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Shopper Engagement is your Key to Success


In the digital transformation of business, re-imagining shopper engagement ensures a meaningful customer experience. There is very little more important to business success than a positive customer experience.

Brookshire Grocery Company (BGC) of Tyler, Texas, knows something about SAP’s digital innovation.  The success that comes from practical digital implementation with SAP. BGC used the SAP Business Suite to improve customer engagement. Their enhanced digital ensures that employees can make the quick decisions they need. This creates a positive experience for their clientele.

One of BGC’s core beliefs is in offering the most personable service to customers. SAP’s retail solutions have provided them the necessary means of doing that. Their enhanced customer engagement creates a truly positive shopping experience. BGC knows that well trained and knowledgeable staff are needed to this experience and that digital data management is the key to making it all happen.

Customer centered service

You cannot have a successful retail business without satisfied customers. A re-imagined customer engagement results in brand loyalty and returning customers for repeat business. The single in-store transaction is no longer the only key touch point. The re-imagined process deals with all of a consumer’s digital and physical touch points.

Today’s consumers have heightened expectations. The retailer who provides product or service and related information when asked will retain the most customers. One who fails in this soon learns how competitive the retail world is. Consumers quickly abandon a retailer who cannot provide what they need/what when they need it.

Leveraging in-store digital technologies is the way to address meeting fast chaning shopper expectations. In-store digital technologies can seriously reduce both the number and the duration of manual tasks. This puts the focus and service back on the customer faster than ever before. Digital price labels that update automatically cut price changing shelf label work by digitizing the manual steps. Digital on-shelf availability confirmation answers questions before they get asked. Today’s customers can have access to interactive technology at their finger tips. This can be provided either in the store or online through the consumer’s Smart Phone.

Shopper engagement through employee engagement

The most important touch point for many customers is their contact with sales personnel. Therefore, a well trained sales force usually means a more positive shopper experience. So, training is essential. Moreover, training in smaller chunks means less time off the sales floor. An e-learning experience is a digital answer to this. Smaller digital training modules keep staff training current. So there is no need for longer classroom training sessions.

Also worth noting is the fact that social media usage continues to grow. This is a useful tool for direct promotions. However, it can also be used for employee communications and recruiting. It is also helpful in providing brand awareness, customer service, and targeted marketing.

Personalized marketing strategies

A personalized approach to marketing is the way of the future for retail. Customized marketing reaches the right consumers at the right time. This is done be refining target markets. And refining them to the point that your market is a “segment of one,” is the ultimate goal. Speaking directly to an individual’s personal preferences creates a perfect relationship for commerce.

Digital innovation is beginning to hone this marketing idea to a solid advantage. Through this technology, retailers engage consumers on a more personalized level. Here, digitally alert consumers tailor their preferences and retailers tune their marketing accordingly. Consumers communicate their loyalty preferences and create an individual, automated, dynamic digital footprint.

Personalized marketing targets select consumer identities. Campaigns can be targeted based on the customer’s history, interactions, contexts, and behaviors. Marketing – directed to the customer’s individualized values. Allsorts of things then become possible. Retailers can offer assortments, pricing, promotions, or fulfillment options preferred by the customer. This creates further opportunities beyond meeting current needs and interests. Cross-selling and up-selling become possible based on a consumer’s history. Home Shopping Europe (HSE) is a sister station to the Home Shopping Network. HSE is a very satisfied SAP client. They use these principles to create what is called their 360-degree customer engagement.

Further in-store and online technology choices

There are some other exciting options for your technological transformation. In-store options include smart shopping carts with sensors and smart mirrors. These mirrors can produce a virtual reality which reveals product information and recommendations. They come in handy in “smart” fitting rooms.

There are new customer identification media that recognize a finger print or the iris of your eye. Online options include what is called “gamification.” This is the creation of game-like experiences based on shopping choices. They have rules of play and tokens, or point scoring..  Game-like qualities encourage further and richer consumer engagement.

Re-imagined shopper engagement

Enhanced shopper engagement improves the effectiveness of customer touch points. The positive impact of digital innovation is most notable where it contacts the consumer. It can be summed up in four primary channels:

  1. 1. Store associates armed with superior product knowledge

  1. 2. Social engagement among brand, employees, and consumers

  1. 3. In-store technologies

  1. 4. Personalized “Segment-of-One” merchandizing

Digital innovation starts with re-imagining shopper engagement. To be most effective, every customer touch point should involve interactive technology. Demanding consumers need to see the value creation in your business model. To do that, they will need an enhanced engagement with you and your products.

To learn more please visit Retail – reimagined for the new economy.

Ralf Kern is Global Vice President Retail and strategy ambassador for SAP. Interested in your feedback! You can also get in touch via Twitter or LinkedIn

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