With online shopping more popular than ever, the customer in-store shopping centre experience has now also become more important than ever and made mapping out the ideal customer journey an absolute must.
Enrique Benavides, Director of Innovation for Retail Intelligence and Offices of CBRE, highlights the importance of understanding consumer needs and preferences in order to offer better services and information tailored to customer interests via data analysis and online tools.
However, there’s still much work to be done, with the barrier that continues to separate the on- and offline worlds only serving to further complicate the task of tracking the entire customer journey.
Which tools can we use to map out the ideal customer journey?
Smart CX The Customer Journey by CBRE is a quality certification for shopping centres. How is it awarded?
Each property has its own identity, in terms of architecture, location, target audience etc. Based on these features, we assign each centre a category, or a cluster (Experience Shopping Centre, Family & Fun, Trendy Lifestyle…), to define the ideal customer experience. We conduct an audit based on the assigned cluster and obtain a snapshot of the property and how closely – or not – it meets the minimum required standards. If it fails to reach the minimum standards, we set out an action plan to help it better meet its customers’ needs”, explains Enrique Benavides. Director of Innovation, Retail Intelligence and Offices of CBRE.
Diagonal Mar, Experience Shopping Centre
How do we know what customers are looking for in their shopping centre?
Thanks to DMI, an application that provides information on what customers do when they visit a shopping centre, we can offer customers more useful services and personalised content that they can access as many times as they need. This allows us to analyse their behavioural patterns, such as average dwell time, frequency of visits, which stores they visit, etc.
The Future of Retail and the Omnichannel strategy
Will shops eventually be wiped off the face of our cities? Will customer experience centres be the only brick-and-mortar stores left, while all purchases are made online? Will a balance ever be struck between the on- and offline worlds? According to Benavides, the future of retail lies in redefining our city centre high streets.
The big chains are focusing their strategies on scaling down their store networks but improving the quality of the stores themselves. They are investing in creating far more memorable and experience-based spaces that will become authentic ‘go-to destinations‘, and reach beyond shopping”, said Benavides.
An omnichannel approach is vital to ensuring a fully-rounded shopping experience, from the very moment a client first becomes aware of a brand and tests out its products through to the moment a purchase is made, customer services are required and, ultimately, their loyalty is gained.
The challenge? Overcoming the on-off barrier
It doesn’t matter if a customer visits a physical store and ultimately decides to buy online. What is clear is that the experience is created by the on- and offline worlds coming together.
The problem is working out what percentage of the people that buy online do so after seeing a product instore. We need to come up with a technology that can help answer this question and allow us to track the entire customer journey“, Enrique Benavides concluded.
With the right tools, we can track the customer’s in-store journey and, if they are registered with a user code brand, then we could link the sale to a specific store. However, retailers currently treat both channels completely separately.
Do you have a tech idea that could help solve this challenge?
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Director of Innovation for Retail Intelligence and Offices of CBRE
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