Meeting the Needs of the Modern Consumer Starts in the Back (Office)

January 27, 2016

Posted by Matt Rhodus, Retail Vertical Marketing Expert, NetSuite

For many fashion apparel and accessories retailers(opens in new tab), their greatest challenge is not identifying the latest trends or attracting the next wave of hot designers. Rather, it’s their customer’s rapidly evolving expectations and the technology required to deliver truly great experiences.

Before customers even walk in the door, they’ve often accessed exclusive promotional prices from an email campaign, product information from an ecommerce website, and perused pricing at nearby competitors. And this doesn’t stop once they’re inside.

All that information is right in the hands of nearly every customer today. Moreover, today’s customers have high expectations, fueled in part by the online experience they now receive at places like Amazon, which can offer personalized recommendations and instant insight into available inventory.

They want to buy online and return in store and if the item they’re looking for isn’t in the store in their size or color choice, they want store associates to check inventory at nearby locations at the click of a button. And they have little patience for those who can’t.

Unfortunately, most retailers have no clear view into their inventory(opens in new tab) or order management system(opens in new tab) and can’t access the information they need to give customers that kind of experience. Ultimately, retailers are realizing this and seeking a way to satisfy these demands. Yet, this can’t be achieved without first cleaning up the back-office systems(opens in new tab), a space the customers don’t see, but most definitely feel if not in good working order.

While it’s easy to invest in customer-facing technologies that look attractive, the real threat to retailers is the poorly cobbled together integrations that so many rely on in an effort to “keep the lights on.” Retailers are often afraid to confront this web of incongruent data because they fear it is too complex, time consuming and costly to remedy. Most retailers know these blind spots are an issue for their customer experience, they’re just not sure how to pinpoint the source of frustration; scratching their heads at where to begin.

The Stairway to Customer Experience Nirvana

The video below explains the obstacles that are preventing retailers from delivering a modern customer experience and describes how to create an environment where innovation can thrive, ensuring the customer journey is a happy one. We call this the “Stairway to Customer Experience Nirvana.”

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