08 July 2016

Retailers in the Age of the Customer

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As digital technologies continue to advance, businesses must adapt and stay up-to-date to remain sustainable. This is especially so for retailers, as mobility and technological disruption continue to transform retail experiences – both in store and at home.

In conjunction with digital disruption, we quickly move forward along the timeline into the ‘age of the customer’. As customer fulfilment and digital transformation intersect, retailers are faced with a critical challenge to respond with immediacy to changing customer behaviour and expectation.

Victor Milligan with Forrester states, “Empowered customers and the constant and rapid wave of digital innovation are changing market fundamentals. Leaders are now challenged to respond.”

The experience of buying and receiving goods is no longer the same. Customers now, not only want, but expect to make a purchase easier, friendlier, and faster. Customers want immediate value and will go elsewhere if you cannot provide it.

Retailers must now focus on establishing end-to-end customer experience – taking a customer on a positive journey from the outset when they visit your store or site, purchase a product, to when the product lands in their lap.

To enable and inform this end-to-end shopping experience, marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, and finance must be aligned to ensure company value and relevance.

How do brick and mortar stores stand up to online retail with customer experience?

Forbes article suggests two steps to help the physical, brick and mortar, three-dimensional retail environment distinguish itself from an online experience:

Step One of what’s needed for success in the brick and mortar retail environment is what I call “digital parity”: the absolute necessity for physical stores to create an experience that is every bit as streamlined, well-stocked, seamless, easy to use, and fast as what customers have grown used to on the Web.

Step Two is to figure out how to be better than the web—how to take advantage of what can best be provided by a store existing in a physical environment: theatricality, engagement, and the professional assistance of well trained and inspired human associates.
Retailers main objective now is to enhance their customer experience and invest in what customers want. The continuing rise of the mobile and connected customer, and the retailers’ capacity to keep pace, will anchor success and future growth.

Don’t miss Akolade’s 4th Annual Online Retail Supply Chain Summit coming February 2017 in Melbourne! Australia’s premier event exploring the latest trends, technologies, and innovations driving the online retail supply chain and examining the transformation and differentiation of fulfilment and customer experience and engagement.

After finishing University with a degree in Business Marketing, I decided to make a big jump across seas for the first time and move from the east coast of America to Sydney, Australia. I landed my first job in a sales position in the event industry and soon thereafter moved into a marketing assistant role – following I had the pleasure of interviewing with Akolade which got me to where I am today.

Akolade is a fun, innovative company that brings together people from different walks of life to implement change. As the Marketing Manager, I have the pleasure of wearing many hats which motivates me to succeed, reach people in an array of avenues, grow our events to their full potential, and raise our story. As for me, I am a kind dedicated woman who loves to work hard, exercise, cook, be social and have some fun.

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