By Kevin Connor, Retail Pro International.
The elusive omnichannel shopper: he or she leaves tracks everywhere but is yet to be understood.
Shoppers’ path to purchase today beelines from your store to your website on their computer at the office (used only during breaks, of course), to your mobile site on their tablet, to your app on their smartphone, and back.
Companies with strong omnichannel engagement are able to keep 89% of their customers, compared with 33 percent of companies with weak engagement.
But how can you keep customers and improve customer experience for shoppers whose journeys you’re still struggling to pinpoint?
Learn about your shoppers
One way is to build steps into your operations that will help you learn more about your customers. Basically, train your team to build customer profiles as they interact with shoppers.
But when you can give customers good reason to share their information with you online or in stores, you are in a better position to gather accurate data that will help you draw more useful, actionable insights from your company performance.
For example, if there’s something a customer wanted that’s not in stock, retailers can turn a bad experience into a positive one by placing an order for them from the store — with free shipping — delighting the customer while gathering additional shopper data.
Answers to a small number of carefully targeted questions can have a big impact on a business, whether in survey format or simply asked by an associate at the POS itself.
Of course, the simplest way (though not always the easiest way) to learn information about shoppers is to collect it directly from the source: Ask them. Here are 3 ways to build better customer profiles using Retail Pro POS.
1: Get feedback at the POS
Take time to chat with customers while ringing them up at the POS, and take notes.
POS flags in Retail Pro POS allow you to add quick-action buttons or fields to take note of shopper details at the POS, which you can then analyze and use to shape more effective decision making, or for their marketing campaigns, depending on the information you choose to capture.
Because workflows in Retail Pro are entirely tailorable to yours, you can automatically prompt sales associates to ask preset questions and record the answers.
This kind of information, collected incrementally over time, will help you build a truer understanding of your customers and draw conclusions to improve their experience.
2: Engage with shoppers on the sales floor
Having mobile POS available for your sales associates empowers them to do build customer profiles while they’re helping them on the sales floor. Retailers with a more consultative approach to customer engagement can create quick workflows to help associates create new customer profiles and start filling in the details while they assist: shoe size, scent preferences, skin tone.
Skincare brand Aesop uses Retail Pro to track, manage, and access customer data all over the world, ensuring the same experience for a particular customer regardless of location, because every store shares the same customer and inventory details.
“Our store consultants often work cross-country but the experience of working with the software is the same. We have one consistent thread through Retail Pro, though each store is entirely different,” said head of Aesop’s ICT, Troy Smith.
Over time these profiles will help your associates continue the conversation knowledgeably, making recommendations relevant to their needs because you see them through the customer’s history in the POS.
3: Invite your top shoppers to VIP in-store events
Inviting your top shoppers to exclusive in-store events not only rewards them and deepens their affinity for your brand, but also gives your team opportunity to keep learning about your shoppers.
Form your guest list using Retail Pro’s built-in reports on customer KPIs like total spend or Customer Lifetime Value. Then, get to learning about your customers’ preferences as you mingle over cocktails at your new product drop.
Or, use Retail Pro POS to collect information about visitors to the launch of your new pop-up store.
Designer brand Akris uses POS flags in Retail Pro POS to capture email addresses or phone numbers of customers attending their exclusive in-store events and then contact them for future events.
As you take advantage of these kinds of opportunities to build customer profiles, you’ll start learning more about your customers and can then more successfully unify your operations and customer engagement to place customers’ needs at the forefront of your business strategies.
About the author
Kevin Connor’s expertise includes user-centric design, user experience, and technology leadership work with major retail brands worldwide like Estee Lauder, Puma, Prada, and many others worldwide.