EDITORIAL As shoppers move to omnichannel, UX is a key metric – Mobile
Omnichannel shoppers are now guided by the experience across all channels
There is no doubt that digital will remain an important part of consumers’ buying habits, working with stores in new and innovative ways. However, your website or app used by buyers is not a given. If the user experience isn’t great, buyers will go elsewhere more than ever.
This dichotomy is clearly revealed in two studies published this week. First, according to a new study from Nuance, 51% of UK respondents say they would rather use a company’s apps or website than go to a branch or physical store to do tasks such as shopping. and banking operations.
However, a separate YouGov study for strategy agency Curious finds that a third of the UK public has not made an online purchase in the past year due to a bad website experience. or an application. That number jumps to 50% when looking at transactions made over a lifetime, proving that functionality should be a top priority for brands when planning their online presence.
How retailers are handling this is also revealed this week, with M&S, Homebase and Pandora all forging new paths with in-store and online operations to drive much-needed sales in this changed consumer environment.
M&S is a clear example, choosing to use live video streaming to recreate their in-store customer service using in-store video appointments with real associates. The service aims to allow home buyers – at least to begin with – to not only see what they’re looking at, but also get expert advice and expert commentary in-store.
This is one of a UK mainstream retailer’s first forays into video streaming for customer service. Others do – Currys PC World and British Gas, which I myself have used this week to name just two – but M&S using it is sure to propel its use into a much larger user base. General public.
Homebase, meanwhile, has sought to improve the usability of its recently revamped website by adding a wide variety of tools and payment methods. The idea behind this is that a lot of carts on all websites get abandoned because of the checkout page making it as smooth as it gets.
Jewelry maker and seller Pandora, which experienced rapid growth in its online business in 2020, has already seen the benefits of delivering a great customer experience – in its case, it’s looking to manage not just the smooth transition between omnichannels, but also in being aware of stock updates live on these channels.
While seemingly more down-to-earth than live video and even adding face-powered Apple Pay, stock updates are one of the biggest demands from consumers looking to shop online. The mini-boom in sales of everything from beer to electrical appliances driven by EURO2020 football has seen out-of-stock levels exceed 20% for some retailers, potentially costing them millions of dollars in lost sales. income.
The omnichannel approach has also proven to be a boon for Joules, who increased their sales by 4% in 2020/21 – driven by online growth and the much-needed diversification into garden items also with the purchase of The Garden Trading Company.
All of these retailers are all too aware of the need to deliver the right customer experience – online and in-store and, more importantly, in both. This includes everything from a well-designed and stylish site, to the right payment options, to simple things like knowing what’s in stock and what’s not. And since price isn’t the only key to repeat purchase, taking this holistic approach to the experience is now more vital than ever.