One of the biggest problems marketers have today is in dealing with the changing nature of the customer journey and figuring out how they should plan their cross channel marketing strategies.
In order to address this, ClickZ Intelligence has just published its Future of the Retail Customer Journey report, available to subscribers.
The customer journey has been changing significantly over the past few years. This was highlighted recently in Mary Meeker’s annual trends report.
In our report we highlight that the traditional linear customer journey that resembles a funnel has changed to one that is much more dynamic with the explosion of digital channels.
The author Martin Talks sums this up saying:
“Today, the process that shoppers go through online is much more complex and varied. The new multi-channel journey is characterised by customers weaving in and out of online and offline using multiple devices and accessing information provided by a variety of sources, including fellow shoppers, wherever and whenever.”
So how can marketers respond? Below are a few key tips.
Accept and facilitate cross channel behaviour
In the report we give an example of how a lack of adaptation caused Jessops to collapse, with the staff not being very happy with how customers had been “showrooming.”
Instead brands should look to adapt to this by providing great cross channel, multidevice experiences.
An excellent example of this comes from Neiman Marcus, where customers can use the app not only to shop but to FaceTime with local sales associates in-store. This was driven by research showing that customers who spoke with sales associates typically spent more, so adding digital to this provides a further catalyst for growth.
Another method is to add tablets within your store, as shown by Marks and Spencer.
Integrate your systems and data for better cross channel marketing experiences
Integration of data is a topic that is explored in another ClickZ Intelligence report on Operationalising Customer Experience.
Many businesses do not understand that the ‘soft’ element of experience often requires ‘hard’ data flows to the right systems at the right time. While a click and collect process should appear easy and pleasant for a customer, a lot of thinking and hard work needs to occur on the business side to make that happen.
The author Andrew Campbell summarises this as below:
Focus on seamless service
With so much choice and competition now, retailers should approach cross-channel marketing with an emphasis on seamless service.
As Martin Talks notes:
“Retailers have known for some time that offering a consistent brand experience across channels is crucial for developing trust. This needs to extend to the service experience too. This is often described as the omnichannel approach to retail.”
An innovative example comes from Hobbs and Doddle, where customers can order clothes online to be delivered to Doddle collection points at major travel hubs. The customer can then try them on in changing rooms at these location points and either wear them on the journey home or return instantly, if not right.
For further key takeaways, check out the Future of the Retail Customer Journey report now.