The Customer Experience Trends Shaping Retail This Year


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The customer experience is inarguably essential for retail brands in terms of revenue growth and general stability. This is true whether a customer browses through a physical store location or an online site. The presentation of both can make or break how the brand is perceived to the customer, which means it could be the difference between making the sale or customers going elsewhere for their purchase.

Additionally, all points of contact to customers build brand credibility. Is marketing happening through social media, email, text, or potentially, all of the above? Each touch point needs to be considered carefully. Brands need to view them as a customer retention tool and a welcoming tool for new customers, which is a delicate balance.

According to Forbes, 96 percent of customers feel that the customer experience is an essential part of building brand loyalty. Not only does this apply to returning customers, but to new customers looking for positive experiences. If delivered, this means positive gains for the brand itself.

With this in mind, let’s explore where brands tend to face challenges and consider the top customer experience trends in 2023 and beyond.

Challenges Brands Face When Building a Customer Experience

The biggest challenges companies face today include increasing customer contact when using many different channels to communicate, assist, support, and sell products or services.

As brands grow, so does the number of customers they serve. And with so many points of contact — across phone, email, or other platforms — customer service representatives may struggle to fix every issue.

Furthermore, with customers able to instantly share their experiences online, a company’s brand can take a serious hit practically overnight. As such, business leaders need to stay on top of the customer experience every step of the way.

Does the Metaverse Affect the Customer Experience?

The metaverse is a virtual world that internet users can access with the aid of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, and many businesses are wondering how it affects customer experience. Since it helps connect internet users with products and services relevant to them, personalized service, consistency, and transparency are still essential.

Mauricio Vianna, CEO of MJV Innovation, consistently leverages tech to improve experiences. He says, “The idea here is to allow the user to acquire a customizable item for their avatar and enjoy this same item in other games/services within the metaverse without the need to re-login, purchase, update the server, or wait to obtain third-party clearance.”
Regardless of the platform, customer experience relies on similar foundations. The metaverse also supports connection, encouraging customers to leave reviews of their experiences with various products and services to benefit other users. In this way, it serves to simplify the customer experience.

Six Customer Experience Trends Impacting Retail in 2023

Here are six key trends centered on the customer experience that look poised to affect retail this year, including the omnichannel, the data cloud, and FinTech features.

1. The Importance of the Omnichannel

Many customers, especially those in the Gen-Z and younger Millennial tech addicts, may begin their purchase history on one device and complete their customer journey on another. For instance, someone might start by doing some research on a smartphone, then purchase an item through Amazon on their laptop at a later time. That is why an omnichannel retail sales strategy is necessary to improve the customer experience and provide potential buyers more channels for purchase based on customer data.

2. Using the Data Cloud for Analytics

The data cloud, also known as “cloud computing” can be defined as the delivery of different services through the Internet, which can include tools and applications. This may include data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software.

Companies can improve their customer experience by using the data cloud to quickly meet the expectations of target customers. This is achieved by gathering customer data from large data sources to create new customer engagement processes.

Retail brands in need of analytics strategies should take a look at the data cloud. There, they can access essential customer data and behavior. The data cloud holds information from several areas, such as:

– Marketing
– Sales
– Logistics
– Inventories

3. Big Data Impacts Every Stage of Customer Experience

Big data incorporates information from every stage of the customer journey. Large data sets can be analyzed to reveal patterns and trends, relating to human behavior and interactions. Advanced analytics that pull back the curtain on a virtual store’s sales and operations, customer service team, and supply chain can all help brands develop a successful customer experience.

4. Demographics Research Is Essential for Customer Retention

Researching demographics to better understand their target audience can help companies retain customers and grow their consumer base. Instead of focusing on traditional approaches like discounts for customer retention, retail brands need to put the customer at the center of every strategy. Then, they can look at where marketing could improve and expand from there.

5. The Metaverse Revolutionizes the Customer Experience

When it comes to entertainment, the metaverse plays a key role in enhancing the consumer experience. Much of what wasn’t thinkable 5 to 10 years ago is now at customers’ fingertips. It goes far beyond gaming, as virtual reality applications are now used for concerts, guided meditation sessions, and other events and activities.

6. FinTech Features Impact the Data Behind Consumer Behaviors

Retail companies should look at incorporating FinTech features such as self-service and mobile purchasing options due to the wealth of data behind them. Such data can shed a light on important consumer behavior traits and purchasing decisions.

Look to Customer Experience Trends to Better Your Brand

By knowing about data behind the scenes, brands can better understand and target their customers. Demographics not only tell you which customers to target when thinking about longevity, but they also allow you to see the location, ages, and traits of prospective customers. This shows you how best to direct your marketing strategies.

With the metaverse and omnichannel marketing opportunities, the options of selling your brand in a positive light are endless. Younger generations constantly stay connected to tech whether it’s for work or their social life. Recognizing the capacity of the metaverse, brands can stretch their reach. This, along with omnichannel strategies, allow more users to engage with your brand, ultimately leading to more profit.

Keep in mind, for as much as brands stretch their marketing efforts, they also need to make sure they can keep up with customer demand. So, knowing exactly how much product you have available or the volume of employees able to field questions from each point of contact is crucial.

Customer experience encompasses multiple areas that many brands could easily overlook. With constant fluctuations in today’s markets and ever increasing industry competitors, brands should consider incorporating any and all of the aforementioned strategies. This ensures that your customers have an outstanding experience. Doing so will promote stronger brand loyalty and enable you to steadily generate revenue as you usher your business through 2023 and into the future.

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels


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