A talk for WGSN 18th May 2011. www.asiafashionsummit.com
What we’re talking about is a walk-in website –
So, an example of a good customer journey – Think of the great experiences when visiting a premium hotel, your favourite fashion store or a great restaurant. Every touch-point is considered and enhances your senses and triggers emotions. Mobile commerce and social media now allows a deeper level of interaction and takes the experience in and out of the physical environment.
In the context of a typical consumer journey and shopping for a product, I recently purchased some new running shoes and it engaged me in; online research, asking friends, acknowledgement of the brand, the product, visiting a store, touching the product, trying them on, engaging with the staff …. the touch-points are considered and all on brand up until the point of purchase the consumer journey is very much disconnected by the sales till; it is an often awkward part of the journey.
Throughout the customer journey the PoS services are all the same – there is room for differentiation at this point.
How often have you got to the point of purchasing a product only to place it back on the shelf because the queue is too long? Sometimes shoppers are put off buy by the queue …
I predict we going to see the end of the store sales counter. [RIP}
Thinking of the history of retail, over the past hundred years or more, the transition from market traders and stall keepers surrounded by product and free to engage with customers with a money pouch; to today - bricks & mortar with a sales point. That is tethered by one of these … (show Ethernet cable)
‘Connected Retail’ © StartJG
How do we understand the consumer better –
The latest smartphone technology will allow the store format to be changed. So, that you can sell more and build a better and more personalised experience. This will aid and enhance the relationship between staff and shoppers.
With smartphones connected to social networks retailers can help to understand more about their individual customers by pulling in information from their social API’s (allowing software programs to communicate with each other) – of course, all at the consumers consent. Social media can be used to bring knowledge to staff through smartphones to support relationships.
Store experiences and staff relationships are key to connecting consumers with the brand and learning something new. Building brand equity for that consumer – telling friends of the great experience they’ve had through their social channels builds great advocacy and drives return visits.
Customers and their brands –
- Staff insight and expertise is incredibly valuable, they are a face to your brand and when staff interaction is performed well it builds strong relationships around stop, hold and close. People still want physical experiences and human interaction, let the store do this for you and use the smartphone and social commerce to help facilitate this.
The results of doing this, consumers are massively engaged with their brands and will allow us to demonstrate:
- Benefits to staff for understanding their customer
- Benefits to customers for having a better service and experience
How do we entice the customer –
- Brand and retail environments should be destinations, advertising is just wallpaper, people do not absorb advertising, they have become numb to it. Customers want real tangible experiences were they can be part of the gang or join the club. Associating themselves with brands they can share experiences with friends both physically and digitally.
- Enhancing the smartphone within a retail environment to create a more personalised experience where the staff and consumer remain close; bringing the point of sale to the decision.
- For example, thinking of how this will work in a fashion retail environment, this should start to affect the way a store is designed. Knowing that a shopper can pay with their phone, the nature of the fitting room can be repurposed. Why not make the purchase in the fitting room at a terminal within the privacy of the staff.
- Take that experience back one step further and the fitting room could be personalized with a selection of clothes for the customer determined on their purchase history, or the store accessing their social network and analyzing photos to sense personal styles or status updates to see where they are going on holiday next week. The smartphone can be used to share pictures of the products and get direct feedback from friends to strengthen the purchase.
- To conclude, within the context of the customer journey. The state of mind changes at the point of purchase. Don’t give the consumer the chance to walk away. Keeping momentum with the shopping experience and emotions around stop, hold and close.
Through this we’ve created a personalised experience, rethinking the store design to accommodate a new wave of technology (smartphones):
- Where, consumers demand deeper relationships to stay loyal.
- Create more opportunity to streamline the retail journey.
- Facilitated the conversation on and off line to create advocacy
- All giving the retailer a better chance of closing a sale.