How Microsoft Helps Retailers Deliver the Experience Shoppers Crave




Digital retail marketing, online shopping experiences and in-store interactive are changing the way people shop. It is no longer enough to create great merchandising experiences online and in-store. Smart retailers are integrating all of the connections they have with customers into an omnichannel shopping experience.
Omnichannel retail refers to the integration of disparate retail channels into a single seamless customer experience. Channels include store associates, websites optimized for all devices, social media sites, in-store digital displays, interactive kiosks, smartphone applications and tablet applications. The aim of this approach is to enable the customer to buy the same product, in the same packaging, at a particular price, irrespective of the channel, while building a relationship with the customer and maintaining a brand experience. But, many retailers are finding this is easier said than done, especially since it is no longer just about having a website and a physical store. Plenty of articles abound that talk about removing silos and integrating retail systems to achieve an omnichannel presence. But in the end, it all boils down to the retail customer and their experience with each of the retailer’s touch points.
The adoption of smartphones and tablets has placed a world of information at the fingertips of customers, changing the way that they shop, in store and online. These changes are here to stay since consumer cravings for mobile devices is not slowing down, according to the “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts”, released in July, 2013 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The report states that sales of mobile connected devices, namely smartphones and tablets, will represent 32.2 % of CE industry revenue in 2013.
With mobile technology, customers are truly more empowered and connected than ever before. And these savvy customers are actively using every technology at their disposal to increase their shopping efficiency, get the best deal and, at the same time, make it a more fun, social experience.
The rewards to retailers for providing a successful omnichannel experience are significant, despite any backend hurdles. Omnichannel shoppers spend substantially more on average than single channel shoppers and they are more likely to be key influencers.
So, just what do retail customers want from an omnichannel experience? Read the whitepaper to find out