Today’s retail customers are more empowered than ever before. New technologies have equipped consumers with access to a wealth of product information. For example, a recent Forrester Research survey found that 70% of consumers research a product online but purchase it offline. Even after consumers are in a store, they continue to search for product information online. A recent eMarketer study found that 38% of U.S. shoppers use their mobile devices to help decide whether or not to purchase a product in-store. But in-store and associate capabilities have not kept up with consumer expectations: Many stores do not have the technology in place to support an enabled consumer shopping in a multichannel environment. This not only puts associate relevancy at risk, but may harm consumer traffic, sales, margins and brand advocacy.
Despite the fact that modern consumers want a better in-store experience facilitated by new technology, few retailers have implemented the necessary technology and it may be costing them. For example, 65% of consumers surveyed by Kurt Salmon said if a size were unavailable in-store, they would order the product online before leaving the store if that technology were available. Retailers who offer this type of service can capture a greater number of sales, instead of hoping the customer will complete the purchase once she returns home.
Leading retailers are already beginning to pilot or deploy solutions that enable associates to better assist customers, empower customers to assist themselves, and drive conversion and transaction value from in-store customers. However, most retailers have failed to clearly define customer needs and identify the solutions required to meet consumer expectations for an integrated multichannel shopping experience.
Kurt Salmon Helps Develop a Strategic Customer-Facing Technology Roadmap
Kurt Salmon helps retailers achieve this integrated experience by aligning their customer-facing technology strategy with customer, associate and business needs across channels.
Our methodology leverages a consumer needs–based framework to identify, validate and prioritize CFT capabilities, investments and strategic initiatives.
Our service offering focuses on consumer-driven technology capabilities that improve the direct interaction between customers, associates, and the overall brand and includes three components:
- CFT and Consumer Impact Assessment. A focused assessment of a retailer’s current customer-facing capabilities as compared to documented consumer insights, current industry capabilities and competitive landscape. The assessment then helps determine where technology can enable a better in-store experience, improve customer satisfaction and bolster a consistent brand image across channels.
- CFT Capability Roadmap Development. Development of a consumer-driven, multichannel, multigenerational capability roadmap. This component identifies solutions to the potentially negative impacts of price comparisons on mobile phones and helps a retailer best leverage new technologies to engage consumers.
- CFT Strategy Development and Business Process Integration. Design and integration of the strategic process that will be used to identify, monitor, evaluate and prioritize CFT capabilities into the overall customer experience strategy.
1 July 2011