I went to New York City recently on a mission to purchase a leather tote bag. Before leaving, I visited two of my favorite luxury stores' websites to review their inventory. I added several selections to my wish list to keep track of them. Since neither retailer's eCommerce site offers the opportunity to book an appointment in the store or view a specific store’s inventory, I was forced to proceed blindly, hoping to find what I was looking for.
Unfortunately, most of my selected items were not available in the store, and I didn't make a purchase.
Now here’s what might have happened with a true unified commerce solution that supports the customer’s journey from their eCommerce site to the physical store:
- After reviewing each online store’s inventory and making my selections, I would book an appointment in the store.
- I would add my selected items to the appointment so the associate would have them ready when I arrive.
- If my selections weren't available in the store, they would have been brought in from the warehouse or another store. If they are out-of-stock, the sales associate could present me with other tote bags that match my style and price range.
- Lastly, I would receive a personalized email that confirms my appointment along with a coupon based on my buying history and/or loyalty status.
Would this make me feel like a valued customer and increase the likelihood of a purchase? Absolutely, because the retailer has taken the time to deliver a level of service that meets or exceeds my expectations.
So why didn’t I call the store and request an appointment with a personal shopper? As a loyal customer, who is already shopping on their eCommerce site, I want the convenience of staying in the channel I’m already using. I've made my selections online, and I want that information in the hands of the associate so they are prepared when I arrive for my appointment. And from the store associate’s perspective, they have information about my buying history and the brands I like, so they’re in a position to present additional items that might be of interest to me, making it highly likely that I will purchase more than I originally planned.
I don’t want there to be a gap between my online and in-store shopping experience. I want it to be seamless. After all, isn't that what a true unified commerce experience should be?
In the end, luxury retailers have much to gain by serving their customers through each stop in their shopping journey and providing their store associates with a full view into that customer's history and buying journey.
Give your customers an experience worth repeating. Read our customer RIS News report to learn how store associates with access to both online, call center, in-store activity, and customer history will be able to deliver a much more personalized shopping experience that increases sales and improves customer loyalty.