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GUEST COMMENT What’s next for the omnichannel shopper?

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Retailers need to look at ecommerce and sustainability going forward
Retailers need to look at ecommerce and sustainability going forward
David Wharram, CEO of Coast Digital
David Wharram, CEO of Coast Digital

Retail marketing has evolved drastically over the years. Today, customers have access to multiple channels to browse and purchase goods. One customer might look at a product online on a desktop computer, go into a physical store to have a more hands-on experience with the item, then end their journey by completing the purchase from their laptop at home.

 

Another customer may begin by looking at a product in store and then purchasing on their mobile device. This multi-channel experience is something the majority of consumers expect from modern retail.

With most physical stores currently closed, online shopping has inevitably taken first place. It is more important than ever for retailers to deliver an online experience that will serve effectively their customers during this difficult time. Retailers need to ensure they are replicating the experience a user might have in store as best as they can, so those who don’t usually shop online can still feel a familiarity with the brand.

 

For years retailers have known the benefits of utilising multiple channels to win over their customers. In fact, research has highlighted that omnichannel shoppers spend on average 15% more per purchase than those who shop through a single channel.

 

As a result, retailers have spent years refining their omnichannel strategies to ensure they can serve their customers across multiple channels. However, with one of those channels effectively closed for many retailers, it’s time to re-think their strategies and focus on their online experiences.

 

User Experience Design and Testing (UX)

One key-way a retailer can ensure its website is providing a positive customer journey is by carrying out user experience (UX) design and testing, which is the method of testing different aspects of user experience. UX design has become increasingly popular in marketers’ digital product strategies across numerous industries. There are more companies investing in UX testing methods as they can provide both long and short-term benefits.

 

For example, this can be done by carrying out interviews with the target audience, holding workshops as well as focus groups. UX design and testing allows retailers to ensure the decisions they are making on their website are based on the needs of visitors and specific facts, creating innovative experiences that customers are longing for. One technology that has gained traction is biometrics, given its ability to enhance the data provided from UX testing to offer a more in-depth insight into how visitors interact and react to a specific product.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is another way that can help drive traffic to a website, although shockingly 63% of businesses are lacking any kind of structured approach to optimisation. CRO works by using visitor insights and data, which can convert visits into actual sales. By implementing small changes to a website, big differences can be noticed which can directly impact the conversions generated.

 

There are many ways to improve a website’s conversion rate, one being the Goal Funnel in Google Analytics that allows you to see at what stage on a website users lose interest and exit the site, as well as the conversion data between each step. For example, products on the website may not be labelled clearly or there might be too many steps in the checkout process, resulting in customers becoming frustrated or uninterested. This is a really important tool and enables you to fully understand where the weak points are on the website and make the necessary changes to improve it.

 

At this current state, this is crucial as more people are shopping online and the demand has increased. Therefore retailers need to ensure they are doing as much as they can to stay ahead of competitors. However, it is important not to make too many changes all at once as it will be hard to determine exactly what causes the change in conversion rate.

 

The pressure is on retailers to provide the efficient and seamless shopping experience their customers have now come to expect. Many retailers are now realising how important this is from a marketing point of view, with an increased focus around driving online traffic. There is also a strong emphasis on retailers to ensure experiences are made personal for its customers, in order to correctly serve them during this time. By implementing methods such as UX testing and CRO, retailers can focus on what needs to be done to improve experiences and ultimately create a strong digital strategy which can benefit them both today and in the future.

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