Are you keeping up with your customers?
Shoppers are placing a premium on convenience. Are your payment solutions keeping up with demand?
It’s tough out there. The clothing sector is fiercely competitive, and dominated by some of retail’s biggest superstars. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding, and advertising and retail practices are getting ever more sophisticated.
Succeeding in the marketplace is easier if your business model and technology allow you to integrate online, mobile and in-store channels to create a seamless shopping experience, otherwise known as omnichannel.
“Most retailers are striving to give consumers a consistent, seamless shopper experience across channels – including in the returns process – but to do that effectively you need to harness the payments data,” says Sharon Manikon, Customer Solutions Director, Barclaycard.
Omnichannel means removing channel boundaries so you offer consistent products, consistent branding and consistent payment options regardless of how you’re shopping.
Three ways that omnichannel can help to improve your shopper experience:
Our research shows that almost 6 in 10 consumers say the retailer’s returns process influences their decision to shop there.
Omnichannel can help enable returns through any channel regardless of how the purchase was made by allowing those channels to communicate with each other.
That means accepting returns in-store from a customer’s online order – and getting the payment back to the customer efficiently – becomes much less of a challenge.
“Omnichannel technology helps the retailer offer a much more seamless returns experience for customers,” says Jackie Payne, Account Development Manager, Barclaycard. “It’s much slicker and those that get it right usually generate more loyalty as a result.”
The boundaries between the digital and the physical worlds are blurring all the time. The deeper the retailer’s ability to integrate all their channels together, the more likely they are to emerge as winners.
That’s because consumers don’t think in channels, but instead want to interact and engage in the way that’s most convenient for them.
For example, our research shows that a fifth of consumers would shop in bricks & mortar stores more frequently if those stores provided digital devices that allowed them to buy online in-store and have the products delivered.
“There’s definitely a move towards digital forming a critical part of the in-store experience,” says Shay Doran, Corporate Customer Solutions, Barclaycard. “And whether it’s the digital experience or the way people purchase their clothes, speed and convenience is crucial.”
Similarly click and collect demonstrates the same holistic approach but in reverse. The customer can purchase online from the comfort of their home then collect from their local store whenever it suits them – sometimes as quickly as the same day. It can also enable them to avoid delivery costs or the need to wait in, and is another way your customer journey can deliver choice and convenience.
For many clothing retailers, it’s their ability to truly understand the customer which could make the difference and help them get ahead of the competition.
The opportunity lies in more successful target marketing. Omnichannel can reveal a fuller picture of how individuals behave across your channels, helping you to target the right offers at precisely the right moment.
For example, you could identify customers who have put items in their basket online without completing checkout and target them with an offer to complete the transaction when they’re in the store. Equally, you can use your knowledge of your customers’ in-store purchase history to target relevant or related follow-up offers digitally.
Our research shows around 40% of 18-34 year-olds say they would be encouraged to choose one retailer over another if it provided them with a personalised service and tailored offers. Omnichannel helps to bring this together, meaning your marketing efforts can be more effective while helping you to grow your bottom line.
So while you may be serving your customers across multiple channels, are you knitting together all of your customer’s data to deliver the experience they really want?
Omnichannel isn’t easy to get right. But rather than rebuilding your back-end systems and trying to integrate everything you already have in place, you could fast-track to success by working with an expert who can help to make the payments part of this complex task simpler for you.
All statistical information is derived from Barclaycard research conducted by Opinium, September 2016.
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