The past two years have been tough for retail. Stores had to close, malls turned into ghost towns, employees quit in droves. To adapt, retail businesses had to re-invent themselves in some form. Shift to e-commerce only, add curbside pickup as an option, or a hybrid of the two.
To execute on any of these strategies, they had to enhance current or create new customer journeys. They had to improve information design and user experiences. More so, retailers realized they had to align stock and supply chains, and offer more delivery return options. From a technical standpoint, these changes meant leveraging APIs and artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.
Things are now looking brighter. Customers have headed back to their favorite shops, so much so that brands have seen measurable growth, especially via their digital channels.
But now retailers face a new challenge: How can they leverage this uptick in ecommerce sales and build upon it over time?
To answer that complex question, we must first acknowledge that digital retail is only as successful as your development and e-commerce expertise, infrastructure, cloud, and the ability to adapt to consumer preferences. You must also have insight into user behavior – what people actually do when on your site and within your app. All which points to the need for monitoring user actions, wherever they are in your digital universe.
For example, you can track key customer experience metrics such as time on site, which products receive clicks, average response time, or how a campaign performs. When you precisely understand how each touchpoint performs, and which paths are more successful than others, you can then make informed decisions about what digital elements need to be adjusted. Teams can then collaborate to optimize customer experiences, increase sales, and reinforce loyalty.
More so, the IT department can then better understand how technical improvements directly impact conversions and total revenue. They learn which technical strategies can boost upsell opportunities, while eliminating the customer friction that occurs when only in-stock items appear on a web page. These aforementioned results illuminate how digital has forced various departments to unify for a single purpose. In this case, that purpose is to drive sales and reignite brand vitality. By collaborating in real-time, they all focus on the business’s overall goals. And companies realize these benefits due to shared data. Now, web developers, marketers, user experience designers, and e-commerce strategists have a single source of objective information to make decisions.
From an internal standpoint, a given team’s chosen tactics shift from being seen as subjective to based on metrics and facts. From an external perspective – the one leaders care about the most – customer journeys improve, which ultimately increases sales.
Brands can undertake this digital selling model through an observability platform or other cutting-edge technologies. It’s their choice. What they can’t choose, however, is the type of customer to target. That’s because today’s consumers have an omni-channel mentality, and they expect their preferred retailers to adapt to their demands. If not, they’ll click over to the competition.