The retail industry continues to undergo enormous changes in the digital age. Some stores that have been a part of our landscape for decades have merged with competitors or gone away altogether. And those that have thrived in this new environment have embraced a multi-channel approach with an emphasis on creating a compelling shopping experience that engages the customer. So what distinguishes the winners in this industry?
Facing the Challenges
Because technology changes so quickly, retail brands can quickly be swept into obsolescence if they're not able to keep up. For instance, just a few years ago cloud-based systems were at the cutting edge – and today they're critical to staying in business. Unfortunately, many retail brands still struggle with how to leverage the power of the cloud to combine content with their e-commerce platforms and deliver immersive customer experiences.
Responsive web design, which allows sites to be optimised across platforms and operating systems, has been the standard for several years. But even now it’s not unheard of to find a brand site that’s not optimised for mobile. When you reach sites like these you usually find they're clunky, slow, and difficult to navigate. This is especially true during peak periods. In a recent, Acquia-commissioned survey, UK consumers found 46 percent experience slow, glitch-marred websites during big sale days like Black Friday.
Today's customers may have the same reaction when they find your site lacks an immersive experience that doesn't personalise their preferences and give them the perks and insights they expect as a shopper of your brand. In other words, everyone wants to be treated like a brand ambassador, not just your best customers.