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Make or Break Customer Relationships This Spring Break

Jennifer Polumbo
Solution Manager, Stores and Commerce

I love living in the Northeast but it is that time of year where I am in serious need of sun and beach time. My escape route? Booking a cruise. Next step is a wardrobe review, where I decided some updates are in order before I make my escape to warmer weather. With temperatures still in the 30’s here in the Northeast, there isn’t an abundance of Spring and Summer clothes available in store since there isn’t a demand. This means I needed to let my “Nomad and Dealer” ways take me on a few shopping journeys. Who are the Nomad and Dealer you ask?

What Shopping Type are You?

More than personas, the new shopping types are mindsets most of us switch between depending on what we’re buying, how much time we have, and what we want to spend. (Source: Retail in 4D)

  • There’s the Nomad, the multi-channel, self-propelled shopper;
  • The Player, the avid shopper who is motivated by the latest tech-enabled experience as he is by the products he purchases; and
  • The Dealer, who has a nose for price and is on the hunt for the best bargains and offers.

But even these types aren’t discrete. For me, I like to wander, from smartphone to store, app to social media, making a circuitous journey before every purchase (Nomad).

What also motivates me is the hunt, the thrill of the chase. I am always in search of the best offer, the lowest price, the biggest bargain (Dealer).

In my line of work as a Solution Manager for Stores and Commerce, I will admit that I may have higher expectations than some customers. I know what all the shopping/shipping options are for getting what I want and depending on my needs, that drives where I shop. I will admit that user experience is also a factor. We talk about it all the time, but relationships really do matter. The personalized shopping experiences are key, and I will admit my loyalty is higher when I feel I am important to the retailer. I am not alone in these thoughts either:

(Source: The Loyalty Divide)

Shopping Starts Online

My iPad is where I usually start my shopping journey. In this case I visited the cruise website for the dress code and events, then headed to YouTube. I like to visit brand channels as well as stylists and bloggers’ channels to see what the new trends are since this helps get me out of my comfort zone and try something new. I got my list of must haves together which included: a new bathing suit, a white dress for the White-Hot Party on the ship, and self-tanner (thanks to the white dress). I had expectations in my mind of what my game plan was based on the outcome I wanted for each of these items.  I was ready to start the second leg of my trek, the actual browsing.

Buy Online, Ship to Home, Return in Store

The white dress triggered my “Dealer” behaviors as it isn’t something that I would be getting a lot of wear out of so my goal was to score a low price. I knew that wasn’t going to happen in store so I headed to one of my favorite store’s website to do some investigating. To get a steal, I am willing to give up some services like picking up the items in store, if the returns are easy, in my case that usually means return in store since I get expanded hours to get this done with my crazy schedule. Luckily, they were having a big sale online so I ordered two options and had them shipped to me at home. I will admit a few other things might have jumped into my cart during the search. Those personal recommendations get me every time.

Buy Online, Pick Up In Store

Next leg in the journey was guided by the self-tanner. I wanted to rely on my trusted beauty advisor in store to help with the self-tanner selection as I didn’t want to end up orange or looking like Magda (any Something About Mary fans?). I set up an appointment with my beauty advisor via their online concierge. Since I was going to be making a trip to the store, I decided to look at swimsuit options that I could buy online pick up in store (BOPIS). I prefer a quick grab and go when picking up my items. That said, according to a recent IHL study (BOPIS State of the Industry), where in the store the pickup location is placed makes a huge difference, especially with customers over the age of 55 stating that they will generally not use BOPIS if the store pickup is in the back of the store. But good news is that retailers are listening, since now 80% of the time in the stores IHL studied, the pickup location was in the front of the store.

My shopping journeys will continue once I receive a notification that my order is ready in store.

Exceeding Shopper Expectations

In this increasingly competitive retail environment, shoppers like me expect to be able to order goods in store, or online, and have them delivered wherever they want, whenever they want. And expectations are only set to grow as technology continues to race ahead and connected retail enterprises become the new norm. The Oracle Retail Omnichannel Suite enables 64 different shopper journey combinations to meet the expectations of the Nomad, Dealer, and Player.

See the Oracle Retail Omnichannel Suite in Action

Looking for a deeper dive? Book a Demo.

 

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