The retail and e-commerce industry accounts for an enormous slice of the global and domestic economies. According to Statista, combined global retail and e- commerce sales are estimated to exceed $27 trillion in 2022 and soar above $30 trillion by 2024. Though in-store retail has long been the dominant subsector in this market, consumer demand for digital commerce has turned at a rate that economic forecasters struggle to keep up with.
In a January 2022 report, Insider Intelligence predicted that e-commerce sales in the U.S. alone would hit the $1 trillion mark in 2022, two years earlier than pre-Covid-19 models had forecast. Not surprisingly, the retail market is now predominantly an omnichannel one designed to provide a seamlessly integrated online/offline experience model for customers.
COVID-19 had an outsized impact on the retail industry, as it changed how consumers behave across all spheres of life. McKinsey writes that this period of disruption has seen consumers move to digital retail interactions in a major way, accelerating the adoption of e-commerce channels such that a decade of transformation occurred instead in the matter of a few weeks. Suddenly, an estimated 30% of consumers purchase online across most retail categories. For retail brands that wish to remain relevant, the time to commit to a seamless customer experience (CX) is now.
For brands that want to continue to be relevant to consumers, retail CX must apply to every possible touchpoint when customers shop with that retail brand. Being fully digital is now a necessity for retail success. A purchase can be online, inside a store, or involve research prior to purchase in either environment. A successful interaction depends on the smoothness of the customer journey of a customer from exploring a retail brand’s website or visiting a physical store to making an actual purchase that can include selection, billing, packaging, and delivery of the products involved.
There’s a lot of room for problems in the process, and customer lifetime value is put at risk whenever inadequate attention is paid to any of them. Likewise, each step creates an opportunity to make customers happy so that they repurchase, try other products, recommend purchases to their friends, and write positive reviews. Turning consumers into advocates and influencers is now a key goal for every retailer.
According to Qualtrics, retailers looking to deliver better CX must commit to the following five essentials:
When a retail delivery-only grocery retailer client experienced an unexpected 300% surge in consumer demand, its support operation needed to respond quickly to the large increase in sales opportunities. ResultsCX executed a fast-ramp strategy to meet surging demand and expedite support agents’ speed to proficiency. Learn how accelerated recruiting and onboarding, complemented by the use of SupportPredict Agent AI with Bots and performance analytics, ensured that customers’ needs were met and that the company handled growth in order volumes.
Ordinarily, preparing for the holiday season required steep staffing ramps for this bricks-and-mortar and online retailer. Increased support volumes were often a challenge for maintaining performance quality. Agents empowered by SupportPredict Agent AI with Bots were able to solve problems faster for customers, enhancing first call resolution and reducing average handle time. Customers were definitely happier after these interactions, measured in customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.
While companies were advancing their digital CX strategies prior to COVID-19, the pandemic has changed the pace at which it is occurring. Brands are scrutinizing customer journeys like never before to understand how best to provide support. By adopting AI-powered tools, like the SupportPredict digital experience platform from ResultsCX, customers’ individual support preferences can be matched for ultimate effectiveness. Read our white paper to learn how AI can drive enhanced customer satisfaction and operational cost savings, while meeting customers where they want to be and reducing talk time.Read Whitepaper