Retail within Australia is a fast-moving and fiercely competitive industry. Retailers need to create and match experiences and moments from the start of the shopper’s journey to the end, and to succeed it is important to focus on all touchpoints. Retailers who are unwilling to embrace change, to evolve and to innovate risk being rendered irrelevant.
What is ‘Shopping Reinvented’?
In a world of increasing choices, spending time searching for the perfect purchase by collecting information is becoming a lot easier. Smartphones have made it easier to look for information and reviews before a purchase is made, but this is no longer sufficient for a retailer as competition continues to grow.
Consumers are increasingly aware of what they want before they even walk into a shop. However, that does not mean retailers should give up, instead, they should look to maintain consumers’ attention through building relationships and engaging customers through meaningful in-store and online shopping experiences. In a recent Euromonitor survey, it was found that over a third of consumers still prefer to visit shopping malls, thus opening the door for a positive in-store experience to lead to a sale.
Source: Euromonitor International
Post-purchase: the neglected key to success
Although often overshadowed, a great post-purchase experience can grow a business and consumers are more likely to become brand advocates. Retailers often focus their efforts on consumers in the pre-purchase and during purchase processes and neglect the importance of creating long-term, loyal customers.
The concept of providing an after-sales experience that motivates loyalty and leads to repeat purchases is not new but has shifted to retailers engaging with consumers through interactions such as e-mails, receipts, social media and loyalty programmes. The shift from reactive to proactive consumers’ decision-making and expectations means that in today’s increasingly competitive and complex world, not all loyalties are equal.
Consumers are a puzzle to be solved
Ultimately, a shopper’s journey is like a puzzle, for which a retailer needs all the pieces to succeed. While it was reasonable and possible to achieve success by neglecting one part of the process in the past, it is increasingly difficult to do that within the current retail climate and will be even more so in the future. Retailers need to spend more resources focusing on each and every touchpoint that consumers have with a brand. Succeeding requires more than just converting the cart. It is vital to create meaningful and long-lasting relationships with consumers; this will help drive loyalty, product and service differentiation and reduce future costs.
For more analysis on how these trends are playing out in Australia and how companies can take advantage of them, find the full Shopping Reinvented report here.