According to a Digital Trends report, 73% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant. And online shopping trends put out by Monetate reported that 40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience across all channels.
Customer journey mapping is an intrinsic part of the customer experience world, especially for retail brands. When used properly, journey maps help determine where to focus in order to improve the overall customer experience. They identify pain points starting from the moment the brand enters the customer’s awareness, through the in-store and website experience, to the purchase process, post sale and any customer service contact points in between.
More and more merchants are incorporating customer journey maps into their omnichannel initiatives in an effort to ensure that the customer’s experience is consistent across all channels.
Why This Data Is Valuable
The data insights gained through the customer journey mapping process empower retailers to make value-driven decisions. These insights help stakeholders truly understand their customer’s behavior, thoughts and feelings across every touch point in their journey. Knowing this information can help to implement highly targeted messages to individual customers, based on their personal data history and favorite communication channels. These brands are then able to create even more personalized experiences that allow the customer to define their own shopping experience.
There are plenty of initiatives that can be employed to further enhance the customer journey, such as endless-aisle, click and collect, return in store, and more. However, not all of these initiatives would work for every customer.
As an example, implementing an interactive kiosk at the brick-and-mortar stores may increase the customer’s overall experience. However, if your customer is very mobile app savvy, an interactive kiosk may only slightly improve the customer journey. A better investment would be to improve and eliminate pain points in your mobile app instead.
Best Practices For Retail Brands
Simplify your data. Using over-complicated data leaves you with the noise, not the signal. Consolidating your data provides a 360 degree view of your customer and helps to find correlations across all channels.
Any key actionable recommendations should be tested thoroughly to continue tackling the customer’s challenges. As an example, direct feedback from customer satisfaction surveys could show that a retailer should establish chat and co-browsing on their website, which subsequently would lead to introducing a white glove, personal-shopper experience.
Mystery shopper feedback could also provide information on a merchant’s click and collect program, resulting in changes to their return policy. Surveys aren’t only for the digital experience; other survey results could lead to modifications to a brand’s actual retail store layout. This is why journey mapping has to be constantly reviewed and tested - to make sure the voice of the customer is being heard and that the correct interpretation of their feedback is implemented and adjusted.
Don’t forget that this process is a journey. You won’t be able to fix all of the issues in one shot. The retail customer’s journey is constantly changing, and never really ends.