Authoritative business media "The Atlantics" named 2017 – the year of Global Retail Apocalypse. According to data from consulting agency AlixPartners, 9 large retailers filed for bankruptcy during the first three months of 2017 – it is the same amount as during the whole 2016. Rating agency Moody's reports that financial meltdown in retail achieved record-breaking level during the first quarter of 2018.
Reasons: the growth of e-commerce and desire of the next-generation customer to spend more money on impressions, not on goods. The solvent audience becomes younger very fast and raises new demands on the process of sale.
What transformation should a business make today in order to avoid the destiny of large conservative retail giants? How will relations of business and customer transform in the nearest future?
Millennials ("Generation Y") - is the main audience of modern business, and their customer's preferences have been researched by marketers through the length and breadth. In short, Millennials - are people who were born in between the early 80s to early 2000s. Millennials - is the first generation who used the internet for the most part of their lives. This is the first generation that due to technologies keeps two-way communication with business and brand, this generation is not simply the object of advertising. Millennials more accurate treats what they consume and especially HOW they consume.
The most important measure in work with this audience – is the rate of customer satisfaction. In different companies, this rate could be counted by dozens or even hundreds of indexes. But there are several fundamental points, that compose basic measure, these points reflect specifics of relations between modern business and Millenials:
>They want to make purchases in the most convenient way. A brand has to be in all possible channels and should be ready to sale via every channel. Large retailers, that use omnichannel (should not be confused with "multichannel") maintenance and communication with a client as standard, began with optimization of all platforms for smartphones and linking them between each other. Every channel provides a customer with an opportunity to make a purchase in an easy and convenient way. The reality of the service is: to receive a special offer by email, get a consultation in WhatsApp, click on the link of fast payment and receive your purchase at the comfortable location in one hour slot. If mobile version is not convenient for the customer or he doesn't receive an answer for his response, he will quit the process of purchase with a probability of 65%.
>Millennial wants to receive his order rapidly and in the most comfortable way. Service today is not only the service in the store. The whole process: from consultation to fast and comfortable delivery – is very important. Could millennial choose a one-hour delivery slot or receive his order in two hours? Could he change time and location under process? Did he receive an alert about arriving of a courier in 15 minutes or did he get an opportunity to track delivery like in Uber app? Today these service options are tested by large retailers, but in the nearest future would become necessary for all who value their customers.
>People prefer talking to each other in human language. Learned mechanically call-centers' scripts irritate the audience and don't work anymore. According to the latest data, chat-bots can't deal with more than 70% of requests. Yes, clients prefer to text with support. But to text with certain "alive" employee and in human language. A client wants to get product consultation, information about alternative offers and delivery options. This is their demand for support. Fake online consultant forces 30% of modern customers leave your website.
>A customer wants to be heard and taken seriously. It is very important for the customer to be heard and see real reviews of other customers. Researches prove this thesis: 93% purchases of millennials are made due to recommendations. That's why retail leaders on every stage from consultation to delivery and after-sale maintenance provide a customer with a channel of instant feedback. To leave without responding any review - negative or positive - means to lose in the rate of customer satisfaction significantly. Letting yourself moderate reviews about your company is an unjustified risk that would not be forgiven. Transparency and publicity of business to the customer are on trend.
>A customer expects regular after-sale service. According to researches of annual authoritative Report of technology and e-commerce IRUK, modern retailers just have begun to realize that after-sale communication has a colossal influence on customers loyalty and customer's LTV. How did the process of purchase go? How did a client get his order? Did the good and service satisfy customer's expectations? Time after purchase is that stage when a customer with high probability gives full information about his experience. This is an opportunity not only to overwork potential negative points but reveal your care about the customer. According to Accenture consulting agency, approximately 58% of users would spend more money on the company that provides the most personalized customer experience.
>Customer counts on individual offers created especially for his needs. Retailers of the nearest future know his customer very well and can regularly offer him an ideal personal set of goods taking into consideration his interests, mood, and location at a certain day of the month. New razor blades, toothpaste and washing powder could be proposed at the foreseeable time, when they are going to end. The largest sellers of FMCG products - like Tesco and Ocado in the UK, actively develop the delivery of the personalized set of fresh goods by subscription. So, the meaning of collecting and processing information about clients significantly increases.
>Security comes first. This is the most technical, but not less important point, that in common reflects the trend for trust between customer and salesman. Providing security of clients' data - is one of the most important tasks for business today.
Therefore, service is performed ceaselessly: in online – on the sale stage, and in offline – on the delivery stage, in after-sale service. It is impossible to respond to listed above expectations of the next-generation customer without serious technological support. In fact, modern technologies for seamless communication with clients, knowledge accumulation, management of comfort delivery processes are intended to adapt sale to individual behavior and lifestyle of every certain client. The more technologies develop, the higher are the customers' expectation.
According to data of different consulting agencies, clients' loyalty arrives with a 90% satisfaction rate and higher. Several years ago technologies needed to keep this level were affordable only for world giants, like Amazon and Uber, and these companies largely acted as drivers for trends of personalization and transparency. Fortunately today the systems for improvement of customers experience are accessible to the business of every size and field. Back to all posts