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3 ways shoppers’ expectations are changing – and what retailers can do to keep up

Posted on 28 Apr 2017 in , ,

Retail doesn’t stay the same – and neither do shoppers. Every day, shoppers’ expectations are shifting in all kinds of ways. So, what can retailers do to make sure that they keep up?

  1. Get personal

We were particularly interested by a new Salesforce study which found that millennials in particular are looking to be treated like VIPs on the high street. If retailers want to win with millennials, they can do so by making the whole experience more personal: “when contrasting millennials and baby boomers, millennials are…Almost three times more likely to expect the stores they visit to know all about their online shopping and research on that retailer’s website (49% of millennials feel this way vs. 18% of boomers).

This, and the other stats mentioned in the article, is pretty staggering stuff. It goes against the usual view that shoppers need to be encouraged to share their personal information. Millennials expect it. What can retailers do to keep up? They now need to put together a clear strategy to connect with their customers and create a more personalised experience. One size no longer fits all.

  1. Have luxury as standard

By luxury, we’re not talking about offering champagne on tap, but about providing a retail experience designed to nurture the customer and make them feel special. Shoppers are developing a clear taste for the more personalised and interactive experience. This means adapting the everyday customer journey to transform it. Here’s a great example: “Ralph Lauren introduced interactive fitting rooms with smart mirror technology at its Polo NYC flagship store on Fifth Avenue late last year. Since employing Magic Mirror interactive fitting rooms by eBay, the shop has seen a 7 percent increase in sales of ready-to-wear clothing within six months. The Neiman Marcus Lab, Nordstrom, Nike and others are soon to debut their take on the interactive fitting rooms as well.”

(Source: http://www.jllrealviews.com/industries/retailers-making-shoppers-feel-like-stars/)

This is a very clever way to turn the ordinary store visit into something extraordinary – exceeding the expectations of even the most demanding shopper.

  1. Make it super-fast and super-easy

Shoppers expect more! As another article sums up: “As click-and-collect, next-day delivery, order-in-store and real-time stock counts in store all become the norm, consumer expectations are now reaching new heights.”

(Source: https://www.retail-week.com/analysis/retail-voice/sponsored-retailers-need-to-put-the-store-back-to-work/7016959.article)

Quite rightly, customers want to access the products they’ve chosen quickly and easily. And retailers need to be ready for this to increase still further. This means checking that their ecommerce sites are up to scratch and that their delivery options match their customers, rather than their own needs. The bottom line is about investing in better tech and making sure that all your marketing is in sync: “The wider evolution of consumer behaviours – including the growing use of online shopping and home delivery – means that ever shortening delivery times and customer experience at the point of pick-up will continue to be a brand differentiator for years to come and will remain of critical importance to consumers in deciding where to spend their money.”

Experience is everything now. But if retailers can harness the right combination of tech, creativity and style, they can turn the most demanding of shoppers into loyal customers.

(Source: http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/opinion-black-friday-re-writing-rule-book-peak-planning-says-wincanton/)

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