The Changing Retail Experience

During the December 2017 and January 2018 period, I looked at the shopping experience from a digital perspective. From the retailer who services various income brackets of the South African consumer; to the customer who effects the transaction process.

I saw customers plan and prepare for budget demands with in-app financial planning and shopping, I watched the on-demand, under an hour shopper make strides in avoiding the queues and getting their goods delivered with one simple swipe. I saw friends share the price of presents via mobile apps and was a witness to price conscious consumers, as they endured public transport to reap the benefits of coupons and deals on everyday purchases. This season of mobile purchases provides insights that help us all serve the customer, the one with the high demands on their time and resource, in a far more beneficial and streamlined fashion.

So, how does this help the retail sector in growing their digital modern customer base in an engaging way? And how can retailers use transaction and payment technology to increase basket sizes and drive repeat purchases?

Mobile Payments & Rewards: A New Way of Shopping

The Shopper's Appendage

It's a cliché but the mobile phone has become the shopper's favourite companion, which means retailers need to be constantly switched-on, available and accessible. Whether it's compliments, complaints, information and payments the challenge is to use digital customer feedback and mobile content services to keep customers informed and aligned.

Customers Know What a Deal Looks Like

Watching two ladies keenly comparing broadsheets and discuss deals within a store made me appreciate the price sensitivity and awareness of the everyday South African shopper. Accumulated loyalty points and voucher rewards have become an integral part of shopping and the consumer who manages a household are ever aware of the true value of a deal and understands whether it is indeed a deal or not. Real value is still a driver to the everyday shopper.

Omni Channel is More Than a Buzzword.

Customers carry competitor's leaflets through a store, comparing prices and value. With access to physical, online, social and print media they look to each channel to learn more about brands and ultimately get the most out of their hard-earned Rands. Although loyalty and payment services are an important part of this journey, it is important to note the customer's brand experience is equally measured with the purchase. With 27% of shoppers expecting to make purchases via smartphones in 2017 the mCommerce trend has only reinforced the importance of great omni-channel experiences, making both in-store and online executions vital. By constantly refining this experience for customers, retailers can understand the various touch points of each of their customers.

Digital Transactions: A New Way of Selling

Technology Needs to be Relevant to Consumers

The modern world is an amazing place, there are little to no boundaries to the scope and reach of technology and particularly the mobile phone. Transaction and mobile-based customer retention tools are used to entice, engage and interact with customers. Location based rewards, transactional based and simple redemption protocols are crucial ways of building relevance in customers minds in the final step of a transaction.

Small Data Gives Way to Big Insights

With the implementation of mobile transacting technology comes the added benefits of gathering large amounts of 'small' data. Yes, this means you can track the trends, the stores, the value, the volume, the best performers and the worst, the repeats and the products bought. But put it all together and it enables retailers to gather credible insights about what their customers are looking for and how they're responding to what retailers are offering.

Convenience Drives Sales

The growth of mobile Order Ahead and delivery services have seen the modern shopper seek out convenience and brand affinity via the digital realm. Customers are always looking for the easiest way to receive a delivery, purchase their morning coffee or get their lunch-time meal. Stats show a 15% reduction in purchase intent when customers experience a complex transaction which means we know they demand quick, seamless, hassle-free, easy to use services. The ability to achieve amazing results in this space comes when the customer experience is simple, reliable and rewarding.

The goal of all of this transactional and engagement technology is for retailers to interact with the customer in order to better understand and relate to one another in a growing and changing environment.

Learn more about how Mobile Loyalty & Rewards programs can better serve your customers.

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