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The recent crisis has unraveled business processes and societal norms alike, leaving retail in a state of uncertainty. We refer to the near future as the New Next, because there is nothing normal about it. There is no clear roadmap for what lies ahead, but technology makes it possible for retailers to operate with business agility and extend resources to introduce new customer journey's as the shopping experience continues to evolve.
One thing is obvious; retail struggles to survive without the power of the physical store behind the digital experience. Consumer shopping habits have changed, but no one knows if these changes are temporary or forever. With the reopening, the role of the store and the associates need to morph to serve the new shopping experience. As the new customer journeys and shopping experiences evolve, execution is everything.
New journeys emerge
Improving the customer journey should come from improving the customer experience. Customers are showing that they value a great customer journey through their wallets and where they shop, and retailers are catching on. Gartner's 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey determined 74% of CX leaders anticipated increasing CX budgets, compared to 47% in a 2017 survey. While a traditional digital journey (order online, ship to home from a distribution center) is the least expensive operational journey, we saw firsthand that digital alone is not the answer during this crisis.
The key to success for retailers is a flexible and sophisticated omnichannel operation. Even leading retailers like Tesco had to rethink online shopping and delivery to vulnerable shoppers to ensure they received timely service. Traditionally, Buy Online Pick Up In-Store has been the most profitable for the retailer. If a consumer comes to the store, the average order value will increase. According to First Insight's consumer spending survey, 89% of women and 78% of men who visit physical storefronts revealed that they add additional items to their cart beyond what they were intending to purchase. In comparison, only 67% of men and 77% of women reported that they have added extra items to their online shopping carts.