The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred the beginning of a new frontier for online retail and now the focus for retailers has got to be on creating the best possible retail customer experience, not just now but as a framework to build on in the future as we navigate this next stage of economic uncertainty. Consumer habits are changing; and the challenge for brands and retailers will be to put themselves into their customers’ shoes to really understand what they want and need from their online shopping experience and adapt accordingly.

Creating an engaging post-sales customer experience that communicates something of value can breed long-term brand loyalty, and if you connect shipping communications, which can garner open rates of 300-400%, with relevant and clickable content, you have an opportunity to be more precise and take your customer experience up a notch. 

It all comes down to managing customer requirements and customer expectations. Retailers need to start treating every online customer like they would offline – and even if things don’t go to plan you can still get the best out of it. If you start communicating with them yourself, you can control and define what every customer journey will look like. And to do this, personalisation will need to come into play. It’s not just about the product anymore. You want customers to connect with you as a brand. They remember the experience they had and they come to you because there’s trust, there’s a relationship.

Having a good end-to-end customer experience solution and engagement tool is key to making customers happy and creating a loyal customer base, which allows you to iterate on, look at how customers react and build on this. This is what the future holds for retail.

By Tobias Buxhoidt, founder and CEO of parcelLab

This comment piece was a contribution to A1 Retail’s Future of Retail Report | November 2020