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As Retail Sales Drop Customer Experience Becomes More Important

by Jackie Davis

U.S. retail sales dropped 0.3% last month, according to the Commerce Department. While this may not seem like an alarming number, the decline highlights the spending cuts that are taking place in American households. With budgets being tightened on automobiles, home improvements, and online purchases, it’s vital that retailers stand out and engage customers who are looking to make a purchase.

“While this is by no means conclusive evidence that the consumer is wavering (after all, the upward revisions reduce the impact of September’s declines), it nonetheless reinforces our ongoing concern that a spending retrenchment will ultimately trigger a more durable slowdown,” said Ian Lyngen, head of rates research at BMO Capital Markets.

With a spending slowdown on the horizon, retailers must adjust their engagement tactics to draw in customers. Now, more than ever, customer experience is key – and a large part of that is a retailer’s online presence.

“Retailers are quickly recognizing that their legacy systems aren’t up to par when it comes to meeting customer expectations and building loyalty,” said Sean Rusinko of Sitecore. Rusinko also pointed out that only 44 percent of retailers have a commerce system that is tailored to their needs. If a system doesn’t work for a retailer, how is it supposed to work for a customer?

By implementing a customized commerce system, retailers can engage consumers and bring in sales, even in a time of decreased spending. It’s all about creating an experience that drives customer loyalty.

“Building customer loyalty, whether through a formal program or by delivering exemplary experience, is the key to success in this challenging environment,” said Julie Roy, Vice President of CRM, Digital, and Customer Insights and Analytics at DSW, Inc.

It’s time for retailers to get serious about customer experience. Ready to learn more? Click here.

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