The customer is the most important asset for every retailer, but it is not the only asset. Retail is a complex ecosystem of inventory, fulfillment and experience. Identifying the tenuous balance between these competing assets is crucial for retailers seeking to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

One solution that has become increasingly prominent over the last 12 Months is eCommerce. The coronavirus pushed shoppers in doors, away from friends, and isolated from their communities. In seeking new experiences, connections and communities shoppers navigated social media, discovered live shopping and developed relationships with associates through online chat features.

The point is, creating a cohesive, engaging and empowering customer experience is not as simple as plug & play, it involves integrating a complex framework of solutions to seamlessly deploy frictionless commerce.

Get The Foundation Right

Recent survey data from McKinsey indicates that globally businesses have accelerated the digitization of customer experiences by over 3 years. The lasting impact of this acceleration will be a significant factor in customer experience management going forward. Retailers now need to work to build a robust brick-and-mortar channel that supports a wide ranging eCommerce customer experience, providing access to flexible fulfillment and enabling more engagement between the customers and store associates. Without a concrete approach to customer relationship management and an established in store experience that drives transactions it will be challenging for retailers to succeed in this evolving landscape.

The foundation for retailers is therefore enabling an in store experience that is competitive with other brick-and-mortar retailers, but enticing enough to get consumers out from behind their devices and into your physical location. Creating a store that is focused on the needs of each individual customer is essential to empower efficacy in this element of the experience. Stores have to enable consumers to discover products they like, have their questions answered and feel welcomed into the environment with open arms. In-store technology including mobile point of sale, virtual reality, seamless inventory management and a holistic view of every customer all serves to provide a solid foundation for every retailer to build from.

Focus On The Experience

Customer experience is by far the most important facet for driving loyalty, customers will readily drop your brand if they can find a better experience with another. This is as true of eCommerce as it is of Brick-and-Mortar. Customers have to feel welcomed and engaged when they visit your platforms and experiences have to be crafted around where your customers are, with a vision of where these customers would also like to be in the future. While your customers may currently prefer a simple website order flow, they may also be open to more rigorous personalized experiences including chatbots, virtual reality and cross-platform purchases. Being able to recognize the existing needs of your customers and build new functionality around them is critical to drive engaging and empowering experiences online.

Customers primarily purchase online based on convenience, this means that the checkout process needs to minimize the amount of clicks necessary to finalize the purchase, providing a user experience that is crafted around simp;izity will give your brand a significant competitive advantage. Options like guest checkout, pre-selected shipping methods and low click checkout enhances the likelihood of the customer making a purchase and eventually returning to your storefront.

Build Real Relationships

Optimal customer relationship management may seem like an intangible target driven primarily by in store associates, but the online interface provided via eCommerce can enable proficient visibility of every customer. eCommerce provides an advantage for retailers, the ability to measure every interaction and track the ways that customers use the platform, can enable efficiently targeted marketing and communications designed to drive repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

When a customer does not order for a while, a triggered personalized email, recommending products that fit their purchase history, could be an effective encouragement to bring them back in on to your store. Being able to create a holistic view of every customer, will not only enhance the way they connect with your online presence, but encourage them to come back into your stores as well. Brand affinity can be crafted through personalization and it's likely that if you effectively please one customer, they will bring in other customers with them.

See how Teamwork Commerce can help you create an omnichannel approach to eCommerce: