Welcome to our latest edition of Realise Quarterly News.
With today's shopper exposed to so many different offers and messages, it is so important to get all aspects of your customer journey right to ensure customer engagement.
In this issue, we cover some crucial aspects to creating an experience-focused company culture that will result in successfully delivering personalised customer experiences.
Organisations that have a customer-oriented, agile and collaborative culture are better equipped to handle disruptive forces and even begin to instigate their own forms of disruption, shaking up conventional and irrelevant practices to be more in tune with today’s retail realities.
With customer-experience at front of mind, we celebrate four clients of The Realise Group who have moved with the times and are offering a premium customer experience at every touchpoint. In addition, we share with you some informative insights into Back To School shopping.
We hope you enjoy the read.
Katie Miles, Managing Director
How To Engage Today’s Australian Shoppers
A recent report published by Salesforce surveyed 650 Australian shoppers about all aspects of consumer behaviour and retail interaction, from online shopping expectations to the level of knowledge required from in-store sales staff.
The report showed that a digital strategy, clearly connected to a company’s customer service and sales processes, is a key factor contributing to business success.
Consumers have come to expect absolute consistency across all touchpoints whether it be in person, on the phone, by email or via social media. Smooth, simple and fast functionality on all types of devices and screen sizes is particularly important, especially to a millennial audience that has never known a world without digital connectivity. But it’s not all about digital; the people within a business are also an essential ingredient.
Consistency Creates Customer Satisfaction
What are the top five ingredients in the recipe for customer satisfaction? Here is what consumers revealed:
Customers Expect A Tech-Driven Future
Five years from now, the respondents forecast, businesses are going to provide entirely new sets of customer-related services. These include:
Smartphones come closer to reaching 100% saturation of the consumer market every day, particularly for personal use. Consider that 88% of all respondents said they own a smartphone for personal use. The major marketplace for your business is a five-inch screen and, if consumers don’t find what they want on that screen, they’ll move right on.
Provide consistent shopping experiences
Products and services must be competitively priced (87%) and of high quality (82%), and that’s no surprise. More interesting is the consumer need to have a consistent experience across all touch points (66%). While price may be the number-one concern of the bulk of consumers, how these consumers compare prices forms part of their experience of your brand, creating an opportunity for you to make it both consistent and positive.
Get personal with customers
In the past a shopper walked into a store, handed over cash, received a product or service, then walked out again. End of relationship.
E-commerce requires an entirely new level of trust and a completely different relationship dynamic. Every online purchase requires an email address, and often a phone number and postal address. A purchase is not just a purchase; it is a major milestone in a mutually beneficial or potentially disastrous relationship. When personal information is shared as part of the purchase process, consumers are wary of being exploited. In other words, they expect to be treated with respect.
Use Customer Data Wisely And Securely
The data shared by individuals as a part of the shopping process allows the business to personalise the shopping experience for consumers. This is perfectly acceptable; it is a desirable outcome for many consumers.
Half of all shoppers say they are willing to share personal data if it makes communication with the retailer easier. Similarly, almost half of all shoppers are happy to share personal data if it makes the purchase simpler, if they are sent personalised offers or discounts as a result, and if they are provided a personalised in-store or online shopping experience.
The best sales reps are knowledgable and trustworthy
While 76% of shoppers say it is absolutely critical or very important to deal with someone who has intimate knowledge of the business’s products or services, even more (80%) say it is very important to deal with someone who doesn’t try to sell them products they do not need. If a shopper agrees to buy a big-screen TV and is accosted with a sales pitch about why they should also purchase an $80 HDMI cable rather than the standard $12 version, it will leave a very bad taste.
Other attributes of a great salesperson? The research highlights helping a customer achieve their specific needs, rather than making a quick sale (75%). Sales stats need to treat the consumer as a valued customer (75%) and be available when needed (73%).
Provide a positive mobile experience
Most revealing and challenging for businesses, particularly small businesses, is the immediacy of response consumers expect from various communication channels. Whether they make contact via phone, email, text/ SMS, social media, in-app mobile support, online forms or messenger apps, more than 90% expect a response within 24 hours, and more than 50% within less than one hour.
Customers expect a smarter, more connected future
Consumers tell us that by 2020 they expect to be able to pay for purchases with their mobile devices (60%) as well as use smart/connected home technology (59%), smart/connected appliances (55%) and smart/connected vehicles (54%). Of course, some of these technologies are already a reality for certain consumers.
Customers have more information and methods of communication with a business than ever before, and they are not afraid to use them. The success of your business is closely connected to your ability to manage its digital presence, and the performance and consistency of the various channels through which consumers will touch your brand.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AWARDS 2017
Earlier this month, Kate Gorman, our National Account Director, attended an industry customer satisfaction awards event as a special guest of the Muffin Break team (thanks Muffin Break!)
With 32 award categories we were delighted to witness a few of our clients take out some very well deserved awards:
Coffee Shop of the Year – Muffin Break
Discount Department Store of the Year – Target
Furniture/Electrical Store of the Year – The Good Guys
Supermarket of the Year – ALDI
Congratulations to our wonderful clients who have worked incredibly hard to ensure they are at the top of their game. We feel very proud to play a part in your recipe for success.
BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING REPORT
As the holiday season winds down, post-Christmas sales are in full swing with research, conducted by Roy Morgan in association with Australian Retailers Association (ARA), predicting that Aussie shoppers will spend $17.2 billion from 26 December to 15 January.
According to the ARA chief Russell Zimmerman, the research is indicative of shopper focus on back to school sales.
Zimmerman says that retailers selling clothing, footwear, stationery and technology will see a big sales boost as back to school draws near and parents stock up on back to school essentials.
Field Agent wanted to understand the back-to-school mindset a little deeper, so we surveyed 400 Australian parents with school aged children on all things ‘Back To School’ (BTS).
The study reveals results on the following hot topics related to Back To School shopping:
- Back to school budget pressure
- Stocking up on supplies
- Influences on purchase decisions
- Top shopping priorities amongst BTS mums
- Influence of children on BTS purchases
- Preferred retailers for BTS supplies
- Role of online retailers for BTS shoppers
- Contents of packed lunches
- Frustrations with BTS shoppers
Which brands will win Back To School 2017? Simple. Those that prepare and execute the best.
Mobile Audits & Research combine to offer companies a fast, affordable and simple way to learn about back-to-school shoppers and ensure BTS plans are properly executed inside stores.
So make the grade this back-to-school shopping season. Look to Mobile Audits & Research.
REALISE ONLINE UPDATE
Your Realise Online Dashboard can now be viewed online via a secure app.
Available for iOS and Android, it's now even easier to access your important data, anywhere.