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Keeping the customer experience simple in the digital age

Azadeh Williams | July 24, 2015
Experts discuss the pressing challenges of keeping the customer journey seamless in a complex tech-driven marketplace.

"Just look at social and all the ways you can interact via all the different streams and channels," she added. "You could easily spread yourself way too thin and be less successful."

Gauci said having the right technology offering is about ensuring you provide a brilliant user experience that integrates seamlessly.

"It's important you build your technology offerings and not de-compromise your user experience," he said. "Just to keep their customer engaged throughout the whole journey."

Keeping adaptable and agile
With the digital age being so curiosity driven, panellists agreed customers are no longer afraid to explore and test new thing.

"There are great new capabilities where you can use data to inform buying decisions across platforms," Laney said. "You can take CRM data and test a whole bunch of acquisition campaigns - it is something you can do that's cloud-based at an incremental cost, it's not a massive six-month investment. And if it doesn't work, you can move and try something else."

Hogson-Croker said testing and failing is all part of keeping agile and innovative as a business moving forward.

"It all sounds like a scary concept but at the same time we're in such a fabulous industry that is so innovative, and moving at such a rapid pace, that it's OK to go test and then go change," she said.

Integrating wearables into the customer journey
Thanks largely to the launch of Apple Watch, wearables are gaining more consumer traction and opening yet another channel for interaction with consumers. The challenge for retailers is how to integrate new technology with the customer experience without getting too caught up in the hype.

Gauci predicted the proliferation of big data and how to use it will be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to wearables.

"Wearables don't just open up commerce opportunities but also the data we're going to see," he said. "The challenge is whether that can be harnessed to something quite useful from these technologies to then feed that back into the store."

Salesforce is already partnering with vendors in the Internet of Things space and is looking to support those trying to build products. This could be partnering with the Apple Watch, or trying new retail enablement trying to do location identity in-store, Laney said.

"Identity and location are key promises for retail in terms of what you can do with the space," he said. "At the moment, it is about getting hold of a platform that enables you to test. Then it's looking at some of the players owning the identity piece - whether they be Facebook or Apple. "From there, it's thinking of the next generation of loyalty programs and how you get the opt in, but also how you get something on the phone or app that is enabling you to have that conversation."

 

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