It’s the fourth quarter. For retailers, it’s the final push. Go time. Eighty yards away from victory and two minutes to score. Time to win, encourage consumers in-store or online and move product. It’s when retailers go big to satisfy Wall Street and bring home the holiday profits.
It’s also when all the marketing stunts roll out and impulse clouds strategy. And, for many big retailers they’re doubling down on their online marketplace. But with more attention being paid to the complete customer journey, this increased attention on digital can potentially fall short.
Despite every developer’s plea, the IOT is a cold place. It’s a one-dimensional universe that demands our attention, and our money. It’s where we go to first learn about a brand, get our news, and a lot of times, buy what we need (or want). And for many of us, it’s where we go to buy our gifts (yah free shipping!). But consider this, according to the National Retail Federation, just as many consumers will buy gifts online as in a department store. As important as this online presence is, it’s the first step in a complex customer experience that falls apart without a better brand experience later. For example:
You’re dressed in your favorite reindeer sweeter (with bells) and headed to a holiday party. With a few thumb taps and in just minutes, your Uber X arrives; it’s been a great digital experience. But you climb in and the car looks like Santa’s workshop, the bottled water is warm, and the mints are smashed. Resulting in a brand experience fail.
Or, you’re gearing up for the big dinner and you’re making Grandma’s famous pecan pie. Rather than fight the grocery store lines you go to Clicklist and get all the ingredients, paying special attention not to miss a thing. But when you swing by King Soopers the Karo Syrup jar is cracked and there’s corn syrup everywhere.
Your digital platform is a gateway to win a customer, but it also sets expectations. Deliver a smooth app experience and come up short later, you may as well pack up Rudolph and head home. A few important things to consider:
- AI is hot, so as consumers become more comfortable with digital brand ambassadors and the technology improves, it’s a very viable brand+customer experience. But take the time to create an AI platform that represents your organization with the right tone of voice and character.
- Leverage digital methods to remove surprises. As consumers become accustomed to on-demand purchasing power they are expecting news and updates related to their purchase. Shipping details, arrival news, and virtual map tracking are all a must.
- Train-up your real people. Your employees are the realest representation of your brand and experience. Make sure you spend the time training them to bring home the fullest brand experience and make your customers brand zealots.
Build a best in class digital experience for your customer by making it simple, personal and fast. And make a big impact on the customer by following the digital journey with an enjoyable offline brand experience, that will lead to building a customer for life.