What Makes a Customer’s Shopping Experience Seamless?
7 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
Seamless means more than a great shopping experience. In the stop and go world we live in today, seamless means perfection. It’s the mantra every business wants to adopt. Because when we work with people, time is money, interactions are priceless, and how businesses and customers support each other makes all the difference.
So, what makes a customer’s shopping experience seamless? Well, to answer this we curated a list of factors that businesses should be aware of for that ultimate retail experience.
When the Customer Experience Fails
There is nothing more paramount to the success of brick-and-mortar than the customer shopping experience. Let’s face it, in this current market, online purchases are not only at an all-time high but show zero signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, people can instantly share their customer shopping experience with a push of a phone-screen.
Retailers have to make sure the business is in a position to meet and exceed customer’s shopping needs. Because when a customer’s shopping experience fails, the business fails.
And as they say in business, proper preparation prevents poor performance.
So let’s help retailers prepare.
Advantages of a Seamless Customer Experience
The advantages of a seamless retail experience are more than just providing accessible, convenient, and streamlined processes for customers. It’s about creating customer loyalty, the kind of loyalty that incentivizes new business and strengthens reputation through word-of-mouth marketing. When retailers support an individual, they never know who they’re connected to. A recommendation could lead to three more customers, and those three could tell their friends and lead to nine customers, and on and on. This is great when businesses need a way to increase customers in retail.
On the surface, these advantages may seem arbitrary. However, when analyzing the top factors that make a seamless customer experience and the statistics surrounding them, gaining an understanding of just how important they really are. Because just like any business, the customer is always right.
Now, let’s ensure customers are saying the right things about the retail experience.
Top Factors that Make a Seamless Customer Experience
The business landscape and subsequent customer experiences are always changing, but being ahead of the game ensures businesses not only maintain their level of success but flourish with the times. To do this, let’s run through some simple factors that can make or break a shopper’s experience.
- Social Media Integration – Businesses might not want to admit it, but social media is playing an increased role in the customer experience. Often, social media is the initial point of contact with consumers. This can be in the form of promos or simply sharing the product inventory online. However, retailers want to guarantee a seamless consistency between what social media represents and the customer experience social media guarantees.
- Stats to back it up: According to Global Web Index, 28% of users in 2019 searched for products via social media. Needless to say, if they see something on Instagram, it should be in inventory.
- Improved Staff Efficiency – Improving staff efficiency doesn’t just mean hiring the best employees possible. Surely that’s one factor, but it also means having a work environment that ensures they thrive in terms of customer support and work efficiency. This can come in the form of increased employee training or improving the physical space employees work in. Employees should always be in a position to assist a customer’s needs; that means not being tied up rearranging boxes or stuck behind a counter remote from the action.
- Stats to back it up: According to the McKinsey Global Institute, “superior talent” is up to eight times more efficient than average employees. Companies like Glassdoor report organizations with a robust onboarding process improve productivity by more than 70%.
The customer experience always begins with employees. So why wouldn’t retailers want them to be as efficient as possible?
- Payment Flexibility – Chances are if working in retail with omnichannel commerce or owning any type of brick-and-mortar business, customers likely asked about various accepted payment methods. Do they have Venmo? PayPal? Zelle? Apple Pay? Visa? Mastercard? Need we say more?
- Stats to back it up: According to a data report from Juniper Research, 2.1 billion consumers worldwide are expected to use a mobile payment or mobile money transfer in 2020.
Ensuring a myriad of flexible payment options means more people are able to purchase products and services. It’s also important to have mechanisms and strategies in place, so when these questions do come, they can be transacted as quickly and efficiently as possible. We all know how frustrating long lines can be. Time is money, and customers want to spend it wisely.
- Increased Storage Efficiency – Most people probably do not understand the tremendous number of packages businesses deal with on a daily basis. Imagine selling hundreds or even thousands of packages a month, and with companies like CB Insights showing a 300% rise of private labels incorporated into businesses, the last thing is mountains of boxes in the space of customers perusing and browsing goods.
Not to mention, customers entrust that the products they order arrive safely to their homes, without theft or damage. Couriers care about delivering and picking up packages in the most timely and efficient way possible, not whether or not they are inhibiting customers in any way.
- Hybrid: Digital and Physical Customer Interaction – The future of customer experience is certainly a hybrid of digital and physical customer interactions. What began with the scanning of QR codes has steadily evolved into businesses and retailers incorporating both virtual and augmented reality into the customer shopping experience.
- A Harvard Business Review report revealed 73% of shoppers used multiple ‘reality’ channels to discover and buy products. While this doesn’t necessarily mean supplying VR glasses for patrons, it does mean exploring new ways of offering customers an authentic and even experimental shopping experience.
These new intertwinings should explore ways of providing customers with information, money-saving deals, and promotional opportunities for included brands. And doing so in an efficient, sensible manner. Everyone is looking for the next ‘big thing’ to come to their town.
All of these factors contribute to what makes a customer’s shopping experience seamless. Cut no corners and cover all the bases.
The Future of the Customer Shopping Experience
The future of the customer shopping experience will be defined by a tangled mix of online and offline services. That being said, it will also be defined by understanding the security issues that come along with such incorporations. This, of course, means the security of customers as well as the business. Expect property and privacy to emerge as focal points in the future of the customer shopping experience as more and more data breaches emerge.
While the idea of maintaining a seamless and positive customer experience might seem simple in theory, practice will take time. Expect a transitional period where businesses are adapting to the changing landscape. And be sure to entice and excite loyal customers by offering something novel.
The future of the customer shopping experience will demand of businesses the same innovation customers expect of new products. Sometimes retail innovation is as simple as making something seamless. Sometimes it’s as innovative as completely re-thinking how businesses create and manage efficiency.
There are companies emerging who offer these products to help.
The Parcel Pending’s Retail Locker Experience
Whether a long-standing corporation or a fast-growing new business, efficiency and customer experience should be at the forefront of every business strategy. Understanding the 2020 retail trends and what makes a customer’s shopping experience seamless provides the first step into the larger world of amazing customer experience and service. The next step? The Parcels Pending Retail Locker experience.
With Parcel Pending’s smart locker, not only do stores provide a solution for a growing business to manage the inventory needs and facilitating of packages: provide a novel avenue for improving the customer’s shopping experience. It’s more than thinking harder about what goes into the seamless customer shopping experience, it’s about thinking smarter. Don’t allow for couriers or packages to clog up the business, as time and energy should be spent on customers, not on sorting through a pile of packages.
With Parcel Pending’s retail lockers, businesses can enjoy\ a smart, convenient, and safe solution to courier needs. Advanced, customizable, fast, and productive, Parcel Pending retail lockers not only increase foot traffic in a retail store but also improve staff efficiency and productivity. They also help provide loyal customers with a seamless in-store experience.
Seamless Means No More Stop and Go
As a final thought: Consider the business from an outsider’s perspective. From the moment someone steps into the physical store or clicks onto the homepage, the retail process should be simple and guided. If anything looks slow or not catered to the overall message as a brand, oust it.
Seamless means no more stop and go. Seamless means the perfect customer experience.
- Global Web Index. The Ecommerce Trends to Know. https://www.globalwebindex.com/reports/commerce
- Harvard Business Review. A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works. https://hbr.org/2017/01/a-study-of-46000-shoppers-shows-that-omnichannel-retailing-works
- GlassDoor. The True Cost of a Bad Hire. https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire.pdf
- MyKinsey. The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity through Social Technologies.
- Business Insider. PayPal Heads Mobile Wallet Rankings.
- Parcel Pending. Choose Your Solution. https://www.parcelpending.com/en-us/
- Vend. Vend’s Retail Trends & Predictions 2020. https://www.vendhq.com/retail-trends-and-predictions
- Finances Online. 10 Future Retail Trends & Forecast for 2020 – A Look Into What’s Next. https://financesonline.com/retail-trends/
- CB Insights. Private Labels Rising: How Retailer’s own Products are Taking Off and Transforming the CPG Industry.