IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 26 May 2015

Are your customer interfaces shoppable?

Retailers: what if you could see the steps in an online transaction in the real world? This video from Google Analytics is a spoof with a serious message, displaying the loss of customer satisfaction in the face of a frustrating and problematic purchasing experience.

A man tries to buy bread in-store, and is faced with a sales assistant directing an unrelenting series of questions that you’d expect to stumble upon during an online transaction.

Not only does it raise questions about the ease with which customers can checkout online, but also the appropriateness of the interface. Obviously when trying to purchase in-store, this is the wrong experience to carry out from a customer service perspective.

There seems to be a deeper message here. Although omnichannel retailing demands a shopping experience that must be seamless, simultaneous and interchangeable across all retail channels, retailers must pay more attention to how they deliver the experiences.

As noted in the most recent Drapers round table feature, customers will continue to transact online. But “when a shopper hits the high street, they are looking to be wowed by retail theatre, which incorporates an innovative use of technology and great service. Get this opportunity right and you have created a singular experience the customer will remember, even if they ultimately convert online.”

Retailers are spending more on digital teams to create great usability and customer-focussed features on their websites, but are they investing accordingly in measuring the in-store customer experience?

The principles that are prioritised online for fantastic customer experience and added value (e.g. customer reviews, wish-lists, customer profiling) are, and must be, transferable to the store experience. So, maintain a level of differentiation that requires the physical store in the first place, but make sure that you can still carry out the same processes as on other channels. Customers want to shop the brand experience, not just the channel.

Customer profiling. Perhaps the most lucrative of online processes to start using in-store. Not only is in-store technology, e.g. beacons, beginning to “recognise” a customer, but the possibilities unlocked by the wealth of data generated by customers are endless. If a loyal customer has the brand app installed on their smart phone that connects with beacons as they enter the store, imagine how impressive it would be to automatically send a push notification to their device with a discount voucher, and bring up the last items they purchased.

Reviews. Online, they reinforce customer opinion, and give shoppers a more physical appreciation of the item on screen. How can this happen in store? Do you group best-selling items, or give your best seller its own rail and prime display? Mobilise the staff base to go that extra mile when giving product recommendations.

Wish-lists. In store, the idea of a wish-list could be created in both a physical, and a digital sense. In-store tablets can load a customer profile to display their current wish-list, whilst a member of staff retrieves the items and places them ready to try on in the fitting room. What’s more, staff can build complimentary wish-lists to send to the customer after they leave, to prolong the experience.

If you have any questions about the retail technology or retail IT solutions mentioned in this blog, or want to know more about delivering best in class omnichannel experience, please get in touch with us. Call Head Office on 0115 8533910 or email

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