Every culture has its popular myths: Bigfoot, the abominable snowman… the list goes on. However, when we think of these mythical monsters, we think of stories that are believable but generally acknowledged to be untrue when examined closely.
In terms of myths, retail culture is no different. With rapidly changing technology and evolving customers, many myths about the future of retail have surfaced. In InMoment’s 2017 Retail Trends Report, we were able to debunk a few of these retail myths and find the truths beneath them. Check them out below!
Myth No. 1: Convenience is King.
Fact: Convenience has its place, and it’s not always first.
Today’s customers favor instant gratification, so it’s no surprise that digital-exclusive retailers are performing the best in terms of customer satisfaction. If convenience was king, it would mean that these ecommerce giants would take the retail crown, but our data shows that brick-and-mortar retailers can still serve an important and distinct role through customer experience.
A physical location provides customers with the opportunity to touch and handle items before purchasing, something that is simply not possible for digital-exclusive retailers. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on first; brick-and-mortar stores give you the opportunity to do just that.
Even more, consumers perceived product quality to be higher when they buy from a brick-and-mortar retailer, proving that while convenience is great, it isn’t everything.
Myth No. 2: Automation will replace employees.
Fact: Technology can enhance, but not replace, human interactions.
While automation may make it easier for customers to complete purchases, it is not capable of creating empathetic and positive customer experiences in the same way your employees are. Your employees are the face of your brand, an irreplaceable asset, so instead of pitting technology against them, retailers would be well advised to think of ways to use automation to support their employees.
Myth No. 3: Personalization means targeted campaigns.
Fact: Personalization must be authentic.
Targeted campaigns are great strategies, but personalized interactions generally mean more to customers than personalized messages; customers value moments more than advertisements. Brands must leverage sales and service touchpoints by enabling their employees to build relationships and deliver value to their customers. This effort will translate personalized marketing efforts into authentic and effective campaigns.
When thinking about the future of your retail CX efforts, don’t be tempted to change course because of these myths. Instead, stay focused on your customers and what they need, then go from there!
If you’d like more context on retail trends and the direction retail customer experience is heading, download the full 2017 Retail Trends Report!