How to Accelerate Customer Experience Transformation in Retail

Timothy Allen

Customer experience transformation will be essential as retailers navigate a post-pandemic world. Here’s how tech consultancies can help retail clients to transform faster and unlock sustainable business growth.

Retail’s customer experience transformation: a decade in days

The global pandemic will go down as a “big bang” moment in retail customer experience transformation. And for good reason.

Changing consumer behaviors and the mass shift to digital channels were already in motion. But COVID-19 lit the fuse, igniting change at unimaginable speed.

This overnight transformation – which McKinsey coined “a decade in days” – saw retailers pivot to new business models like D2C and subscriptions and rapidly launch and scale digital customer experiences.

And it’s far from over.

As consumer behaviors continue to change – and digital technologies play a growing role in all aspects of our lives – digital customer experience (CX) will become an even bigger brand differentiator and revenue generator (today, a massive 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience).

That’s why digital CX transformation initiatives will remain a business imperative as retailers strive to continually improve the customer experience and provide ongoing value to shoppers as their expectations change.

Consultancies and systems integrators have a key role to play here in:

  • Connecting retail businesses with the technologies they need to get to their goals faster.
  • Ensuring return on digital CX investments.

Many partner with us to accelerate their retail clients’ transformation into high-performance, customer-centric, data-driven businesses.

Here are three common challenges we tackle together along the way.

Customer experience transformation in retail: 3 key challenges

1. Siloed customer touchpoints and data

Customers want a personalized and tailored shopping experience where retail brands demonstrate a strong understanding of their needs and individual context, adding value every step of the customer journey (whatever shape that journey takes).

But a massive 74% of shoppers still see disjointed, depersonalized communications from brands. These impersonal messages are the reason why more than 1 in 5 people switched brand allegiance during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The main culprits for poor customer experiences are siloed customer data and independently managed digital channels.

They make it impossible to achieve a centralized view of the digital customer experience and to implement an omnichannel customer engagement strategy – which is essential for providing personalized, contextual experiences at scale.

The user story

Your retail clients need to provide personalization at scale across every touchpoint to improve conversion, retention, marketing ROI, revenue, and more.

The solution

Retailers need to accelerate their transformation from multichannel retailers into omnichannel, customer-centric organizations.

  • Centralize customer data from all online and offline sources using a customer data platform to gain a 360° view of individual customers and journeys.
  • Leverage this central point of customer data via an omnichannel customer engagement hub to ensure consistent, compelling experiences – whichever channels a customer shifts between.
  • Define a customer journey map to visualize every action and engagement taken by key customer personas to achieve their goals.
  • Use this customer journey map to define an omnichannel customer engagement strategy that adds value across individual journeys – based on a customer’s needs, preferred channels, context, and more.
  • Measure performance and optimize your engagement strategy to continually improve the customer journey, improve ROI, and deliver greater impact against your goals.

Unifying data and customer communications in this way is essential for becoming a customer-centric retailer and transforming customer interactions into meaningful connections.

Infobip enabled us to meaningfully connect with our customer base. Direct, personalized communication increased conversion and impacted our bottom line.

Vlasta Milina, PR & Marketing Manager, ShoeBeDo

Screen grab of an individual customer profile within a customer data platform
Example of an automated customer messaging flow

2. Customer service friction

Customer loyalty is big business (increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%). But every point of friction and added customer effort makes it harder to retain customers and nurture lasting relationships.

Customer service is both a critical customer touchpoint and a key point of friction, with almost a third (31%) of shoppers frustrated at the limited ways and times they can contact a company.

Slow and reactive customer service, a lack of customer insight, and the inability to scale communication channels rapidly compromise loyalty and the experiences a retailer can offer.

The user story

Your retail clients want to minimize the customer effort required to connect, share proactive support, and provide an always-on digital experience across every channel and context – to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

The solution

  • Unify customer communications using a digital cloud-based contact center that makes it easy to scale digital channels and ensure consistent customer service across every touchpoint.
  • Use a customer service chatbot powered by AI to gain real-time insights into a customer’s needs, pain points, and even emotional state. This allows retailers to pre-empt problems, provide proactive, real-time support, and boost customer satisfaction in the process. At the same time, it drives contact center efficiencies and cuts the cost of customer support.
  • Enable seamless handover from chatbots to live agents so that customer support staff can handle more complex issues – using complete chatbot conversation histories to provide superior customer care.

With unified customer conversations and centralized data, retailers have the tools to evolve the contact center into a revenue-generator, capturing customer insights which can be used across the entire organization.

Infobip helped us grow our business during the global pandemic. Our customers are satisfied with the fast, convenient customer service. Our agents are happy they have an easy, user-friendly solution.

Claudia Constanza Wilches, IT and Supply Manager, Flamingo

3. Budget and ROI

Customer experience transformation in retail is a business imperative, but retailers are also facing economic uncertainty, extremely tight margins, and rapidly changing market dynamics. What’s more, 73% of digital transformations fail to deliver business value.

Simply investing in CX tech doesn’t guarantee success. So retailers need to ensure early and sustainable return on every digital investment and transformation initiative.

The user story

Your retail clients want to understand their options so that they can prioritize digital investments based on their ability to impact the business goals.

The solution

  • A clearly defined CX strategy that outlines the outcomes your client wants for the business and its customers.
  • A robust digital roadmap that demonstrates how you will get to the desired outcomes, with a framework to measure progress.
  • An experienced technology partner that has an in-depth understanding of the retailer’s context, challenges, objectives, market, and solutions landscape.

We partnered with Infobip to accelerate digital transformation for our customers across the globe. Together, our vision is to simplify omnichannel communication in today’s complex business environment.

Marianne Roling, General Manager Small Medium Solutions and Partners CEE, Microsoft

7 retailers that accelerated their transformation with Infobip

Our technologies help retailers of all types to accelerate their customer experience transformation and make meaningful customer connections that deliver business impact.

Add value for your retail clients with Infobip

Our open and flexible solutions provide the key ingredients for customer experience transformation in retail:

  • Omnichannel capabilities: we help retailers become truly customer-centric businesses by unifying customer communications and leveraging a central point of customer data for superior customer experiences.
  • Flexibility and scale: we equip retailers to modernize their legacy systems and gain agility with customer experience solutions that are integrated, cloud-based, open, flexible, and scalable.
  • Data-driven decision-making: we enable retailers to cut costs, drive efficiencies, and elevate their customer experiences using artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and data-driven customer engagement.

Talk to us today about accelerating your clients’ digital transformation programs with an Infobip partnership.

Jul 6th, 2021
6 min read

Timothy Allen