September 15, 2021

Reinventing the customer experience in retail

Author:
Mark Pingol, VP
The future of retail is interlaced with buzzwords referencing personalisation, whether it’s engaging through sound, smell, bespoke services or delivery.

In a turbulent landscape contextualising the customer journey to understand mindsets and behaviours has been critical to redesigning if not reinventing the customer experience.


For over a decade the march on all things digital has helped define the winners and losers in the omnichannel retail space, and in the past 18 months digital innovation has been accelerated when trying to create the perfect online journey. The increasingly dynamic path to purchase is a complex web of touch points, as shoppers are enticed by the opportunity to shop anywhere, any time and on any device. Now post lockdown, for many, it’s about re-embracing the omnichannel offer which presents new challenges, as well as a multitude of opportunities, for retailers and brand owners alike.

The changing journey
The future of retail is interlaced with buzzwords referencing personalisation, whether it’s engaging through sound, smell, bespoke services or delivery. These services also extend to utilising new technology to improve the customer experience.

The challenge is to trigger a purchase decision at any moment in a customer journey by creating omnichannel offers that transcend traditional channel roles, thus optimising touchpoints and minimising pain points.

With an increasing number of online and offline touchpoints capturing the complexities of the different customer types, utilising missions and retailer formats in the moment of purchase is crucial to inform business strategy.

This is complicated by the fact that what consumers say versus what they actually do, as well as understanding the context in which decisions are made from purchase channels and the way audiences engage with different channels and communications, is never straightforward.

Our approach
To help brands create a long standing connection with consumers, we’ve developed an approach to understand the omnichannel journey. Our aim is to underpin any research by identifying:

  • What consumers are thinking (what they say)
  • How consumers are behaving (implicit associations)
  • The rational in which decisions are made

The key aim is to identify satisfaction and conversion drivers that helps the shopper differentiate your offer by creating that personalised experience. Ultimately the more personalised the experience the greater the loyalty and the harder it is for the competition to replicate your offer.

By evaluating the contextual factors in the shopping journey and utilising a range of techniques we focus on:

  • Future of innovation – identifying the key trends at a macro and micro level from both an internal stakeholder and customer perspective to decode future behaviours
  • Customer journey mapping – building knowledge of the retail environment and customer journey by mapping touchpoints across channels to identify pain points and strengths to optimise the digital/physical journey
  • Concept creation & testing – working alongside brands and creative agencies to create and evaluate design concepts that communicate the core brand identity and enhance the brand relationship

Our approach helps to identify:

  • Major trends in retail innovation applicable to a brands omnichannel journey
  • Key touch points and associated synergies as well as gaps across different channels
  • The importance of each channel and touchpoints in the journey
  • Key customer-experience and retail-design concepts that align to the omnichannel journey
  • Short and long term strategies that brand can adopt to align consumer journeys

Why we know it works:
Savanta has conducted consumer-journey and retail-design studies for a wealth of high-street stores over the past 15 years. In the last year we have conducted over 1,000 hours of shopper observations around the globe, and frequently partner with a leading CX design agency, ensuring that all creative implementation is both practical and rooted in consumer insight.

Find out more:
Our approach offers a truly flexible way to identify and future proof the omnichannel journey for brands. It’s just one of many context-driven approaches to understand and optimise brand performance and communication.

For more information on how we can help brands inform strategy, please get in touch.


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