Retailers are placing customers first when it comes to their business initiatives now that it’s clear consumers are running retail today.
According to Altify’s 2017 Business Performance Benchmark Study, 87.3% of retailers said customer retention, over revenue, was their top strategic imperative for 2017, and 83 percent also agreed that customers are in more control of the buy/sell process than ever before.
As digitization continues to disrupt the retail market, retailers are revamping their marketing and sales efforts to be more customer-centric. Considering customers can now shop on multiple devices and buy items in-store, they are demanding a more seamless shopping experience—all the time, anywhere. To adapt to changing customer purchasing behavior, retailers are focusing their business plans on customer retention and aligning their sales processes to suit.
In the study, 69 percent of participants said customer retention is a core component of their marketing and sales initiatives. Along with their increasingly demanding demands, customers also expect to be able to trust retailers, they want an emotional connection with retailers beyond just their purchases. To keep customers satisfied and coming back, retailers are making their branding efforts more personalized, with customized product discounts, notifications, recommendations and services.
Aligning sales processes with customers’ buying processes was also a top priority. Sixty-five percent of retailers said they had a sales process that paralleled with customers’ purchasing behavior. Retailers that placed their consumers first with their marketing and sales efforts also improved their win rate, or the success rate of the sales team, and sales cycle, or the average time it takes for a sales team to close a deal. Retailers that adopted a buyer-centric sales process boosted their win rates by 22 percent and reduced their sales cycle by 22 percent.
Roughly 81 percent of retailers said new customer acquisition was also a top priority project for 2017. By gaining new customers, retailers can lock in loyalty and stay competitive throughout retail’s current digital upheaval. Efforts to bring in these new consumers could include discounts and individualized recommendations following their first purchase.
Sixty-five percent of retailers also said increasing revenue from existing customers was a top customer- related priority project this year too. To keep existing customers happy, retailers are understanding their customer’s purchasing patterns and creating solutions for purchasing issues. By having a full grasp on what customers’ want, including loyalty perks, and how to remedy checkout problems, retailers can prioritize existing customers, while gaining new customers at the same time.