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The future of retail is the connected customer experience


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in ecommerce and digital marketing and underinvested in their physical stores. Despite the increase in online shopping, it is well documented that the lion’s share of shopping is still being made in bricks-and-mortar locations.


Focus on the whole journey, forget channels Rather than focusing on driving customers to buy on each channel, retailers need to find the value in each channel as part of the customer journey. And the concept of the customer journey needs a rethink. Too often retailers drive consumers to making a purchase and then that is considered the end of the journey. In fact, the post-purchase stage is an essential part of the journey and should be where you can convince a shopper to return to your store or website.


Top tips for delivering a consistent customer experience


1. Get connected Today’s customers interact with brands across a range of online and offline touchpoints. They react to in-the-moment views and reviews on social media. They research products on smartphones. They expect immediate access to information, and a personalised service. You must give it to them or they’ll move on.


and differentiation. Clearly, customers have changed, and retailers must respond accordingly, but in trying to be everywhere, some brands have ended up being nowhere when it comes to a compelling offering and differentiated service.


Are your technology investments optimising customer touchpoints? Traditionally technology was a back-office function, but this is no longer the case. Technology is what I refer to as the enabler for retailers to transform their operations to being more efficient and more customer focused. In some instances, the shift of spend in technology highlights another clear problem. Many traditional retailers have investing


2. Drive business performance Accurate information is vital to effective decision making. A detailed, holistic view of the business is therefore essential to modern CFOs. Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions combined with Microsoft Analytics enables insights that drive better ongoing business performance.


3. Obtain a unified view of the customer The best customer experience starts with knowing your customers. Leading retailers are creating fuller and richer single view customer datasets, that capture and process all their data in real-time. This data is used not only for insight but to trigger promotions, marketing activity and alerts. Retailers must remove silo shackles to unify


disparate data to develop deep customer insight. Without the singular, universally accessible profile of each customer, the


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