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Giving customers a seamless experience no matter where they shop

Paul Newman

April 22, 2013

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When retailers are targeting contemporary shoppers, they may find that maintaining strong data quality for in-store buying preferences is not enough to win customers for life. Brands now need data management programs that can store and sort information about consumers' preferences and past purchases at brick-and-mortar cash registers, e-commerce sites' payment portals and phone-based purchasing systems.

If companies don't have the right tools in place, they may be forced to ask clients to enter the same contact data on multiple platforms and provide credit card data although they're already on file. This can be a deal-breaker for customers who want a seamless experience across digital and traditional channels, which might be a top priority for the 89 percent for customers who said that buying flexibility is important in a recent Accenture study. 

"Seamlessness is a tall order for most traditional retailers," said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture's retail practice. "Traditional retailers must take stock of their operational capabilities. They require a presence at every stage of the customer journey to deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience from discovery through research, purchase, fulfillment and beyond to product maintenance or returns."

However, it can be difficult to meet customers' expectations if retailers are using inaccurate information as the foundation of their strategies. Failing to perform email verification or use an address management program can leave companies with poor customer data quality. This might lead companies to offer a 50-year-old female customer named Terry Clark who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, a pair or men's basketball shoes to another Terry Clark, who is a 17-year-old boy and also lives in the same city. 

These kind of mix-ups might have been understandable in the past, but buyers have higher expectations for the brands they patronize. Additionally, companies that can deliver excellent customer service that's tailored to each client will earn brand advocates and invaluable word-of-mouth marketing, according to Retail Customer Experience. 

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