Are consumers ready for Amazon Go? - Experience Mantra continues

Elliott Winskill, Product Manager for Store Enabler, gives his insights on Retail Week’s infographic

You can read the full article on Retail Week and view the infographic by clicking here.

Retailers are focusing on experience and everything so far in 2018 has supported this statement, but interestingly the infographic produced by Retail Week brings a different stakeholder into play, the consumer. I read a lot of articles produced by Ben Sibley, who is a great writer and seems to always provide great insights, even though you may not always agree with them. I wanted to give my own insights on this infographic while also addressing several insights that Ben has presented.

Starting with the word of 2018 so far, experience, this concept only seems to be gathering pace and the question should be posed is this the consumer that is demanding this of retailers or a common acceptance of both retailer wanting to provide and the consumer wanting to experience?

We all like to think we are similar to Steve Jobs but rarely do we have his exceptionally unique talent of understanding customer needs, delivering against it and teaching customers why they need it in the process. This is where I begin by challenging the statement around speed of purchase…is speed essential? especially considering the statistics demonstrate its only 38% requiring shorter speed to purchase. I would challenge that speed of service is a misconception and that the real focus is around efficiency of service across all functions in the sale, especially payment.

My favourite infographic fact states 57% of investment priorities are focused on customer service and experience. This on a very personal level is an important statistic that supports my belief and my only challenge would be how do we make this figure higher? The misconception that most of this 57% will make in my opinion, is they will confuse customer service and experience with basket size and speed. That will be important for some styles of businesses, but for many they will looking at what the customers get from being in their store and this may not include speed or purchasing but just an experience that will leave a positive image of the company.

Yes, retailers are all about the money but in today's environment just focusing on money is the quickest way to fail and this has been consistently shown with retail closures of the likes of Toys R US and Maplin's. Toys R Us came as no shock to me because they would not fit into a single category of this infographic and if you compare it to the Hamley's Oxford Circus store, there is just no comparison. Companies who see the benefits and reasons for implementing experience and new payment techniques are the ones that will last and those that hesitate or focus on cost management at the expense of experience will fail.

I would like to end this on 2 points that shows that retail is starting to see the bigger picture, but is still a long way off;

  1.  77% think that security is vitally important, and they also see the requirement for innovative technologies and mobile to be used instore.

But, how do these match up? With mobile you immediately have new challenges to security over the fact it can easily be lost and stolen. Also, what do customers think security is to them? If 77% are saying security is all their data then GDPR has made strides but this still does not fully secure customer data.

That last point was a side note as I still don’t think customers or retailers really understand what they mean around security and as the infographic focuses on payment, what do they want in terms of payment security, is it just their details? I would challenge that card details are vitally important but there are also many other very important aspects to security of payments, around the liability, management and monitoring of the payment. Many providers of payment are focusing on this reporting and understanding of payments process to help retailers ensure that transactions are correct, and fraud is handled. This in my opinion is just as important for all concerned as the security of customer details.

        2. 62% want the same experience online and instore, that is in the brand image, feel, technology and attraction that makes online so accessible to customers.

This is a massive point and something that we must take forward to all retailers, as there supplies some education around the bringing together of online and offline. No, I am not talking about Omnichannel and systems, but about the brand and experience that the customers gain from either channel should align.

I'll give you an example, as a Liverpool FC Fan, when I am shopping I expect my online Liverpool experience to harness the club, ethos and history. I then go in to store and expect the same butterflies in my stomach as I take in the history, ethos and brand of my beloved club.

Now football fans are the extreme, but why is it that retailers don’t think their customers want to get the exact same feeling around understanding the brand, ethos and culture of the retailers consistently across their online and offline presence?

These are a few insights on a fantastic article and infographic by a great writer and it has been amazing to see these statistics officially posted into the world. You can read the full article and view the infographic by clicking here.

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