“Back-to-School” For Delivering The Best Customer Experience
The long lazy days of summer are drawing to a close. Where has 2019 gone? September marks the start of Autumn and Christmas, believe it or not, is a mere 4 months away. While summer might be fading, it’s fair to say that ‘Back to School’ shopping will heat up retailer sales figures.
‘Back-to-school’ gets third place for the biggest peak in UK spending after Black Friday and Christmas, offering retailers an early opportunity to profit from the increased demand of school supplies. MIQ’s ‘Back-to-school’ report revealed the total UK spending on back-to-school shopping in 2018 to be £1.63 billion, which was an increase of 11% on 2017 with consumer spend reaching an average of £533 per household.
It also revealed shopping habits. It showed UK parents spreading their school shopping mostly over August in preparation of the majority of UK schools starting in the first week of September. Back-to-school shopping is not one-stop shopping either. The NPD Group found that shopping for school related products took an average of 16 trips. Although the bulk of purchases happen in-store, digital remains a vital part of the equation for retailers as consumers shop around for the best value deals.
Noisier than a school playground
The report captured more than 32 million opportunities for back-to-school retail in July alone with parents searching for deals, both prior to visiting a retailer and while they physically visited the store. With 2019 predicted to have record sales numbers, and new technologies changing customer expectations, retailers with an online presence need a strong digital strategy to differentiate them from the noise and to ensure they don’t lose a sale to a competitor at the point of purchase. While retailers buckle up for the run-up to peak trading, customer experience transformation should not be put on hold.
Customers are not bound by normal working hours when looking to make an online purchase or to find support. With Forbes stating that 92% of customers cease to do business with a brand because of bad customer experience, it’s crucial to take time to reflect and plan a multi-channel strategy to assist in creating omni-channel customer engagement to ensure, seamless experience across multiple channels. And although there is a plethora of technologies available to help retailers to meet consumers’ digital expectations and enhance their customer experience, it is important to understand how this software can impact customer engagement, and also the bottom line. This back-to-school list of AI-powered tech and its benefits is a good start for retailers and brands looking to make and maintain a good CX impression to ensure repeat custom.