Tuesday 30 April 2013
"Really understand what moves your costumer, that's what it is a about in retail today. Not only think about store channel anymore, but take the costumer journey as a starting point. And this journey is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Give the right content, at the right time, at the right place."
We are speaking with Lieneke van der Laan and Chris Rikkers of the strategy department of JosDeVries The retail company. The customer journey and all defining moments are subject of conversation. "Just to thinking of the physical channel is not enough" says Lieneke van der Laan.
Al lot of the retailers are not enough aware of the different costumer journeys. The same costumer shops in a lot of different ways. Any time, any place and anyhow. Sometimes the entire costumer journey (from orientation to sale) is done in a lazy chair. An other time it is a combination of physic and online.
Too much retailers focus to much on the sale. But this is just a very small part of the whole costumer journey. When the sale is done a lot of retailers find that their job is done. But what happens when your clients takes the product home? In the end much more retailers needs to focus on the whole journey. Before, during and after the sale.
Albert Heijn (In the Netherlands) is a example of a retailer who does a good job. Different content on website and app, because they understand that the channels have different goals and are relevant in different faces of the costumer journey. They know the defining moments. Sometimes the client has no time to do the groceries and the AH helps their clients with the leftovers in the refrigerator to create a recipe. Not a very pleasant moment for the client, but the AH is able to make it positive. That’s what clients appreciate.
A very surprising example is the international shopping mall Westfield in London. They have mapped the various costumer journeys. Really tried to find out what are the defining moments for the client. And all channels try correspond to this. Westfield found out, for example, that a lot of clients forget the place they parked their car in the parking. Not a very pleasant end of a shopping trip. In the development of a digital platform, they created an app that helps clients navigate to their car. They understand what the customer wants and respond to that. And what is the role of retailers in this mall? The costumer lets the mall know what kind of products they are interested in and retailers can give them personalised offers.
'In the end its all about a good understanding of the costumer journey and make it easier, more fun and more 'tailor made' for the costumer says Chris Rikkers
Lieneke and Chris believe that physical stores will always exist. But that will not say that they will stay the way they are. Physical retail needs innovation. The most successful formula are making the combination of online and offline.
The positive reviews of your clients and communities are very defining for the future of a formula. In the past word of mouth has always been important but with the social media this goes incredibly fast.
It is important when you are a omni-channel to be very transparent. "It happens to often that brands or formula are subject of discussion online and the brand keeps quiet. When the clients give negative feedback it is incredibly important to react. Clients understand that companies also can make mistakes. It is all about giving the client the idea that you listen to their needs. But also when the feedback is positive it is important to make your brand heard. Be there! And be open! says Chris Rikkers
Van der Laan: "There are not a lot store formula that have a distinctiveness, that makes the client really enthusiastic. And really is a fan. Apple is one of the rare examples. But there are not so much 'apples'. It is just a lot of work not only to get liked but really create fans. Than all community ways must be open. It gets even harder if you are in a branch with a lot of commodity goods.
In summary, play the game more clever. And then again, you will and at the costumer journey. Retailers need to become experts of consumer behaviour. When you really understand how people act than you will also make different choices. That has a result for you formula development And in this route, JosDeVries stands open to be your costumer travel agency.
Written by Bert Ponsen for Retail actueel, click here (Look at photo and design for ideas)
JosDeVries The Retail Company BV
3605 MA Maarssen, P.O. Box 1194
NL-3600 BD Maarssen
tel. : +31(0)346 - 563764
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