Here’s a speed summary and embed of PSFK’s latest report on the Future of Retail 2016, with 10 practical recommendations (with examples) for designing a new shopper experience that will build value, drive sales and boost loyalty.
There’s some good practical thinking in there with some stimulating examples. Psychologically, recommendations #1, #2 and #10 are particularly strong.
Enhancing Purchase Path
1. CREATE CONFIDENCE – Providing shoppers with the tools and advice to help them discover new products and choose the option best suited to their lifestyles and need (product immersion + guided recommendations). Examples: @Sephora online matching service for ideal perfume, @ThePirch tryvertising
2. ELIMINATE OBSTACLES – Saving customers time and effort (#ConvenienceTech) along the purchase path through streamlined technology and services (1-click transactions, shop ahead, purchase anywhere platforms). Examples: @Starbucks order ahead on smartphone, @Macys scan garments on the rack to get them delivered them to the fitting room, @MikMakTV shoppable videos
Building Better Relationships
3. DEMOCRATIZE ACCESS – Opening the door for consumers to take advantage of services and experiences that were previously too exclusive or expensive (customer concierges, aspirational experiences). Examples: @StichFix affordable personal shopper, @RebeccaMinkoff VR fashion show
4. RECOGNIZE & PERSONALIZE – Putting systems in place for remembering and acting on the purchase history and preferences of customers, and tailoring those experiences over time (360-degree service, predictive assistance). Examples: @Walgreens pharmacy app anticipates needs (e.g. Rx refills), @modaoperandi instore CRM for high-touch store service
5. PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY – Being upfront with consumers about the policies and processes that underlie the products and services that they’re buying into (reciprocal relationships, storied products). Examples: @Waitrose loyalty scheme allows members to pick their own deals. @Amazon Elements product line allows customers to track items from creation to expiration
Creating a Valuable Community
6. PERFECT PARTNERSHIPS – Creating additional value for customers by collaborating with like-minded companies to deliver expanded offerings (cross-channel rewards, additive experiences). Examples: @Gap + @VirginHotels – order from Gap, get delivered to hotel room in 3hrs, @Instacart + @AllRecipes 1-click ordering and delivery of ingrediants
7. OPTIMIZE OWNERSHIP – Building a responsive support network that provides expert service and educates consumers after a purchase is made (Cultivated expertise, always-on support). @Patagona – Apparel mending bus tours country, @goEnjoy hand deliver electronics for personalised set-up
8. CULTIVATE COMMUNITY – Creating opportunities for consumers and fans to come together around the halo of a brand to build value on top of existing products and services (cultural hubs, collaborative marketplaces). Examples: @bjornborg underwear launches dating app based on fitness, @audi Unite co-leasing program lets drivers share benefits of ownership at reduced cost
Elevating the Top Tier
9. ENCOURAGE ADVOCACY – Tapping consumers for their knowledge and feedback to create opportunities for them to advocate on your behalf (hopper-led exchange, crowd buy-in). Examples: @Sony First Flight crowdfunded platform allows brands to test future products, @chevrolet allows prospective buyers to talk to existing owners
10. DELIVER DELIGHT – Providing unexpected perks and promotions that re-energize existing relationships and build on the broader brand promise (insider exclusives). Examples: @kennethcole invites allows shoppers to text to open a store whenever they want, @nike runs invite-only experiences for influencers