Retail is changing – as is evident from the recent growth of South Africa’s retail giant, Takealot. While online shopping has been around for a long time, the demand for touchless interactions is causing a surge in online and in-app purchases. Retailers will need to adopt technology to comply with modern CX best practices to remain competitive.
While there are many trends that are currently transforming retail, they are all built on the same foundation – an integrated customer experience.
Customers expect the same level of service both in-store and online. Customers expect prompt responses to service requests submitted via their channel of choice, with remote service being on par with in-person assistance (or perhaps even better).
When servicing remote customers, there’s a physical gap between retailers and consumers. This physical gap can be filled using technology to facilitate more effective communication. As retail is evolving, customers are making technology an integral part of their buying journeys for more convenient experiences.
Companies must rise to the occasion and meet customers on the platforms they are using, making the customer journey as easy and comfortable as possible.
With an omnichannel CX solution, every part of the customer journey can be tracked, from before purchase to after delivery or collection.
Even processes such as returns and exchanges can be easily managed. This allows customers to feel both understood and valued, increasing satisfaction and customer loyalty.
The Change in Retail
Retail has evolved far beyond brick-and-mortar store outlets. Many modern retailers combine in-store, online or in-app experiences. Options such as BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store) are blurring the line between in-store and digital experiences.
Other options, such as ordering from local store outlets (via channels like WhatsApp) for at-home delivery also provide a more integrated experience, where in-store and digital channels are merging.
Whether a retailer requires integration between in-store and digital channels, or solely focuses on e-commerce, managing the logistical element of retail requires effective process management.
Our integrated engagement centre facilitates every part of the customer journey and order management.
From collecting orders, to facilitating payment and managing inventories, one interface takes the spaghetti junction and transforms it to a single customer view, narrowing the margin for error and confusion.
Innovation and Growth Opportunities
Growth opportunities prove to be a key benefit of adopting digital transformation in retail. There are various ways retailers can use technology to create new opportunities to get in front of customers.
A practical example is allowing customers to reach out via their preferred channels. According to illation partner, Zendesk, South African consumers are increasingly turning to digital channels. In a 2020 report, 77% of customers cited email as a preferred customer support channel. This was followed by voice at 55%, then online chat at 27% and finally WhatsApp with 22%.
However, because of the rapid changes brought about by COVID-19, channels such as WhatsApp have grown substantially in 2021. The data also doesn’t account for new platforms, such as Telegram.
With customers’ preferred channels shifting so rapidly, retailers must choose their digital transformation partners wisely – ensuring that their technology is always relevant to current customer demands.
illation Makes Digital Transformation Easier
illation partners with leading retail transformation solutions such as Zendesk and Infobip. We understand that technology is about human interaction and implement our solutions with real-world results in mind.
On 11 November 2021, we will be hosting the Digital Transformation in CX Summit. Where we will be discussing how businesses can harness technology for better CX and growth opportunities.
Technology in e-Commerce customer journey