time it takes a customer to complete a transaction. Leveraging cloud capabilities allows all the required purchase tools to remain at the ready so a customer can race through the checkout line and leave with a positive experience. In regards to scale, cloud computing lets businesses grow at their own pace without weighing down expenses. This is because clouds have no limitations and are meant to be flexible, versatile and malleable for business needs. Lastly, when it comes to storage there’s no better (i.e. invisible) place than the cloud. The growth and collection of Big Data can be difficult to manage — it has to be sent to a space where it fits, is safe and is still readily accessible — but the information gained from customer preferences, buying patterns, services and offers is too valuable to make sacrifices with.
Cloud-based solutions check all the boxes, and have clearly become the norm because they not only enrich customer experiences but simplify operational systems.
That begins internally by creating responsive web designs that are easy to navigate, searchable and quick to load and advances externally to engaging customers from other sources. Most people check their phones 58 times per day on average, according to a study released in 2019 by RescueTime, indicating how imperative it is to offer multiple opportunities for customers to connect with your brand.
Location-based content and multi-channel display ads are a couple of the standard strategies but others can be more effective, such as SMS campaigns. Text messages are opened at a much higher rate than emails, which can sit unread for days, and are shorter, simpler and more personalized.
According to Acoustic, a data-driven marketing solutions company, SMS campaigns can result in a whopping 300 per cent increase in conversions. They boost engagement by connecting with customers, when and where they expect it. All that’s required is a phone number, which is an often-overlooked field when collecting and using data.
“I think businesses definitely need to provide their customers the option of engaging on mobile,” says Pinky Lees, mobile strategist at Acoustic, who still sees room for growth. “I think too many brands miss out on that opportunity. Even today I don’t see the option, to me as an end-consumer, ‘Do you want to engage in an email and SMS, or just SMS?’ I still see a gap when it comes to mobile engagement.”
In addition, mobile apps can improve CX while simultaneously strengthening the connection between customer and brand. Push-notification offers, quicker checkouts and loyalty programs all lead to higher engagement and retention.
Also one of the most important elements to digitize is one’s supply chain. Its tentacles stretch to numerous aspects of a business and improvements can boost CX in a number of ways, even though it primarily functions behind the curtain.
One benefit to customers comes through inventory visibility, essentially making sure that what customers want to purchase is available no matter how, when or where they want it. With so many different buying behaviours — Buy Online, Pick-up In Store (BOPIS), Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO), Browse In-Store, on Mobile, Buy Online (BIMBO) and more — a siloed approach will struggle to keep up. Therefore, businesses with strong supply chain visibility can reduce lost sales, lost margins and customers aggravated by overpromising.
“One of the ways supply chain helps is how much inventory you show,” says Jay Black, worldwide solutions executive at IBM Sterling. “It increases the footprint of being able to get someone to buy something because now you’re showing more inventory than you probably were before. And you’re also providing a couple different fulfillment options for the customer to give flexibility.”
Speaking of fulfillment, supply chain benefit for customers is through shipping solutions. Increasing how fast orders can be delivered as well as the options — same day, next day, next week — presented at checkout provides customers the ability to expedite a package, if necessary, and weigh the costs associated to different delivery speeds.
An integrated supply chain must be able to handle reverse logistics as well. Does your business require online buyers return in-store or re-pack an unwanted item and send it back to a fulfillment centre? Can it handle either method? And who covers the return shipping cost? Then there’s the reception of the shipment, replacement in the inventory and customer refund that needs to occur. It’s a multi-step process with many variables but automating as much as possible can help make returns smooth.
It all adds up to an increase in CX, at a time when customer expectations continue to climb higher.
About FAHM Technology Partners
FAHM Technology Partners is a team of experts passionate in delivering forward-thinking solutions that answer technology challenges for companies, deliver cutting-edge projects and improve clients’ business processes. The company works with your organization to build a customized solution that integrates the optimal mix of the latest technologies, infrastructures, tools, and software in highly competitive timeframes.
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