A new decade has arrived. With it, a whole new set of trends are emerging. It is more important than ever for businesses and brands to close the gap between in-store experience and online presence, from hereon think about “Unified Retail Experiences.”
The Role of The Store and The Web
While Millennials show an equal preference between purchasing online and in store, Gen Zs and Gen Xs still cite in store as their preferred shopping method, though weigh their purchasing decisions heavily on customer experience both in-store and online.
According to a new survey by A.T. Kearney, consumers ages 14 to 24 overwhelmingly prefer to do their shopping in stores, largely for mental health reasons. Eighty-one percent of Gen Z respondents said they prefer to purchase in stores, and 73% said they like to discover new products in stores.
According to the data, retailers should also be more mindful of customer service and shopping experiences, both in stores and online. A poor online experience has prevented 22% of Gen Z shoppers from making a purchase three to five times in the past year. In a store that rate rises to 24%. By comparison, 15% of millennials halted an online purchase and 21% halted an in-store purchase three to five times over the past year because of lousy experience.
Businesses and brands must create a cohesive customer journey that optimizes each retail channel, enabling a deeper relationship and allowing for customers to move in between.
Learn From These Data-Driven Unified Retail Experiences
A 360 customer data view offers brands the power to align product offerings, campaigns and inventory with a customer’s preferences and expectations.
- Quick Service Retail. A loyal customer walks in for their usual dark roast drip coffee. After the 2nd or 3rd in-store purchase, the coffee brand sends an inbox message – a sample of a new dark roast or a 20% discount on a subscription. It is a compelling offer knowing that the brand took the time to learn about my flavor profile based on previous in-store purchases.
- Pop Up Shops To Online. Brands with smaller store footprints like pop up shops are acting more like a showroom to increase brand awareness in a specific market, which ultimately is a path to drive customers online. When a potential shopper does not convert into a purchase at the pop up shop, to create a sense of urgency brands highlight lower than usual inventory online. This is followed by inbox campaigns that include similar items based on interest.
- Driving In-Store Sales With Online Data. A 120,000 retail center with over 30 stores ranging from apparel, chocolate and outdoor adventure brands focused on activating an existing subscriber base and providing a guest amenity in the form of fast free WiFi. Early results show, surprising data points around Canadian shoppers. With a high in-store and online engagement from Canadian customers, the The retail center created Canada specific campaigns and unique experiences. The result is 200% campaign engagement and a significant 24% increase in coupon redemption and sales.
- A Media Company Hosts A Pet Pop Up. A media company focused on animals and pets hosted a pop up in New York City. The pop up was sponsored by popular pet brands and newcomers in the space. The in-store data collected with permission included unique customer identifiers, zip code, consumer behavior showing length of stay for each display and a level of interest score that was shared with each brand. Brands responded by testing a number of post-pop up offers based on the audience interest score.