Businesses in all verticals have felt the impact of the challenging and ever-changing economic landscape, with many still working to overcome the impact that the COVID pandemic has had on supply chains and global inflationary pressures. In addition to these tough challenges, businesses are fighting to stay competitive and retain customers in a world where there’s a real squeeze in terms of consumer spending.
The booming growth of e-commerce and the detailed personalization retailers have been able to achieve online for the past two decades was accelerated even further by the pandemic and as a result, there are now new expectations for businesses to bring the same level of personalization to their physical stores, but with 59% of retailers knowing very little about their customers, what steps can be taken to stay relevant and thrive?
Purple’s latest retail report has identified the behaviors and expectations of everyday consumers and the activities retailers are planning to thrive in an ever-changing landscape.
How do retailers plan to understand their customers more over the next 12 months?
46% of retailers have stated they plan to survey their customers and collect additional feedback about their experience in an effort to better understand how to improve their in-store experience.
With almost 50% of retailers spending up to £30 per survey, and another 43% having no insight into the cost endured, businesses must take the steps to find more effective ways to reach more customers for a lower cost.
How are retailers collecting feedback, and why is it inefficient?
Our survey found that the most popular method for requesting feedback which 56% of retailers are utilizing is post-purchase emails.
Despite the popularity of utilizing email campaigns to engage customers for feedback, contacting individuals at the wrong time is the primary obstacle when seeking feedback via email. If customers are contacted immediately after their visit the email may be lost in their inbox, however, requesting feedback too long after their visit could result in the answers not being as accurate as possible.
Other issues retailers may face with email campaigns:
- No way to collect customer emails at the point of purchase (visitors may prefer physical receipts as opposed to e-receipts)
- Un-engaging subject lines
- Lack of personalization or segmentation
- No strong call to action
Through social media
36% of retailers are looking to make the most of social media to get in touch with customers and collect valuable feedback. Despite being a great method for engaging with customers and improving brand awareness, using social media to collect valuable feedback has some big flaws.
Without having contact information how do retailers know they’re reaching and encouraging engagement from real customers? More so, businesses that utilize a managed service to collect feedback, such as an external media agency, could accrue additional costs without guaranteeing the right information in return.
In-store surveys delivered by staff
Surprisingly the 3rd most popular method saw 32% of retail respondents stating they will be dedicating employee time to encourage feedback from customers when they’re in-store. While this method may seem fairly plausible, retailers will see repercussions in multiple areas.
Besides the impact on business operations and the additional cost of having a dedicated employee requesting customer feedback, this method greatly interrupts the customer experience. When employees ask in-store customers for feedback, the pressure to answer results in an inadequate amount of time to truly consider their answer resulting in stress and panic, not only providing surveyors with inaccurate feedback but also negatively impacting the customer experience.
Businesses that look to encourage feedback at points of sale in the hope to avoid negatively impacting the customer journey are creating other issues. By asking customers for feedback at this point, POS operations become inefficient causing knock-on delays in the time to serve.
Through text messages, while they are in-store
20% of retailers are planning to utilize text messages to request feedback from customers directly while they’re in the store. When sent in large volumes, text message campaigns become a very costly method of outreach.
Additionally, if there is no incentive to provide feedback users won’t convert, equally incentives driven at the wrong time may deliver inaccurate feedback.
Capture more customer data
With 42% of retailers looking to increase their customer data collection, what kinds of insights are they looking for?
- 80% want to know how many times customers have previously visited their store
- 60% want to identify the number of visitors and purchases made in-store
- 40% want to increase the amount of contact and demographic information they collect
With all the new data, how do retailers plan to use additional insights?
- 46% will look to use their new data to drive accurate customer feedback
- 34% of retailers will look to increase their engagement with customers via their devices
- 33% of retailers want to link their online and offline environments to optimize and gain a greater understanding of their entire customer journey
- 32% of retailers want to drive personalized rewards when customers are in-store
How Purple can help retailers increase revenue?
Increasing the value of customer data by collecting it first-hand
Purple integrates with CRM platforms out of the box, enabling retailers to connect their existing data with their newly collected insights. By doing this, businesses can truly understand who their customers are by building detailed visitor profiles, and highly segmented customer types, and utilize these insights to produce relevant and personalized messaging to encourage actions such as repeat visits or incentive redemption.
By linking online and offline environments to create a unified commerce strategy retailers can begin building strong links between their online and offline environments, allowing them to stay top of mind at every customer touch point and enabling more chances to increase revenue.
This also saves money by providing great insights into the behavior of consumers whether they’re online or in-store.
Drive revenue by providing the right customer experience
Customers are looking for personalized experiences from both online and offline spaces that create memorable interactions and boost loyalty. Further impacted by the global economy, retailers must look to target individuals and give consumers a new reason to purchase and personalization is playing the main role.
How Purple can help retailers cut costs
Save money by reducing marketing research costs
With the majority of retailers greatly overspending to collect feedback from their customers Purple boasts a cost per survey of $0.85 / £0.74 which is a massive cost reduction. Purple is also integrated with the globe’s leading feedback platforms out of the box, meaning quick and easy setup as well as having all the necessary tools to personalize, automate and review in one place!
Furthermore, Purple’s flexibility allows businesses to create campaigns that deliver at the most effective time which has resulted in an average customer survey conversion rate of 97%.
Collect store-level data (behavioral insights)
Understanding how shop floor space is utilized will reveal new opportunities for physical retailers to maximize their layouts and create unique in-store experiences that increase customer dwell time. This information can identify new points of interest that can be utilized to influence impulse purchases.
Additionally, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of how their visitors behave in-store, identify shopping patterns and improve their operational efficiency by appropriately scheduling rotas to match forecasted footfall and sales.