As we head into the all-important holiday shopping season, retailers are taking stock of the expert insights they gleaned at this year’s NRF NXT show to help deliver success for their brand. We caught up with Sitecore’s Sean Rusinko and Joel Gardner to recap the major takeaways and key ideas to implement.
“NRF NXT is a great event for retailers,” said Rusinko, Director, Industry Strategy – Retail, Travel & Hospitality. “This year, NRF NXT focused on the topic of customer experience and the ways in which technology is enabling retailers to deliver on the promise of exceptional customer experience.”
With customers focused on experience, retailers of all stripes have their work cut out for them if they are to capture customer share of wallet. “It doesn’t matter if customers are shopping at Target or at Nordstrom,” said Joel Gardner, Commerce Manager, North America at Sitecore, “they want an experience from website to store that is flawless.”
With experience being top-of-mind for customers, loyalty is top-of-mind for retailers. But gaining customer loyalty can be challenging for most retailers. “Retailers are quickly recognizing that their legacy systems aren’t up to par when it comes to meeting customer expectations and building loyalty. I read in Reinventing Commerce, a report by Econsultancy and Sitecore, that only 44% of retailers have a commerce system that is tailored to their needs,” said Rusinko.
Why is loyalty and the ability to deliver exceptional experiences so important?
Julie Roy, Vice President of CRM, Digital, and Customer Insights and Analytics at DSW, Inc., illustrated the tremendous value of loyalty with just a few metrics. During her talk at NRF NXT, she shared that only 29 percent of customers are members of DSW’s loyalty program, but those customers represent 90 percent of the company’s revenue.
Rusinko confirmed Roy’s example with data from Sitecore’s “Experience Commerce: A Strategic Guide for Executives”, which noted that customers who have a good experience with a brand spend 140% more than a customer who has a bad experience. “Building customer loyalty, whether through a formal program or by delivering exemplary experience, is the key to success in this challenging environment.”
With so much change happening in the retail sector, and plenty more to come, the focus must be on the customer, and how to engage them and retain their loyalty. If retailers continue to place the customer at the center of their marketing strategy and adopt technologies that can deliver on that strategy, they will build a foundation that will surely deliver success.
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