Do stores risk of ending up like the phone booths when mobile phones took over? In order to avoid that, retail organizations need to be able to create memorable and integrated customer-company relationships. How can you build a customer experience that arises awareness and desire in people? And what is the role of product communication in this?
We asked Davide Cavalieri, author of "Un desiderio chiamato retail" (A desire called retail) and General Manager of Cavalieri Retail, a company specializing in the development of solutions to enhance the performance of outlets, commercial networks of wholesale brands and mass retailers.
Q: In your book, you state that a healty retail is that which can speak to people's hearts and tease their imagination. What are the ingredients for success?
A: The tools to succeed in retail are part of our daily lives, even if we don't realize it. We just have to learn how to use them in a functional way. How? First of all, we ask ourselves questions to understand how the market is moving, how competitors act and what are the new trends.
Understanding means not only collecting information, but interpreting it and deciding the best way to go, what different and attractive things to offer, and to move accordingly. If it is true that successful retail is driven by passion, it is also true that without a long-term vision and a well-defined identity you can’t achieve lasting results.
Q: Integrating content into the user experience flow. How and why? How to use content in a one-to-one communication?
A: In order to intervene on user experience, in my opinion it’s fundamental to create a map of your customer journey, the path your users will follow. A sort of guide that analyzes the consumer's behavior, their needs, their reactions, considering their comments as well. A strategic tool available to sales and marketing teams, which allows you to approach the consumer in an effective, impactful way. Today the consumer lives a hectic life, in which time is tyrant. For this reason, it is necessary to stimulate and engage your consumer, keeping their interest alive. Knowing your customers and offering them products and services tailored to their needs is strategic.
Q: How can the relationship between brand and retailer be set in the age of online sales? Have you ever noticed cases of discord in the communication to the end user? If so, how can they be solved?
A: The current buyer journey is very different from the past, when sales were only made in physical stores. Today, no brand can overlook online activity; on the contrary, it’s precisely digital that can bring customers back to the store. This is the omnicanality challenge: to be present in an integrated and coordinated way on all points of contact.
But it's not enough to control them. The possibility of losing a potential customer, constantly connected and bombarded by a thousand proposals, is very high. For this reason, it is necessary to create a strong and continuous relationship, on all the available channels, both online and offline, so as to be ready when the consumer decides to buy.
Customers are more likely to follow loyally those brands that can build shopping experiences responding to their individual needs, desires and values. The product itself is no longer enough, today the customer is hungry for real and passionate stories, that excite, engage and make people feel part of something big. Those stories must contain clear words and messages, be understandable, simple and profound. There is still a lot of work to be done.
To connect with your users, you have to banish unnecessary words, grasp the essentials and get rid of the superfluous. Only in this way you’ll succeed in winning them over and turn them into customers.