The retail landscape has been through a period of rapid change. A number of high street stalwarts, including Toys R Us, BHS, Phones 4U and many more have succumbed to shifts in consumer spending habits, whilst House of Fraser is set to close 31 stores by early 2019 after failing to capitalise on the digitalisation of retail. Despite what could seem like a gloomy outlook for the retail sector, it is in fact in extremely rude health with increased paths to purchase and new technology enhancing customer service both online and on the high street. There are a number of opportunities for retailers to steal a march on the competition as we head towards the end of 2018. Addressing these now will ensure that you are best placed to meet the ever changing needs of your customers as we head into 2019.
Merging the on and offline shopping experience:
Consumers no longer follow a linear path to purchase and understanding how your customer interacts with your brand both on and offline is crucial. Your customers expect a consistent customer journey across all channels and will often interact with the brand in numerous spaces before making a purchase. Ensuring that your branding and messaging is consistent across all customer touchpoints is key. Customers expect purchasing online to be as easy as walking into a physical store so seamless payments in both the on and offline space are also crucial. Have you looked at your customer journey with fresh eyes recently – how can you enhance your paths to purchase to convert more sales in 2019?
Understand the nuances of your audience:
Four generations of consumers currently co-exist – each with their own views on the world and ideas on how and where they want to spend their money. What is more, each group prefers to interact with retailers in different ways. If your business appeals to a broad audience – the key is understanding how to personalise the customer journey according to each of your demographics. If your consumer is niche your business needs to fully embrace their specific wants and needs. As an example, for Millennials and Gen Zs a company’s social and environmental practices is a huge consideration in their purchasing decision. Whilst Baby Boomers are the generation most likely to boycott a retailer if they have a negative shopping experience with them.
Do you understand your customers and have your reviewed how you are meeting the needs of each individual generation recently?
Offering flexible payment methods:
Consumers are demanding more from retailers and flexible payments methods are top of their wish lists. Across all demographics, today’s customers want options when it comes to paying for their purchases, but almost as importantly they want the purchasing process to be seamless. Evidence suggests that Millennials in particular are turned off by loans and traditional credit cards and the option to spread the cost in instalments or delay payment is becoming increasingly popular. What is more, offering flexibility at checkout can increase the average transaction value and reduce discarded baskets.
Are you offering your customers flexibility when it comes to paying for their purchases and could you increase your sales conversions if you did?
Find out more about how Deko can help you step up your retail business in 2019