The Customer Journey in Retail
When you hear the term customer journey, you usually think of online shops, e-commerce or lead generation on your own website. But in fact, the customer journey is also a factor in stationary retail that should not be underestimated in order to be successful. What can brick-and-mortar retail learn from the digital sales floor and which factors determine the success of the measures?
In the wake of SEO and e-commerce, the customer journey became known to the masses. Almost every digital point of sale (POS) that leads to sales has a well thought-out customer journey in the background. The process stands for the individual phases that a customer goes through before he or she decides to buy a product or service.
Sometimes a customer journey continues even after the purchase: As part of the customer experience, the clientele also wants to be taken care of with corresponding services or updates. However, the concept of the customer journey existed long before the very first item was ever added to the shopping cart in an online shop.
Even in the analog world, successful companies recognized early on that it is possible to guide customers across the sales floor and thus boost sales. It's no coincidence, for example, that the refrigerated counters in every supermarket are at the very back.
If you need something from there, you have to go through the whole store on the way to the checkout. It is not uncommon for other items to end up in the shopping bag. It is therefore advantageous to think about this and to take measures.
Knowing the customer stratum and your own business
A blanket step-by-step guide to how a Customer Journey in Retail exactly what it should look like does not exist. Customer segments, industries, business models and, of course, companies are too diverse. Perhaps, or perhaps precisely for that reason, the strategy behind it is the most important.
The most crucial questions: Who actually uses my product or service and where can they be found? This is the only way to optimize the customer experience in the retail sector and Marketing measures sustainable be successful.
These measures include both the POS Marketingas well as all other elements, online and offline. Outdoor advertising, i.e. posters, flyers and other local marketing measures such as cinema advertising (if potential customers can be found there) or print can be ideal for attracting the attention of the target group. They serve as the start of the customer journey, whereby several analogue touchpoints can of course be possible.
The physical point of sale is also a touchpoint, as is the Internet. After all, most consumers inform themselves on the Internet before they buy something. The customer experience in the retail sector has therefore also long since taken place digitally for stationary retailers.
Digital and analog: with instead of against each other
The Digitalisation in the retail trade offers companies new opportunities today: You can start the customer journey online or at least map part of it there. For example with Google Ads, a blog or a social media account. In fact, the impact of social media, especially at the local level, is still underestimated and this channel is ignored by many companies.
This is a fatal mistake! The advantages of social media for companies lie primarily in the breadth of the data basis and the comprehensive filter options. The target group can be perfectly defined and addressed for every company - regardless of the industry or size.
One efficient way to do this is with social ads that encourage potentially interested people to buy products or services - even without an online shop. Stationary retailers let the target group buy the desired products online via Click & Collect and then pick them up in the store. There the POS Marketing within the framework of the customer journey. Geo-Marketing informs customers who are in the immediate vicinity of a branch about corresponding promotions.
By means of digital receipts, for example, customers can be guided to the website after making a purchase. This will lead them to the Participation in lotteries or made it attractive for them to subscribe to newsletters. The newsletters then contain promotions or information about new products, thus starting the customer journey in retail all over again.
If you want to be successful, you have to follow a strategic approach in everything you do, in this case the customer journey. The biggest challenge for companies is to identify the relevant touchpoints and subsequently develop the right strategy. And this also applies to brick-and-mortar retail. As often mentioned, brick-and-mortar retail is in a state of flux, but it is by no means dying out.
However, this change must be accepted and supported. Above all, it is crucial to be present on the Internet along the customer journey. This way, you will not only survive as a retail company, but experience a second spring.