In rapid succession, buzzwords like “customer experience,” “CX” and “customer journey” have moved from conceptual theories to boardroom imperatives. It’s now table stakes for major enterprises to have an ability to engage, convert, and nurture consumer relationships in a highly personal, secure way, and on a proliferating range of channels and conversational entry points, including Apple Messages for Business, WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, and more.
Digital intelligence platforms like Scuba Analytics and FullStory are expanding rapidly — with funding rounds led by some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley. Big data analytics is expected to grow to $100 billion in the next five years, driven in large part by demand from retail brands for real-time insights and accurate customer engagement data.
All brands and retailers are competing against each other for sales this holiday season, and the surge in e-commerce has favored big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target thanks to accessibility, convenience, and marketing dollars. Local businesses, which previously thrived on outpacing big brands with superior in-person customer service, are now being pushed to adapt to the new consumer, one who spends less time browsing a retail location and more time scrolling online.
When every step of the buyer journey reflects your brand, from the time shoppers enter your website to the time they make a purchase, you improve your ability to forge deep and lasting connections with your customers. These customers will become loyal brand ambassadors who will advocate for your business and drive meaningful improvements in revenue and loyalty — metrics that will ultimately determine your business’ success.
Just this morning, the low-code digital customer experience platform Airkit announced a $40 million round of Series B funding, led by EQT Ventures. The Series B will be used to accelerate the company’s investments in go-to-market and product development. The announcement comes just seven months after Airkit came out of stealth with a $28 million Series A.
Remember when Amazon launched Prime? The entire retail customer experience (CX) changed overnight — for everyone. The bookseller-turned-everything-seller suddenly offered low prices and fast and free delivery, leading traditional retailers to pivot drastically to keep up with their mega-competitor.
But sometimes, unexpected CX overhauls are a good thing — especially when competitors have to pivot, too.
Providing an outstanding customer experience can be your most powerful and cost-efficient marketing strategy. In a business world where dozens of other companies sell the same products and services as you do, creating an environment where customers enjoy dealing with your company will help your brand stand out from the rest.
There’s so much discussion around returning to the old normal, but retail’s future depends on getting as far as way from normal as it can. Retailers need to seize the opportunity and reimagine the experiences they provide—and create the next normal.
What would this look like? As a guiding principle, retailers should be finding ways to put the customer first in the experiences we provide.
The retail space starts to feel chaotic this time of year, with brands pulling out all the stops to win over holiday shoppers. Amidst all the talk of sales and discounts, retailers this year are looking at integrating new customer experience initiatives designed to bring in first-time shoppers and encourage long-time loyalists to spend even more than usual.
To learn even more about the customer experience strategies retailers are launching this year, we checked in with a few industry experts. Here are their thoughts on the best customer experience strategies retailers are trying out this holiday season.