It’s Cyber Monday, and you, like millions of others, know what you want.
You’ve done your research. You know who has which deal. You don’t care where you buy the items you want, you just want to get in and get out online before the offers expire or sell out.
Now, it’s up to the retailers to deliver.
Every year, Cyber Monday deals and online holiday shopping are inching closer to an eclipse of their counterparts, Black Friday and brick-and-mortar store purchases.
The outcome appears inevitable. If retailers deliver on the brand promise with a consistent experience on every device and in their stores, game over.
The questions now are, which companies will bridge the gap the best, which will innovate faster, and how will their use of technology stand up?
Eighty-seven percent of brands surveyed say they know their customers well, but just 37 percent of consumers surveyed say their favorite retailer knows them, according to Manjush Cheruveedu, senior director of technology for SapientRazorfish in Boston.
What’s more, 81 percent of consumers surveyed say the performance of retail websites and the consistency of experience matters, Cheruveedu said.
Cheruveedu has spent more than a decade helping companies embrace the digital revolution. He said there’s a reason Toys R Us, Radio Shack and Circuit City filed for bankruptcy, and there’s a reason well-known chains, such as Sears, Macy’s and J.Crew, are looking for answers.
It’s this simple: Customer expectations for results are down to the millisecond.
Meeting consumers where they are in their purchasing decisions
If you research something at home on a desktop computer, you expect to be able to close the deal on your smartphone while riding the subway to work the next day. Or you expect to walk into the store and have the salespeople able to quickly catch up and know exactly where you are in the process.
Then, you expect the ads that follow you on say Facebook or BostonGlobe.com to not show you the product you’ve already purchased. Right?
Well, we’re getting there.
“Me and my wife, we were shopping for refrigerators. Like most of us, we go online, we make a whole spreadsheet of what models do we like, what features are in there, what’s the cost, where do we buy,” Cheruveedu said. “All of that while I’m logged in. Then, of course, it’s a refrigerator; I just don’t want to buy it online. We actually ended up going to the store, and I showed them my membership card, and I’m hoping that they know that I just spent hours researching what I want.
“Hopefully, I don’t have to repeat everything that I just researched to customer service. They didn’t know what I researched online. It’s me, my membership, if I did not give my information, I agree they don’t know me, but I gave my information. I’m a loyal customer, they freakin’ should know me, right? That is the problem in most cases,” he said.