How to Enhance Product Experience in Retail: 5 Tips You Need to Know
The persistent change in the retail landscape beyond the pandemic continues to pose new challenges. The new encounters are primarily driven by the digital revolution, supply chain resiliency, and workforce crunch. Along with that, customers’ expectations for a frictionless experience between a retailer’s digital and physical offerings have forced retail brands to reexamine their legacy systems.
A more enjoyable and productive shopper experience is the need of the hour. Therefore, retailers require fresh thinking in their product experience and customer experience (CX) strategies for higher ROI and sustainable growth.
What You’ll Learn From This Insight:
New Norms, New Expectations
The retail industry has long been at the forefront of digital disruption and change, and the rise of shopping platforms has enabled convenience and value while also causing much disruption. In the past, shoppers were primarily concerned with finding the lowest price for the products they needed. But in the post-pandemic world, consumers are more interested in convenience, selection, and value. They want to be able to find what they're looking for quickly and easily without having to search through aisles of unrelated items. They also expect a more comprehensive range of product choices and helpful guidance from knowledgeable sales staff.
Another retail trend is the increasing popularity of subscription boxes. These boxes provide a convenient way to receive products regularly and offer personalized selections based on customer preferences.
Sudden Shifts Since 2020
As these trends continue to evolve, retail companies must adapt to stay competitive, from protecting margins to managing logistics to adapting to changing consumer behavior. They must make the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the curve.
They must also be able to effectively engage with customers across multiple channels. Although digital has powered this wave of change, we’ve observed significant changes since 2020 the below areas:
- Digital commerce has increased significantly across sectors.
- Populations have acclimatized to online shopping.
- Curbside pickup became a priority.
- Wide spectrum of retailer-provided options for consumers.
Due to shifts in customer expectations, product experience is an important pillar of retail commerce strategy.
There's no denying that the pandemic has had a profound effect on the way we shop. With so many aspects of life disrupted, we've been forced to reevaluate our priorities and what truly matters to us. This has led to a shift in our shopping habits, with more and more people opting for digital platforms to purchase items. And as we move into a post-pandemic world, these new habits will likely stick around.
Of course, product experience is still necessary to consumers. We want to be able to touch, feel and try on items before we purchase them. However, thanks to technological advancements, we can now get a realistic product experience without ever leaving our homes. And as we become more comfortable with this way of shopping, it will likely become the new norm.
Products are no longer just physical objects but also experiences that can be enjoyed and shared. Product experiences have become even more critical in the post-pandemic world as people seek to connect with others and create lasting memories. As a result, retailers will need to focus on creating unique and innovative product experiences that can be enjoyed both in-store and online. This may include offering virtual reality shopping experiences, providing interactive product demonstrations, or hosting events and workshops.
Low retention rates can be frustrating for any retail business, but it can be challenging to overcome if your product has a bad reputation. Once customers have had a negative experience with your product, it can be hard to convince them to give it another chance. In some cases, low retention rates are simply the result of poor customer service or a lack of features. However, if customers are leaving because they're unhappy with the quality of your product, it's essential to take steps to improve the situation. Evaluate the areas where your product is falling short and make changes accordingly. You may also need to provide additional training for your customer service team to better deal with unhappy customers. With some effort, you can turn low retention rates around and create a more positive experience for your customers.
A high product return rate can be due to many factors, but one of the most common is a bad product experience. When customers have a negative experience with a product, they are more likely to return it. A few things can cause a bad product experience, such as poor quality, incorrect sizing, or damage during shipping. Therefore, providing a good customer experience is crucial to prevent high returns. This includes ensuring that products are high quality, correctly sized, and well-packaged to arrive in perfect condition. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce the number of returns and create satisfied customers.
Low revenue is often due to a bad product experience. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as poor-quality products, lack of variety, or lousy customer service. Whatever the reason, it's important to take steps to improve the product experience so that you can boost sales and revenues. Start by evaluating what customers don't like about your products and make changes accordingly. Then, focus on providing a better overall experience by offering more choices, better service, and more value. By making these improvements, you'll be able to increase sales and bring in more revenue.
How To Create a Good Product Experience
1. Create and deliver Consistent and Personable Product Information
Product information should be consistent across all channels, both online and offline. This means that the same product information should be provided to customers, whether they are viewing your website, speaking to customer service, or reading a printed brochure. In addition to being consistent, product information should also be concise and easy to understand. Customers should be able to find the information they need without feeling overwhelmed quickly. Finally, product information should be delivered in a friendly and personable manner. This will help build trust with customers and ensure that they have a positive experience with your brand.
- Provide rich, consistent, up-to-date data across all touchpoints and channels.
- Make product data as complete as possible.
- Personalize your data for maximum effectiveness and visibility.
2. Visualize the Customer Journey
Any successful business understands the importance of providing a great customer experience. But what does that entail? One helpful way to think about it is the customer journey. It is the path a customer takes from initial awareness of your product all the way through to purchase and (hopefully) loyal advocacy. By visualizing the customer journey, you can better understand where there might be opportunities or pain issues that need to be addressed.
Of course, every customer is different, so there is no single customer journey that will apply to everyone. But there are some typical stages that most journeys will go through, including awareness, interest, evaluation, and purchase. By understanding how your customers move through each stage, you can start identifying areas where you can improve the experience. For example, do they need more information at the awareness stage? Are they getting confused or frustrated during the evaluation stage? Answering these questions can help you make adjustments that will result in a better overall experience for your customers.
3. Digital Experiences as Collective Memory
Digital experiences are the result of a collective effort. Therefore, we must bring together the right mix of skills and knowledge to deliver them successfully. This includes designers, developers, content creators, and product managers. Each team member brings a unique perspective to the table and their skills and knowledge to the project. All of these team members need to work together to create a digital experience that is both useful and engaging. Without all these team members working together, it would be impossible to deliver a successful digital experience.
Thankfully, many tools and technologies help us to collaborate effectively. For example, project management tools enable us to track progress and keep everyone on the same page. Version control systems allow us to manage changes and ensure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date version of the project. And collaboration tools help us to share ideas and work together in real time. Using these tools, we can ensure that everyone can contribute their skills and knowledge to the project and that we are delivering the best digital experience for our users.
4. Personalize to Make Shopping Moments Meaningful
Retailers have traditionally viewed personalization as something primarily to help them with tasks such as targeting customers better. However, with the rise of big data, organizations must increasingly prioritize using data to improve the personalized shopper experience. This personalization of the shopper's experience will, in turn, lead to increased monetization. Big data allows organizations to gather large amounts of information on their customers.
Using this data, organizations can apply context, data, and information about individual customers in real-time to meet their personalized marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service preferences. As a result, organizations can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction by making shopping moments more significant. In turn, this will lead to increased sales and revenue. Therefore, organizations need to view personalization not just as a way to improve the experience but also as a way to make every shopping moment more enjoyable and meaningful.
5. Unified Retail Commerce
Unified Retail Commerce (URC) is a customer-centric business strategy in which retailers offer customers a consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels, including physical stores, eCommerce websites, and mobile apps. Unified Retail Commerce requires retailers to have a robust omnichannel platform that provides a single view of the customer and inventory and the ability to place orders and track shipments regardless of how or where the customer initiates the purchase. While many retailers have been slow to adopt URC, those are reaping the benefits of increased sales, higher customer satisfaction, and improved operational efficiencies.
In today's competitive retail landscape, any advantage that can be gained by implementing Unified Retail Commerce should be considered. By offering their customers a unified experience, retailers can stay ahead of the curve and keep their customers returning for more.
6. Keep Optimizing Product Content
Optimizing product content helps create a better customer experience, leading to increased sales and customer loyalty. By keeping product content fresh and up-to-date, customers are more likely to have a positive experience with the product, which can translate into repeat business and referrals. In addition, optimizing product content can help search engines find your product more efficiently, leading to increased traffic and sales. Therefore, it is crucial to keep optimizing product content regularly to ensure a positive product experience for customers.
7. Leveraging User Feedback
Many businesses view customer feedback as a necessary evil. It's seen as something that takes time and resources and often doesn't yield many tangible results. However, customer feedback can be a precious tool if leveraged correctly. First, it's important to see feedback as an opportunity to improve the product experience for your customers. By listening to what they have to say, you can gain invaluable insights into how they use your product and what areas need improvement. Additionally, customer feedback can help build trust and loyalty among your customer-base.
Showing that you care about their experience and are willing to make changes based on their input will go a long way toward fostering a positive relationship. Finally, don't forget that feedback is also a form of marketing. Good reviews and testimonials can help attract new customers and boost sales. So, while it may be tempting to view customer feedback as a nuisance, it's worth taking the time to see it as the valuable asset it truly is.
8. Retail + Entertainment = Retailtainment
To draw shoppers back into physical stores, many retailers are turning to retailtainment - the combination of retail and entertainment. By offering product experiences that are unique and engaging, retailers are hoping to create an environment that will encourage shoppers to stay longer and spend more.
Retailers incorporate entertainment into their product offerings in a few different ways. One common approach is hosting events or workshops that allow shoppers to interact with products hands-only. This can be anything from a cooking class at a kitchenware store to a flower arrangement workshop at a florist. Retailers also partner with local businesses to offer product sampling or demonstration opportunities. For example, a furniture store might partner with an interior design service to offer in-store consultations. By providing these retailtainment experiences, retailers hope to create an enjoyable shopping experience that will keep customers returning for more.
Now You Know the Essentials, Do You Have the Tools to Start?
A Product Experience Management (PXM) platform can help you create targeted, contextual, and emotionally engaging product communication. By using a combination of features and advanced technologies that facilitate not only the onboarding, enrichment, and management of data, but one that can also help you create targeted, contextual, and emotionally engaging product communication.
A PXM tool can help to create efficiencies in your product communications by allowing you to quickly target your audience, personalize your messages, and track engagement. Additionally, PXM tools can help you create a more seamless customer communication experience by integrating your existing systems and processes. Ultimately, a PXM tool can help you to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by creating targeted, contextual, and emotionally engaging product communication.
Key tools helpful in retail produce experience:
PIM - It’s the foundational piece to a PXM. With a PIM, you can collect, maintain and distribute accurate, complete, and consistent product information across all channels.
Master Data Management (MDM) – A MDM solution allows you to accelerate business processes by connecting all data in your product information supply chain. It also helps you ensure improved data quality and security, create a single source of truth, and control versions with more excellent data governance.
PXM – The ideal choice for product experience management, a PXM platform enables you to improve your buying experience through the timely delivery of personalized product experiences across channels.
To compete in the next era, retailers must maintain new and extended ways to engage with consumers through unique, immersive product experiences. And they should strategically invest in product experience improvement capabilities with relevant tools and technologies that attune with buyer behavior and identify relevant intent to open new revenue streams and enhance brand loyalty.