Retail Success Demands an Investment in Customer Experience

Mihir Kittur, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Ugam,

A few months ago, I had the great opportunity to interact with our customers and retail influencers at the Ugam Customer Summit. One of the key points that stood out at our summit was the need for retailers and brands to better understand their omnichannel customers. With 80% of shoppers starting their buying journey online, it is imperative for companies to invest their time getting to know what their customers truly need, to survive in this age of digital disruption.

Several apparel retailers are already onboard the CX ship and are solving specific problems to deliver a unique experience to their customers. One example is Indochino, which offers an immersive, seamless experience across channels that is vastly changing the way men buy suits. Indochino customers have two choices: spending 60 minutes in person in a fitting room, getting measured and picking fabrics, or going through a self-measurement process online (with a step-by-step guide). Four weeks later, they have a custom suit. If the fit isn’t right, the customer can go in person for adjustments, and the new measurements are noted in the customer’s profile. The company is laser-focused on delivering not only the perfect suit but also the perfect customer experience. This has been key to their success.

One more, great example discussed at the summit was the use of new technologies being employed to help retailers get to know their customer. The North Face, which in a partnership with IBM Watson, offers an online artificial intelligence tool that helps customers shop. Through a series of relevant questions the tool helps customers pick the perfect jacket to suit their needs. Besides winning a satisfied customer, the company also gains a whole lot of data on customer needs and preferences to help improve their online business.

Another point that came out – loud and clear – during the summit is that millennials make up the largest share of the population, and they are very different from boomers. The lines between online and brick-and-mortar stores are blurring for millennials; they expect ONE experience. They are starting to appreciate companies that make sure their customers are happy not only with WHAT they have purchased but also HOW they have purchased it.

These companies have thought long and hard about the customer journey and are with their customers every step of the way. They are constantly evolving and working to make the customer experience better, and retailers and brands would be wise to follow suit!

This is part 1 of a series of blogs based on the content presented at the Ugam Customer Summit 2017.


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