Improve the in-store customer journey with your customers' data

Massimo Petrella
CEO @ Tailoradio

There are two fundamental customer needs that retailers must meet:

  • The constant, cross-media stimulus, to experience a fulfilling and memorable shopping experience.
  • The optimization of the store’s ability to interpret a need, proposing a personalized solution in real time.

That’s right: as much as shopping is progressively moving online and people are experiencing the large majority of their customer experience on the web, the physical store should not be forgotten. This too is a touch point where brands and people meet. The store should respect the brand’s identity too and be in line with other corporate channels, both online and offline.

But it is right here that a new opportunity is born for online to support the physical store in order to obtain customer loyalty. How?

By providing the sales staff with valuable information that the user has left in the brand’s online area. What products have they looked at? Which blog articles have they read?

In this way, the various customer experiences of each client merge into a single, consistent customer journey.

  • The brand discovers the customer’s interests by following their journey on the online corporate channels.
  • The physical store has the information at its disposal and is able to prepare itself in order to offer the customer exactly what they are expecting when they enter the store.


The In-Store Customer Journey: Trends and Solutions for Customers

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How are stores equipping themselves to ensure a great customer experience for the client?

The era of stand-alone digital signage is over. From top retailers to small and medium-sized enterprises, the data from the past year reveal a strong interest in the implementation of innovative tools. Investments aimed at renewing communication potential and personalizing the customer journey within stores are different depending on product categories. These are characterized by different priorities and ways of reaching the customer.

While the food industry has demonstrated a desire to put greater emphasis on the simplification of payments and better dialogue between e-commerce and traditional stores, the clothes industry has recorded a strong trend toward multisensory aspects and experiential innovation. This has been the case for the entire fashion world. The industry initially chose to invest in integration between stores, e-commerce and use of mobile apps. Now fashion is facing the challenge of reinforcing its brand identity, giving recognizable tones to the customer journey in their points of sale as well.

Space then for digital signage, smart shelves and windows, and smart and interactive mirrors. What’s missing? The next big protagonist will certainly be olfactory marketing: already “discovered” for its incredible effectiveness, but still to be developed and brought to retail on a mass scale, at various levels. It is interesting to note that people remember 35% of what they sense through smell, compared with 1% through touch, 2% through hearing and 5% through sight.

This figure demonstrates a great opportunity to be taken in order to involve users effectively. The latest analyses on sensory marketing seem to leave little doubt about the growth that we should expect from a world, that of fragrances, which will be called upon more and more. It will be used to give character and recognizability to brands that are permanently on the lookout for an image, also an olfactory one, to imprint in their customers’ memories.

The In-Store Customer Journey Must Be Data-Driven Too

Can you imagine what it would be like to enter a store and smell the exact fragrance that you like in the air? Or to see your favorite dress in the window from the new collection? The future could be like this! However, to populate digital signage, show the right images and propose the most suitable clothes for each customer, being creative is not enough. Here too, the data are fundamental.

Indeed, the results presented by the Digital Innovation Observatories of the Polytechnic University of Milan are clear. 86% of retailers surveyed have already made investments in back-end infrastructure, from CRM solutions to Intelligence Analytics.

It is right here that all those software solutions dedicated to the collection of precise consumer data are positioned too. These will allow consumers to be offered a truly personalized experience, uniting navigation data from the website with those of in-store purchases.

That way, when Sandy returns to one of your offline bases, the sales assistant may be aware of the history of the actions and interests of that person. They will call Sandy by name and treat her as though they have known her forever, guessing the perfect outfit to sell her first time. On the other hand, when Sandy visits that brand’s website, she will be able to find a clothing section designed just for her, on the basis of purchases made in-store.

In this way too, the customer journey is improved, making the brand a trusted friend who knows you and knows what you like.