Guest blog

The Key to Winning in New Retail - Relevant, Seamless & Human

In today’s retail climate, shopper loyalty seems to be in short supply.

Was it always like this? Well, it’s debatable just how loyal shopperswere to brands and retailers before a shift took place when the pandemic hit.

What is indisputable is that our expectations of retailers and brands have changed significantly. The shoppers of the ‘Amazon’ generation expect the same level of personal convenience, quality, and value wherever and whenever they shop online or in-store.

In the new reality, Shoppers have unprecedented choice in terms where to shop, yet are more time poor, less forgiving, and more informed and savvier than ever. They have no interest in jumping from platform to platform or channel to channel, they expect retailers complexities to be invisible to them. There really has never been a more important time to focus not just on what you sell but how you sell it.

The latest McKinsey data tells us that 71% of shoppers expect some kind of personal interaction with a seller from who they buy. It’s no surprise then that companies offering some kind of personalized experience are growing 40% quicker than those who do not.

It’s also true that shoppers are far less forgiving, the same McKinsey report tells us that 80% of shoppers switch brands or retailers because of bad experience and that 43% will switch after a single negative interaction.

So, I’m afraid past purchase is no longer a guarantee of future purchase, and this doesn’t look like a trend, it's the future of retail reality.

If the past has taught us anything in retail it is to be successful, you need to know your customer and instinctively meet their needs and wants.  
The truth is, shoppers these days have five needs or want when deciding what tobuy and where to shop – quality, convenience, availability, safety and, of course, value. When these needs are met, data shows they simply no longer care where they buy or from who.

Thus, unintended shopping promiscuity is just a fact of life, 70 per cent of shoppers stated that they are equally open to trying new brands or retailers if the quality of products is worth buying into.

But how do they find new brands and products?  Well one thing’s for sure they research online. ROPO - Research online Purchase offline, has become a huge area of focus across many categories. Whilst around 80% of all purchases still happen in physical stores, more and more shoppers are starting their shopping journey online if not actually shopping there.

ROPO tactics as a key part of shopper centricity have led to a rise in peer-to-peer reviews and latterly more sophisticated conversational commerce and increasingly we are demanding a return to a human (or human simulated) interaction on our path topurchase.

Human interaction has always been key to shopper centricity, the most successful global retail brands have put their relationships with their shoppers at the top of their agenda. It’s the sales assistants who deliver the most powerful customer experiences whether helping shoppers navigate effectively, help them understand why to buy or inspire them to buy immediately with smart selling skills. But, this type of Human interaction online at scale has been difficult to deliver until now.

With the development of video api (Getbee) and the seamless incorporation of the technology into more and more ecommerce websites, we are now at last seeing meaningful shopping missions with real human-to-human interaction happening on-line.

Led currently by categories engaged in more consultative selling, we are seeing this type of one-to-one conversational commerce spreading across all areas of retail from fashion and beauty to electronics, automotive and real estate. Infact, anywhere where a conversation with a sales assistant, adds value to a purchase experience and momentum, then video api’s (Getbee) can be deployed to replicate the experience and maintain a high level of shopper centricity.

So, it’s clear that being relevant and focusing on how you sell those matters.  

It really is no surprise that brands that lead in shopper-centricity grow nearly three times faster than the industry average.

Shoppers are willing to pay a premium for relevance and are asking themselves (and wherever possible still wanting to ask a sales assistant) on pretty much every shopping trip, online or offline, ‘what’s in it for me?

Answer that effectively and you are on the way to a sale.

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