Technologies to meet the needs of the new shopper

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It’s official – shoppers have shifted their technological preferences regarding how they shop and spend money. According to a report, “The Resiliency of Retail in a Changed Landscape,” by IDC and global cloud communications company Infobip, 25% of consumers will only shop at retailers that offer contactless payment options; in addition, 47% said they will continue to shop online post-pandemic. These changes might seem obvious to some, but they have accelerated across demographics and even generations in just a few short months.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that the retailers who were more digitally mature were able to quickly adapt to said changing dynamics and, therefore, more likely to grow. Look at Lululemon – a retailer in the non-essential segment – still grew revenue and gross profit by a whopping 11%. Retailers have a clear answer as to how customers want to shop and interact with retail brands in a digital capacity. Technology investments that may have seemed riskier 18 months ago, due to uncertainty around customer behavior, are now table stakes.

Furthermore, there are certain strategies retailers need to adopt to meet the needs of the new shopper – one of them being an omnichannel solution that meets every individual where they are and where they want to be. According to the same study mentioned prior, 59% of consumers won’t shop at a retailer if they don’t offer the ability to buy online and pick up in-store. Every day, the substantial business risk of not getting the customer experience right in this new digital age grows as consumers become more and more accustomed to seamless (and immediate) transactions.

According to “The Resiliency of Retail in a Changed Landscape,” more than half (55%) of retailers said customer experience innovation is one of their top two priorities over the next three years. For those wondering what to do – it’s time to get omnichannel right. Keep these three tips in mind when looking to work with this new form of consumer:

• Data rules all: Before contacting customers at all, review the data you have on hand, so you’re making an informed decision about who to target, when, with what product, and on what channel. Try dividing customers into demographic buckets so you can effectively reach them with communications they care about and leave them with thoughts of just how well your brand gets them.

• Identify your target demographic and meet them on the platforms they use. If your target consumer is from the Baby Boomer generation, they’re probably more likely to be overwhelmed or put off by being contacted via multiple platforms. However, if you’re targeting a Millennial or Gen Z, make sure you have every communication option for every platform out there. The only thing that turns off a Millennial more than untargeted marketing, is not being able to reach your team on whatever platform they happen to have open.

• Prioritize data consolidation. In order to do all of this successfully, retailers must prioritize data consolidation. Connecting previously siloed data can be a significant undertaking but ultimately accelerates the positive impact on the connected customer experience. A good example of this is when brands keep track of items left in an abandoned cart, and then provide promotions or reminders about their items in the following days. An even easier (and probably more appreciated) idea – keep track of their birthdays and send discounts around that time!

COVID-19 definitely accelerated the digital revolution – but we were already on the digital path long before. Now, improving business digitally is no longer a nice to have – but a need to have. And unfortunately, those that don’t prioritize this will fall victim to the needs of the new shopper.

Ryan Creamore
Ryan Creamore is a Director of Customer Success at Infobip, an IT and telecommunications company that operates a full-stack Communications Platform as a Service with private cloud infrastructure and zero-hop connectivity to telecoms globally. Before joining Infobip, Ryan worked across a number of industry leading organizations in a Sales and Customer Experience leadership capacity. In addition to being a passionate customer advocate, Ryan is a father of two young children and can often be found traversing mountains and running in the early mornings.

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