Shopping Paradise- A Journey to The Cart

As they say “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.”

This quote perfectly exemplifies how each customer has different expectations when they visit your store. Each customer is unique with different preferences and needs. It is important to offer them with personalized experience at every sales channel. In order to enable personalized experience, understanding the customer journey is critical.

Consumer Behavior Trends

With the technology evolution, consumption of media and information has dramatically changed today. Consumer behavior is influenced and driven by reference and relevance to their needs at any particular point in time.

Mobile is an Integral Part of consumer’s life*:

68 % of consumers use their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning

82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in store

Relevance drives trust*:

65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information

Content is the king*:

1 in 3 smartphone users have purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of information provided in the moment they needed it.

Consumer Expectations

The customer you have been serving for a decade now has completely different reason to visit you today. They come to the store to get more information on which new collection in your store will be appropriate for the occasion they are shopping for! They are looking for sales consultants to help them with the right purchase from the range of clothes they have viewed a million times online.

Consumer purchase journey

Customer journey in today’s digital world is complex and involves analysis of type of interactions at every touch point. The number of touchpoints between a brand and a consumer has dramatically increased and it is very important to offer a seamless connected experience across channels.

A consumer goes through four stages as part of their purchase journey. At every stage the interaction type and medium is different.

1. Search:

73% of product research is done using a search engine, 33% is done through specific shopping sites, and 24% is through apps.

Having SEO friendly URLs for your categories, sub-categories and products is critical to driving traffic to your online store.

2. Discover:

59% consumers discover new products in-store, 26% of them find them through customer reviews and 20% of them reach them through social media. Videos and blogs contribute to 15% and product recommendations on the online store result in 10% of the discovery for consumers.

Using offline and online channels together is critical to drive traffic to the brand. Online search can result in discovery of the brand and products on the Ecommerce store. Also in-store consumers should be engaged well with right products and good experience. Since consumers can also come to a brand’s physical stores from digital interactions, it’s important to offer a seamless experience.

3. Purchase:

51% of consumers do not want to wait to receive their item.52% in India see the online buying experience to be better than the in-store experience. But a high 42% still find the in-store experience to be better.

Thus driving consumers to complete their purchase conveniently at any of the sales channel should be focus of today’s retail.

4. Engagement:

85% consumers prefer personalized coupons and exclusive discounts provided in-store. 64% consumers prefer to buy based on recommendations and 54% buy based on recommendations from friends and family.

Retailers need to connect and engage well with consumers at all the sales channels. Providing relevant information and easy search helps consumers connect better with the brands.

Opportunities for Retailers

The connected consumer demands for access to different brands anywhere, anytime. The retailers cannot afford to lose their customers to channel specific sales strategy. Products availability has to be channel agonistic.

Keeping customer at the core of the sales strategy is the key to connect, engage and build loyalty for a retail brand.