As we progress nicely into 2018, the number of consumers opting to shop online shows no sign of slowing. Instead, the numbers are on a continual upsurge and this is resulting in retailers having to adapt consumer marketing strategies, just to keep up!
‘In the old days’ things were simple – your customer comes to your store, your friendly advisers greet and exchange pleasantries, they have a great experience and then they’re on their way. Easy and in the retailer’s control. Repeat customer? Most often, yes.
So what does it mean when your customer then chooses to shop online with you instead? No more visits to your fabulously dressed store, no more chats with conversational staff, no more in-store marketing. The customer no longer experiences any of this.
The realisation is that your customer is now faced with only two points of contact – the retailer website or app via search, social media or digital PR, and ultimately a delivery driver!
Companies such as John Lewis who have seen a rapid rise in their customer base switching from in-store to online, have combated the change by investing heavily into staff training for their drivers, (noting that this is now the customer’s only human interaction with its brand). Drivers have gone through a rigorous customer service training program led by the in-store trainers. They recognised that the customer interaction at point of delivery was so significant that they introduced an initiative where drivers would offer to unpack, assemble and even remove the packaging, all for a small cost for the customer. Alongside this they invested a further £4m+ into the app to compliment their in-store experience. As a result of this, new roles are being created across the retail industry within technology.
Evidently it is becoming essential for all retailers to act in a similar fashion, if they want to keep up in this new age digital market a significant focus needs to be placed on the online shopper!
Jennifer Teale – PR and Social Director