If one trend in online retail stood out in 2017, it was the enormous shift we saw in customer buying behavior.
Technology is playing a bigger role in buying behavior than ever before. The average number of connected devices per person reached 4.1 in 2017 – that’s almost double the 2.2 in 2012.
With more devices comes more opportunities, demonstrated by the estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide who purchased goods online last year. In 2017, global e-retail sales amounted to $2.3 trillion with e-retail revenue predicted to reach $4.48 trillion by 2021!
But, it’s not all good news. These empowered and digitally-savvy customers are wreaking havoc on the market. As Forrester explains, “power has shifted away from institutions to customers”, meaning customer experience has become the main driver behind online retail success.
Retailers that aren’t adopting a digital and customer-centric approach to optimization will soon fall behind. In fact, our recent retail trends report found that the pressure to adopt a customer-centric strategy will only increase in 2018.
Of all the feedback items collected by our retail clients – including Philips, Tommy Hilfiger, and G-Star RAW – in Q4 of 2017, the average mood score was 2.8 (out of 5). However, in Q4 of 2016, the average mood score was a 3.0.
Whether this means retailers are struggling to respond to increasing customer expectation, or that customers are more demanding than ever, customer experience has clearly become a differentiating factor in the industry.
As Forbes summarizes, “In a world of hyper-adoption – and hyper-abandonment – successful retailing in 2018 comes down to obsessing about your customer’s experience. It’s a tall order: Digital and physical touchpoints now must work together flawlessly – yet also do what each touchpoint does best on its own. And organizations must remove silo shackles to unify disparate data to develop deep customer insights.”
So, where do you start with investing in customer experience? How do you unify data to develop not only deep but actionable, customer insights?
Check out our infographic to get up to speed.
With research conducted by Gartner predicting more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations, 2018 is set to be the year of the customer.
It’s clear that customer-centricity is driving the future of retail and online consumers have the ability to determine the success of any business. Prepare for this dynamic shift and start putting your customers at the heart of your digital strategy today.