Jason Bare, Global Vice President for BARE International, has been chosen to sit on the Board of Directors for the Americas division of Mystery Shopping Professionals Association.

MSPA Americas (MSPA), the trade association representing the customer experience management and measurement industry, announced the 2019 Board of Directors in November.

MSPA represents the customer experience industry throughout the Americas, founded to strengthen the customer service industry and provide timely, actionable and impactful resources for shaping the future of business communities.

Jason Bare started working for BARE International, a premier global provider for customer experience research, in 2010 as a project manager. Over the past nine years, he grew from managing a few key local accounts to now working across industries around the world as the Global Vice President.

“I am especially passionate about ensuring we measure what is required and necessary for our clients,” states Jason. “We, at BARE International, look to our clients as valued partners, and we believe providing actionable data is integral to the growth and success in their business.”

As the Global Vice President, Jason oversees business development and client relations across 13 offices around the world. On any given day, BARE International is doing research for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations each month.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve on the Board of Directors this year,” says Jason. “I plan on staying on top of the industry trends, while delivering key insights from the ‘millennial’ perspective.”

While being an active MSPA member since 2010, Jason has served on several committees and traveled to speak internationally on the relationship between customer experience and business success.

“I believe that growing our community will provide great opportunities for mystery shoppers and businesses alike,” says Jason. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve and impact our community in a big way this year.”

Read the original press release here.

About BARE International 
BARE International sets the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Founded in 1987, BARE International is a family-owned business with global capabilities. BARE is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia with ten offices around the world. To learn more about BARE International’s customer experience research services and their dedicated field force of evaluators, visit http://www.bareinternational.eu

‘Shoppers will go into the holiday season with high expectations this year. They’ll want great deals, custom offers, on-time delivery, and a little something for themselves—no matter what channel they’re using to work through their gift list.’ BARE shares an article by Danielle Savin for Digital Commerce 360 on 6 Steps to Elevate the Customer Experience this Holiday Season.

‘To meet shoppers’ rising expectations of easy and engaging shopping experiences, now’s the time to review and prepare your holiday messaging, personalization, mobile optimization, shipping strategy, and self-gifting offers. Follow these simple steps to deliver an engaging and rewarding customer experience during the holidays and beyond.

ALIGN AND TIME YOUR CUSTOMER MESSAGING FOR ALL CHANNELS.

To reach the 45% of shoppers who start making holiday purchases before November 1, you should communicate with your customers early and often. You can engage these early shoppers, as well as last-minute buyers, by promoting your upcoming offers well before Thanksgiving and continuing strong promotions through December and into early January.

Google now recommends that mobile pages load in five seconds or less.

Now’s also the time to check the alignment of your planned holiday messaging across all channels. Proper alignment can increase conversion rates by 200% or more while reducing cost per converted click. Well-aligned multichannel messaging that resonates and follows the customer, based on their behavior can increase “stickiness” and create a more engaging shopping experience. All of your messaging—email, social media, website copy, advertisements, and so on—need to be aligned with active campaigns.

PERSONALIZE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ LIFECYCLE MOMENTS

Personalizing product recommendations can yield more conversions and revenue than a non-personalized shopping experience, but the possibilities go beyond product recommendations. You should plan to personalize against lifecycle moments to reach individual customers at specific touch points along the path to purchase. For example, Customer X may need content to nurture them before they make a purchase, while Customer Y needs an extra incentive to complete end of purchase journey. This approach can amplify the impact of holiday email campaigns, which typically generate higher conversion ratesthan business-as-usual emails.

USE DYNAMIC SEGMENTATION TO BUILD OUT YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGING

Many retailers have moved away from static segments to third-party tools that support dynamic or conditional segment targets. By setting up dynamic segmentation, which uses continuously updated customer data to automatically assign individual customers to segments based on their behavior, you can reach real-time segments, save resources on manual updates, and scale your segmentation efforts – all of which are advantages during the busy holiday season.

Here’s an example: combine static past purchase data with dynamic data (e.g. more frequent site visits) to build a prospect group that may be especially receptive to specific holiday offers.

FINE-TUNE THE MOBILE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE FOR NEXT YEAR

Holiday-season revenue from mobile increased 22% from 2016 to 2017, half the orders placed on Christmas Day 2017 came from smartphones, and mobile retail is expected to grow by 32% in 2018. Clearly, the convenience of mobile shopping appeals to many consumers, and a smooth mobile experience can increase your holiday traffic and revenue. However, consumers have increasingly high expectations for their mobile shopping experiences, and a poor experience can drive them away for good. Google found that shoppers who have a negative experience on a mobile site are 62% less likely to shop there again, regardless of the quality of the store’s campaigns.

It may be too late to optimize your mobile experience for the 2018 holiday season, but you can start developing your mobile strategy budget and expectations now for 2019. To give your mobile customers the best possible experience and encourage repeat visits, plan to optimize all elements of your shopping funnel, including an intuitive and easy browsing experience, enhanced search capabilities, and a low-friction checkout process. Optimize your product page load times for mobile as well, because customers expect them to load quickly. Google now recommends that mobile pages load in fiveseconds or less, far faster than the 15.3-second average.

REDUCE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHIPPING STRESS

Your customers are probably worried about their gifts arriving on time. In 2017, 35% of consumers surveyed said package delays were their biggest source of holiday stress, far ahead of money as a stressor. Their concern is well-founded. Major carriers had already fallen behind on deliveries two weeks before Christmas in 2017, and shipping services have struggled to meet demand during the past several holiday seasons, with delivery delays making national headlines.

You can relieve some of your customers’ shipping worries, reduce complaints, and avoid excessive inquiries by over-communicating fulfillment windows to your customers. Display messaging on estimated shipping windows at the point of purchase and in confirmation notices to your customers via email, text, and/or Facebook Messenger.

Another way you can use shipping to enhance customer experience is by offering your customers a menu of expedited delivery options. There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of consumers who opt for same-day delivery,up from 17% in 2017 to 31% this year. By offering same- or next-day fulfillment (as well as reasonably priced or free expedited shipping) you can better compete with Amazon Prime and retailers that offer same-day delivery in selected markets, such as Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom. Same-day shipping options also encourage customer loyalty: 74% of customers surveyed by a national courier service said getting a purchase delivered the same day made them more likely to buy more from that merchant in the future.

ENCOURAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO TREAT THEMSELVES

Use your existing customer data, like historical purchases, purchase frequency, and recent site activity, to target self-gifting campaigns to your customers. The trend of self-gifting—consumers spending part of their holiday gift budget on items for themselves—is gaining popularity, especially among younger shoppers. More than seven in 10 shoppers surveyed for the National Retail Foundation’s 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook said they purchased items for themselves during the past holiday season. Popular self-gifting categories include electronics and winter apparel.

These elements—encouraging self-gifting, communication about shipping, improving the mobile experience, and aligning and optimizing messaging—can help you build a successful holiday season roadmap. And because consumer expectations for convenience and clear communication are always rising, continuously refining these elements will benefit your brand over the long-term, and beyond.’

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘America’s big ‘holiday’ just passed: the Black Friday! For many Americans, Black Friday represents savings galore, for others, it’s a day to frantically avoid. Whether you are a fan of Black Friday or not, these facts may surprise you!’ BARE shares some interesting Black Friday Facts compiled by Farm Bureau Financial Services*.

THE AVERAGE BLACK FRIDAY PLANS TO SPEND $472

How much do you spend while out on Black Friday? For many, this is the biggest shopping day of the year. No matter what type of shopper you are – the average shopper is expected to spend $472 on that day.

SHOPPING AT BRICK AND MORTAR STORES IS DECLINING

In-store shopping on Black Friday in 2017 decreased 1 percent from 2016, according to Forbes. As online shopping and Cyber Monday continues to grow in popularity, this could be trend that we see in years to come.

STORE CREDIT CARD APPLICATIONS INCREASE AROUND BLACK FRIDAY

Many stores offer same-day discounts at sign-up, according to a survey by CreditCards.com. For some, offers of added discounts are too much to pass up. The most popular time for store credit card sign-ups is during the holidays, according to the Business Insider.

NEARLY HALF OF THANKSGIVING WEEKEND SHOPPERS PLAN TO SPEND MORE

This year, 46 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers plan to spend more than they did the previous year.

ONLINE SALES HIT $5.03 BILLION

More and more people are choosing to shop online during Black Friday. In 2017, Black Friday online sales reached $5.03 billion, a 16.9 percent increase from 2016.

BLACK FRIDAY BOASTS BEST DEALS ON ELECTRONICS

If a new television or tablet is on your wish list this year, you may want to check out the Black Friday deals. Adobe’s recent predictions for the 2018 holiday season, anticipates Black Friday will have the best discounts on electronic favorites like tablets, televisions and computers.

40% OF ONLINE SHOPPERS MAKE PURCHASES FROM A SMARTPHONE

On Black Friday consumers are using smartphones more and more to make purchases. In 2017, a record 40 percent of online sales were made on mobile phones, which was an 11 percent increase from 2016.’

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source, including all fact sources, here

* BARE International is not an affiliate or partner of Farm Bureau Financial Services.


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘Personalized content can now be delivered through whichever touch point the customer prefers.’ BARE shares an article by Dale Renner for Forbes on Transforming the Customer Experience: Personalization.

‘Though the technology has advanced leaps and bounds — even in just the past few years — companies have only begun to crack the surface of personalization capabilities.

Twenty years ago, nearly all companies considered the use of broad segmentation, demographic data and batch outbound marketing as the keys to delivering personalized customer experiences. Ten years ago, Amazon began introducing product personalization into an online experience. Now, as vast amounts of data become readily available to marketers and businesses, they are charging forward to compete on customer experience using personalization on a granular scale not seen before.

In Forrester’s Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer report, only 9% of responding companies indicated they had implemented digital transformation to a degree that they felt gave them an advantage among their competitors.

For companies looking to create a personalized experience regardless of where, when or how a customer chooses to engage, it is essential that they leverage new technology to create an enduring relationship between the brand and the customer.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

As technology advances, the customer journey has become more granular. What began as large-scale blanket advertisement has moved toward specific, targeted and strategic advertisement. This trend echoes in other aspects of a brand’s relationship with the customer. Direct mail became more personalized as the content catered to whichever segment profile the customer most closely aligned with; interaction and engagement moved to new mediums as customers embraced smartphone technology.

Personalized content can now be delivered through whichever touch point the customer prefers. However, customer experience still often relies on asynchronous or batch-and-blast communications. Without knowing all that is knowable about a customer and having that knowledge available in real time across the enterprise, the content then merely caters to the segment a customer “belongs” to without knowing if the content is relevant at that point in their customer journey.

Today, we live in a world of instant gratification, and customers’ expectations have mirrored that.

A frictionless customer experience can only be enabled through real-time engagement that spans touch points and multistage journeys.

Using digital channels, mobile apps, social media, SMS and IoT, there are countless ways to build out a completely personalized customer journey for a segment of one.

Companies need to embrace new technologies such as machine learning to keep up with the proliferation of touch points and the explosion of data, and to create a scalable process in which machines detect intention and then seamlessly prescribe the optimal path to purchase for each customer.’

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘In today’s fast-paced, competitive world, corporate managers are increasingly realizing that working in silos seriously impedes innovation.’ BARE shares an article by Brad Murphy for Forbes on The New Manager: How Organizations Can Thrive In The Experience Economy.

‘Companies organized along traditional functional lines tend to be slow to change and inflexible, unable to respond to customer demand.

According to Deloitte, over 80% of corporations with 5,000 employees or more are either in the process of reorganizing or plan to do so to be more responsive to customer needs.

Currently, only 24% of large companies remain organized into separate functional areas such as sales, marketing and service. At innovative companies like Netflix and Spotify, traditional departments have been largely replaced by self-managing, cross-disciplinary teams in which each member is invested in a given project’s outcome.

This new configuration requires a different kind of manager — one who understands multiple functional areas, can leverage the expertise of people with diverse skill sets and, most importantly, has the courage to challenge the status quo.

Managers can no longer think of themselves as gatekeepers whose task it is simply to comply with company norms. The focus needs to be on empowering teams and exchanging information with peers. The critical success factor centers around spurring team members to work creatively and innovatively.

FUNDAMENTAL SHIFTS LEAD TO DRAMATIC RESULTS

Traditionally, managers were tasked with making sure employees and business practices adhered to the company’s policies and processes. Sadly, this ruthless focus on compliance almost always comes at the cost of snuffing out creativity among those with the greatest interest in delighting customers. Today’s managers need to think differently: They need to take risks and challenge assumptions, and they need to be rewarded for experimentation.

How do you lead a team and cultivate creativity and innovation? That’s the question the executive vice president of one of the world’s largest media companies grappled with last year. One of the corporation’s operating units was in crisis: A heavy-handed top-down management style was leaving employees feeling increasingly interrupted and unheard and needlessly micromanaged. The situation had gotten so dire that human resources recommended shutting down the division and moving the work to another operating unit. The executive realized that a fundamental shift was necessary to save the group.

During the ensuing eight months, the executive brought in our firm to facilitate a transformational approach that was deeply personal and behavioral — a significant departure from the company’s previously compliance-heavy management style. The group made a massive shift toward collective team ownership of projects. Simultaneously, leaders began to focus more on coaching teams rather than micromanaging employees, empowering individuals to exercise more initiative.

The changes led to a redesign of the group’s workflow and management structure, individual roles and responsibilities, and performance metrics, as well as an adoption of lean agile tools and techniques. And, just one month after the reorganization, the results of another employee survey were released, showing dramatic improvements in communication and collaboration over the previous year.

HOW TO PART WITH TRADITION

To foster organization-wide entrepreneurial mindsets, companies need to establish new workplace norms that make clear what managers should be focusing on — as well as what they should stop doing.

First and foremost, managers need to realize that it is not up to them to dictate how work should be carried out. Daily decision making should be delegated to semi-autonomous teams of people who hold themselves accountable for achieving objectives. Managers need to focus less on coordinating and more on energizing employees and making sure teams have the resources they need to meet their collective goals.

Another important consideration for managers: Instead of rewarding individual employees, focus instead on the success and performance of entire teams.

study published in the Journal of Business Research found that group-based evaluation and reward systems were more effective than individual reward systems for most employees who work in teams. Workers are simply more motivated to perform at their best when their performance affects the outcome of the entire group — and, ultimately, the success of their organization.

A key practice that managers need to dispense with is “sanitizing” information before pushing it up the chain of command. When companies establish a culture in which team progress remains transparent to all stakeholders, leaders no longer need to spend their time developing slide decks to make sure higher-ups know what their groups are doing and how well they’re doing it. Managers will always need to facilitate communications, but in today’s organizations, they should spend less time broadcasting information up the chain and more time sharing insights with other teams and peer managers.

EMPOWERING CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS

When managers are no longer bogged down with day-to-day micromanaging and administrative work, they have more time for the more complex challenge of leading multidisciplinary teams. It’s likely, for example, that a former head of sales may now be leading people with marketing, IT, customer service and other backgrounds. Instead of handling one aspect of a product or service, managers must oversee entire projects from nascent idea to implementation.

To shepherd projects from start to finish, team leaders need to master the art of collaborating with peers to drive the flow of information that will help their teams succeed.

Often, the work required to deliver great customer experiences flows horizontally across teams: Making an important e-commerce change to offer transactions and shipping to international customers might involve graphic designers, coders, product fulfillment specialists and regional experts that know each market.

Managers need to build coalitions with other leaders in order to work effectively across departments. Information has to flow continually and freely among groups about best practices, new insights and lessons learned.

Restructuring large companies around team management and collective results require forward-thinking leadership from above and involvement and buy-in from every level of the organization. It’s not a simple endeavor, and companies can often benefit from support from experienced outside change agents. Making this transition successfully will determine which businesses will thrive — and which will go the way of former giants such as Kodak and Borders.’

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here

CX Day is October 2nd!
How are you celebrating Customer Experience Day? Enter our sweepstakes and you could win $100!

OFFICIAL RULES: 

WHO: Anyone (18 years or older) with a legal Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook account can enter!

HOW: Simply tag BARE International with the hashtag #CXMeans and share what customer experience means to you! You may enter more than once, and we encourage you to share with your friends and family! You can either complete the sentence “#CXMeans…” like this example:

“#CXMeans going the extra mile!”

or by merely providing an example and including the hashtag:

“I received the wrong size, and they offered to send me a new sweater without waiting for the other one to be sent back! #CXMeans”

All entries must include the hashtag #CXMeans AND tag BARE International so we know you’ve entered! 

WHEN: While we always encourage you to share what Customer Experience means to you, we will stop taking official entries the day after CX Day: October 3rd at 11:59 GMT.

WHAT: One lucky GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win $100 USD! 7 additional winners will be awarded a BARE goody bag, valued up to $50! All winners will be selected at random.

 

GET OUR HANDLES & FOLLOW US!

Instagram: @bare.europe

Facebook: bare.international.europe

Twitter: @BareEurope

 

GOOD LUCK!

By entering, you agree to allow BARE International to use your comments, tweets, stories, and/or shared images for marketing materials including social media posts, blog updates, and others. Winners will be selected at random and will be distributed the following way: 1 grand prize winner will be selected from across all BARE offices and social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). 7 additional winners will be selected at random; 1 from each of the following BARE Offices: US/Canada, Chile, Brazil, Europe, Singapore, China, and India.

BARE International issues a complete release of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by each entrant or participant. Let this post provide further acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

It’s not just ‘back to school’ for kids; businesses all over the world are spending their time looking for more ways to grow customer loyalty. ‘Longevity’ is no longer synonymous with ‘guaranteed business’. What worked fifty, twenty, or even just a year ago are, well, “so last year.” Here, BARE International shares an article by Zeynep Ilgaz for Entrepreneur on how Old-School Industries Require New-School Customer Experience.

‘Millennials are slowly but surely becoming the coveted buyers of not only B2C, but also B2B products and services. According to Accenture, millennials spend roughly $600 billion per year, and Pew Research Center tells us that this age group now makes up the bulk of the U.S. workforce. With this in mind, be advised that it would be a big mistake for your or any other brand to not adapt to millennials’ behaviors and preferred experiences.

Over the past few years, our old-school company realized we needed to adjust our approach for reaching the next generation of consumers in order to maximize growth potential. So, here are the steps we took:

1. PERSONALIZE THE EXPERIENCE.

Customers no longer buy products and services. They purchase experiences by way of products and services. Therefore, businesses skilled at delivering more personalized experiences will end up driving customers through their doors again and again. Let’s say, for example, that you’re able to recall a customer’s name. In that case, 56 percent of consumers said that they’d be more likely to come back (Accenture). Now say you can recollect a person’s past purchases — that would spur another 65 percent to return. An Infosys report echoed these findings, reporting that 31 percent of consumers surveyed wanted a more personalized shopping experience. In other words, personalization is a surefire way to not only bring customers on board, but also keep them there.

2. OFFER ROUND-THE-CLOCK SERVICE.

Customers value the independence to gather information and make purchases wherever and whenever they like. If you’re not catering to these now-basic needs, trust that someone else is. And you could be guiding your business right into the arms of the competition. According to a 2017 RetailDive survey, 65 percent of consumers conduct online research before deciding to buy. Additionally, eMarketer recently revealed that two-thirds of millennials surveyed said they’d rather shop online than in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s a no-brainer to give customers the opportunity to order online, but you should also post research about your offerings to illustrate how your business is the perfect solution to customers’ problems. Our company did just that with great results. We also took it a step further by offering 24/7 live chat for questions and complaints.

3. PEPPER THE INTERNET WITH HELPFUL CONTENT.

A website can be a bit like an island. You’ll stock it with all the necessary supplies, but still need to give people a means of getting there if you want them to use it. Inbound marketing is that means. According to research from HubSpot, just 16 percent of marketers polled said that outbound practices provided high-quality leads. That’s not much to rely on. Consumers don’t want a hard sell; they just want some help. By lending your expertise and offering a little assistance, you become a trusted ally and more likely to attract and keep business. In fact, content marketing delivers more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing does, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It also costs 62 percent less!

Still, to be successful, content marketing requires a clear and consistent strategy. The goal is to build a massive library of content that organically appears in search results and can be found on third-party sites. Strategic content serves as the boat leading consumers back to your site. Of course, success in this realm takes time and effort; so don’t hesitate to find contractors who can help.

Whether you’re selling old-school skateboards to teens or new-school software to CEOs, the current era calls for a modernized customer experience that mirrors how people want to buy products. Old is new again.

In a world where people do almost everything virtually, you’d be surprised by how many businesses have yet to adapt. At this point, it’s critical for companies in old-school industries to ditch the “we’ve always done things this way” mindset and begin listening to what consumers want — nay, expect — and what that is, is a personalized digital experience.’

Is your business going to outlast your competition? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors using real-time data. BARE International’s Competitor Analysis reports provide comprehensive insights geared to give you the industry advantage. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here.


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘Traditional retailers are feeling the heat. Even as competition intensifies, shoppers’ visits to retail stores are declining every year, leading one industry veteran to ominously ask his peers, “Is anyone not seeing large traffic declines?”’ Here, BARE International shares a study by Emma Sopadjieva, Utpal M. Dholakia, Beth Benjamin for Harvard Business Review on 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works.

Online retail, on the other hand, is thriving. Retail sales through digital channels (including mobile sales) increased by a massive 23% in 2015. Much of these gains have gone to online retailers. Amazon is the biggest beneficiary, now accounting for 26% of all online retail sales. What is more, as it continues to expand aggressively into new categories like grocery and fashion, Amazon’s existential threat to traditional retailers is greater than ever.

Just ask Alexa.

OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY IS A PANACEA FOR A DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT

Under these hostile conditions, traditional retailers have staked their futures on omnichannel retailing. The omnichannel strategy hinges on the idea that providing a seamless shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores and through a variety of digital channels not only differentiates retailers from their peers, but also gives them a competitive edge over online-only retailers by leveraging their store assets.

Such thinking assumes that despite its costs, there is significant economic value to be gained from providing digital channels to traditional store shoppers, and fusing the shopping experience across channels. Retailers are counting on an omnichannel strategy to be their “killer app.” But is this true? Are omnichannel shoppers more valuable to retailers?

We set out to answer this question by collaborating with a major U.S. company, which operates hundreds of retail stores across the country. We studied the shopping behavior of just over 46,000 customers who made a purchase during the 14-month period from June 2015 to August 2016. Customers were asked about every aspect of their shopping journey with the retailer, focusing on which channels they used and why. And they were also asked to evaluate their shopping experience. Of the study participants, only 7% were online-only shoppers and 20% were store-only shoppers. The remaining majority, or 73%, used multiple channels during their shopping journey. We call them omnichannel customers.

OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMERS ARE AVID USERS OF RETAILER TOUCHPOINTS

Our findings showed that omnichannel customers loved using the retailer’s touchpoints, in all sorts of combinations and places. Not only did they use smartphone apps to compare prices or download a coupon, but they were also avid users of in-store digital tools such as an interactive catalog, a price-checker, or a tablet. They bought online and picked-up in store, or bought in the store and got their purchases shipped.  In what follows, we count each app, digital tool, and shopping venue provided by the retailer as a separate channel. 

THE MORE CHANNELS CUSTOMERS USE, THE MORE VALUABLE THEY ARE

Our study’s results are revealing. They show that the retailer’s omnichannel customers are more valuable on multiple counts. After controlling for shopping experience, they spent an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in the store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. Even more compelling, with every additional channel they used, the shoppers spent more money in the store. For example, customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel.

Surprisingly, conducting prior online research on the retailer’s own site or sites of other retailers led to 13% greater in-store spending among omnichannel shoppers. This finding goes against the grain of the conventional wisdom that spur-of-the-moment, impulsive shopping bulks up the topline of traditional retailers. Instead, our findings suggest that deliberate searching beforehand led customers to greater in-store purchases. And it also flies in the face of conventional thinking about showrooming, which is that traditional shoppers conduct their research in the store and then buy online. Instead, we find that this retailer’s omnichannel shoppers are engaging in webrooming behavior, which has become especially prevalent among Millennial shoppers.

In addition to having bigger shopping baskets, omnichannel shoppers were also more loyal. Within six months after an omnichannel shopping experience, these customers had logged 23% more repeat shopping trips to the retailer’s stores and were more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who used a single channel.

There is one important caveat to our findings. The correlations we report here shouldn’t be confused with causation. We can say from our study that omnichannel shoppers are more valuable to the retailer with confidence. But whether such customers were loyal and engaged with the retailer to begin with or whether the richer, multi-touchpoint shopping experiences of its omnichannels led them to spend, return, and advocate more remains an open question. Regardless, our study firmly endorses traditional retailers’ logic of embracing an omnichannel strategy and using it as a differentiator to fight the online retail onslaught.

In today’s channel-rich environment, omnichannel capabilities drive the engagement of core shoppers with the retail brand and ultimately draw them to the physical store. Traditional retailers with physical stores will do better not only by leveraging the power of the online world, but by synchronizing the physical and the digital worlds to provide shoppers with a seamless, multi-channel experience that online pure plays simply cannot match.’

BARE solutions are aggregated into one platform, giving insights on how your platforms, from your brick and mortar locations to your Yelp page and more, are working together to create a seamless customer experience.

We offer omnichannel research support so you know how effective (or ineffective) your omnichannel strategy is! All of your online branding investments, from a personalized app to your employee’s training, are used to engage and connect with your customers in hopes to provide a seamless customer experience for your customers. 

Read the full article at the source here.


OMNICHANNEL RESEARCH SUPPORT & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘Business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and customer retention expert Shaun Buck present a systematic approach to help you keep, cultivate, and multiply customers so you replace income uncertainty with reliable income through retention and referrals.’ Here, BARE International shares an excerpt by Dan S. Kennedy for Entrepreneur on 5 Ways to Grow the Value of Each of Your Customers.

 

‘Businesses that fail to fully monetizing their customers often fail outright, and many more will in the challenging years ahead. This is so because nothing is more difficult or costly than new customer acquisition.

There are five specific ways to create the maximum possible customer value:

The more technology advances, the more it’s integrated into our daily lives. As people change their behaviors, marketers, salespeople, and customer support reps will need to react. Instead of thinking of a desktop experience, a mobile experience, a tablet experience, we’ll need to pursue one, holistic approach — an omni-channel experience. 

WHAT IS OMNI-CHANNEL?

At its core, omni-channel is defined as a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience.

And omni-channel experience? Omni-channel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be consistently seamless.

OMNI-CHANNEL VS MULTI-CHANNEL

Do you have a multi-channel or an omni-channel customer engagement strategy? Do you know the differences between the two? Let’s start with definitions …

Multi-channel (i.e., “many” channels), while less integrated, allows customers to purchase wherever they prefer to browse and shop.

Companies with this approach are adopting two or more channels to engage their customers, however, they are not necessarily focused on delivering a seamless / consistent message across multiple touch-points. Furthermore, these programs don’t necessarily factor in optimizing the customer experience based on the different devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets and laptops) clients use to interact with the business.

Omni-channel (meaning, “all” channels) unifies sales and marketing to create a single customer experience across your brand.

While companies using this approach also use multiple channels to engage their customers they distinguish themselves through two additional factors; consistency and focus on devices involved within client interactions. These businesses are diligent to ensure that their customers receive the same experience and message through different channels and devices involved within their interactions with the firm. For example, a company that provides customers with the ability to engage it through a mobile app, social media portal and website would be focused to ensure that the look and feel as well as the messages they receive across each touch-point are seamless.

Omni-channel and multi-channel marketing are two unique strategies that both aim to reach consumers and potential consumers by leveraging mult ple channels. Marketers must make the shift to focus on omni-channel efforts in order to increase customer retention and in turn, revenue.

WHAT DOES OMNI-CHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE LOOK LIKE?

According to My Customer, if a bank customer has a question about a fluctuation in their mortgage rate, which happens to be an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. The customer might call to speak with a live representative. A few years later, when their rate fluctuates again, he or she might call to ask another question. As the customer is calling, the agent will be able to pull up all the details about the customer and their specific situation as well as find out whether the question they asked a few years ago was resolved. Assisting the customer becomes easier for the agent with the context of that customer’s history. Without the omni-channel context, they would have to frustrate the customer with several background questions before being able to resolve their request.

Moreover, the multi-modal capacities inherent to an omni-channel experience enable an agent to text the customer a confirmation and/or a link to further info while the customer is still on the phone. If the customer is late for a meeting and wants to continue the conversation by email, or follow up a few hours later by live chat, that’s also easy. Any agent who continues the engagement will be able to pick up where the previous agents left off in full context, presenting “one face” to the customer—and a surprisingly smart face, at that. Almost like hitting the pause button on a DVR and resuming the program right where you left off.

WHY IS OMNI-CHANNEL SUPERIOR?

Let’s take a look at another great example of a full-fledged omni-channel experience – the Disney app.

Disney’s various customer touchpoints are so interconnected that the user experience never ends. You don’t need to buy a ticket online, show up at the park, and take a gamble on lining up anymore.

Now, you buy a ticket, download the app, scan your Fastpasses, check ride times, and explore customized content before even setting foot in the park.

Once you’re at the park, you can easily navigate your way around, find Disney characters on a live, and interactive map before get your picture taken at the store, have it show up on your app, and purchase when you get home.

The entire experience is a never-ending sensory overload of the Disney brand that contains one critical factor: Consistent, seamless integration. No matter how or where a customer interacts, the shopping experience is the same.

WHY CHOOSE OMNI-CHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT?

According to Aberdeen Essentials, companies with well-defined omni-channel customer experience management programs achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organizations without omni-channel programs. These organizations also average a 3.4% increase in customer lifetime value, while those without omni-channel programs actually diminish customer lifetime value by .7% year-over-year.

Another study by Business Insider found that shoppers who engaged on multiple channels made purchases more often:

FINAL THOUGHTS…

The majority of shoppers now hit multiple touchpoints before making a purchase. Limiting yourself to one or two platforms and lacking the seamless integration you’ve seen here can be detrimental to your long-term growth. In the end, an omni-channel customer experience is the most granular, detailed, and efficient customer experience an organization or representative can provide.

Always look for new outlets and ways to connect each and every channel. Create an experience that isn’t locked into a single platform. Rather, create an experience that can be completed and repeated on each.

Want to know innovative ways to gain insights using an omni-channel strategy? Contact a customer experience research specialist at BARE International today.