Demands from retail customers for a seamless shopping experience between mobile, desktop and in-store don’t always come across in clear and direct terms. A customer is unlikely to fill out an online contact form or write to you on social media asking you if your business has an omni channel ecommerce platform in place. Customers know what they want (seamless online shopping experiences), when they want them (NOW!) and why they want them (to make their lives easier) even if they don’t have the words to ask for it. So it’s up to you, the retailer, to interpret the questions your customers are asking, and recognize that the answer to these questions is rooted in your digital transformation towards omni-channel.
84% of customers believe retailers should be doing more to integrate their online and offline channels. (source: RetailNext)
Here are five questions your customers are asking of your retail business:
Is it easy for me to find your business and products/ services via a simple online search?
Making it easy for customers to find you via a simple online search is the first step towards creating a seamless shopping experience for your customer. In order to facilitate this search, it’s important to fully optimize your website with those keywords and search phrases your customers will be using to find you, your business and your products and services. With an ecommerce solution that integrates with your CMS and your centralized product information management (PIM) system, you can keep each of your product pages up to date with the latest information; ensuring those must have items your customers are searching for will be easily found.
- 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. (source: selz.com)
How can you give me the same experience on your website as in your stores?
The atmosphere of an in-store experience is a crucial step towards influencing the purchasing decision of a customer. It makes sense to infuse the online experience of your customers with that same atmosphere because so many buyers now begin their journey online. Many retailers provide this uniformity of experience on both site and in-store by ensuring branding, messaging and inventory visibility remain equal priorities regardless of channel. Consistency across all channels is the hallmark of creating an omni-channel strategy.
- 64% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. (source: Neosperience)
Will your website be just as user friendly on my mobile device as on my desktop?
With more and more customers constantly on the move, making your products and services accessible via a mobile device is more important than ever. But it’s not enough to just expect your site to look and feel the same via mobile as on desktop. A modern commerce platform with native CMS should provide the framework to support the responsiveness necessary for the seamless omni-channel shopping experience that your customers demand.
- 66% of time spent with online retailers is on mobile. (source: Internet Retailer)
Is there enough information available on your website for me to make an informed and empowered purchasing decision?
A buyer’s journey will often begin on your website where your customers will seek to gather the information they need towards making a purchase. Providing the necessary tools, material and visuals your customer expects will entice them to either buy directly from your ecommerce site or make plans to visit your store. With advanced search capabilities built into your ecommerce platform and store locator functionality, your customers will not only be able to find all the information needed, but will also be empowered to decide how, when and where they make their purchase.
- Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in a brick & mortar store. (source: RetailNext)
How easy is it to place an order on your ecommerce site and how quick is delivery of my purchases?
One thing all online customers seem to agree upon is the importance of efficient order fulfillment. If your ecommerce solution is set up to provide speed of delivery, choice of pick-up time and location, and a host of other options that are quickly becoming the norm for online shopping, you’re guaranteed to move well ahead of your competition. Choose an agile ecommerce platform that comes with a built-in Order Management System that can be customized to suit your unique business needs.
- 64% of retail shoppers think delivery speed is important when purchasing online. (source: nchannel)
Your customers are becoming increasingly vocal about what they expect from the retailers they favor. By anticipating these expectations with a move towards omni-channel commerce, you demonstrate to your customers that you can not only provide the specific product or service they need, but that you’re also a modern retailer up to speed on innovation, and will be there with them every step of the way along their evolving journey.