In direct response to heightened consumer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience wherever, whenever and however they shop, engaging the customer and managing the customer experience are top priorities for retailers.
Unified commerce and customer experiences that transcend channels are the new model, and retailers understand that customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential enabler and key to influencing customer behavior.
Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current state and planned initiatives, priorities, and future trends that relate to CRM practices associated with the retail industry’s shift to unified commerce.
“Customer experience and engagement continues to be the top priority for retailers in their quest to gain and retain customers,” said Brian Brunk, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “It is interesting to see the explosive growth in the use of gamification as part of a CRM program to engage and motivate customers.”
A successful CRM program is built on a closed-loop system that begins by identifying customers to establish new relationships, followed by engaging with customers in compelling ways such as gamification that enhance the customer experience, then analyzing customer behaviors in real-time, and finally, retaining customers with superior service and loyalty programs. This continuous loop is essential for retailers to cultivate valuable customer relationships.
“The key to influencing a customer’s purchase and offering a personalized experience is to identify the customer early, as soon as they enter the store,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “However, in many cases, customer identification is happening at the point of checkout, which is too late to influence a current purchase decision. Fortunately, our survey indicates that within five years, more than 50% of retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store.”
The findings of BRP’s Survey recognize the key CRM aspects of customer engagement across channels:
Identify the Customer – 883% more retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store within five years.
Engage the Customer – 87% of retailers plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years.
Analyze the Customer – 100% of the retailers plan to utilize analytics/dashboard to understand shopping behaviors within two years.
Retain the Customer – 46% of retailers indicate that a structured loyalty program is a top CRM priority.
The 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey silver sponsors include Enactor and Epicor.
To download the complete 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey, visit: https://bostonretailpartners.com/2015-crm-survey-report/.