Consumers across the globe are shifting from their traditional shopping patterns and adapting to more modern, digitally driven methods of purchasing. This shift in the shopping behavior of new age consumers has been a game changer lately for the retail industry. Businesses have no choice but to accept this change and to adapt to it. And, the everlasting retail axiom ‘customer is king’ has never been truer than now. Retailers need to be cognizant of this and go out of their way to please them. Hence, the motto for any customer centric retail business should always be surpassing their customers’ expectations and not merely satisfying them.
With the tremendous influence of ‘omni-channel’ in retail, the biggest challenge lies in identifying customer preferences as to when, what, where and how they shop. The impulsive switching by customers between channels while researching or shopping can be overwhelming for retailers to keep track of, analyze and accordingly, make provisions for meeting the customer needs. If retailers are unable to match the pace of their customers’ arbitrariness or are not present when and where their customers want them to be, with all certainty, such retailers won’t be able to sustain for long, leave aside gaining profits.
Availability is the essence of being omni-channel, time and place being important factors. If retail brands don’t want to miss out on a single opportunity of interacting with their customer, they ought to be a business which is everywhere the customer is, and every time the customer wants. For example, if a brand conscious customer is looking for her favorite brand in a particular location but is unable to find it in a physical store there, the retail brand must ensure that the customer is still able to explore and purchase the products through an alternative medium. To go the extra mile, the brand may also deliver the goods at the customer doorstep. In simple words, retail businesses should be ‘everywhere’ ‘every time’!