According to Kitewheel’s first annual “State of the Retail Industry” report, consumers are ready to shop and spend, but they have new expectations and approaches. The research explores key trends in the retail sector and provides recommendations on how brands can make the most evolving retail landscape. Meaning, digital customer experience must be flawless now more than ever before.
The analysis emphasises the continued and the increased importance of customer journey orchestration to perfect customer experiences (CX).
As the main differentiator for customer satisfaction, CX has surpassed product quality and price where personalised experiences are also essential. The report highlighted that 63 per cent of consumers are willing to provide data in exchange for more personalised experiences, and 80 per cent are more likely to spend when they experience a personalised journey. While streamlining and personalising the customer journey, brands can gain and retain customer trust, commitment and loyalty.
The report also examines how consumer habits were broken and reshaped during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 8,300 stores closed in 2020, and only 28 per cent of consumers are planning to increase in-store shopping in the next six months. This trend can be attributed to new customs, safety precautions and added convenience.
The report gives a clear view of the rapidly fluctuating retail landscape. It identifies strategies for brands to attract new customers and retain those likely to be ‘defective’ to competitors. Responding to changes that happened in 2020, brands will need to maximise their commitment to a customised digital marketing strategy.
“Customers are in a different place than they were in 2019, and brands need to tackle these seismic shifts head-on in order to meet and support customers where they are. Without bold changes to customer experience, brands will struggle to keep up in 2021,” said Mark Smith, president of Kitewheel in a statement.