There can be no doubt that the face of retail has entirely changed in the last decade. We have moved from a predominantly transaction based customer experience, which revolved around in-store visits. To a digital customer experience, which encapsulates multiple channels such as ecommerce, social networking, and other web based resources.
Ten years ago, marketing was all about getting a customer to walk in to a physical store, and then be persuaded by a sales representative to make a purchase. Almost all product knowledge transfer took place at this single touch point. Fast forward to today, and every Facebook friend or Twitter follow the customer has, could potentially become part of the purchasing journey. Every review site, discussion forum, and competitor’s website is a potential block along the purchasing journey. The digital customer experience is a far more complicated beast than the old style of high street retail.
We also need to consider what happens after a customer has made a purchase. Back in the old days, we didn’t really care what happened to a customer after they left the store. If they had a bad experience with the company/product, there was little chance of them swaying the positive opinions of anyone outside of their immediate circle of family and friends. Now, they could potentially be linked to hundreds, maybe thousands of people through sites such as Facebook. If they begin to voice their dissatisfaction across these platforms, the reach is far longer.
Yet despite the obvious change in the way that products get sold, we still use terms like “marketing funnel”, which are entirely outdated in this day and age. The marketing journey has not looked like a funnel for years. Instead, it’s more of a circle, as consumer purchasing has become cyclical. The marketing journey is much more two sided now, and many more external factors can effect it.
This means that for retail companies that want to maximize revue, the digital customer experience needs to be refined, improved and monitored constantly. Customer Experience Management (CXM) is a set of methodologies that can be used to achieve this result.
SandSIV is an expert in Customer Experience Management, and our team of CXM consultants can surely help any company that is looking to improve their digital customer experience. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.