Realigning CX for Purpose-Driven Hybrid Shoppers

Realigning CX for Purpose-Driven Hybrid Shoppers

Published 08/11/23 under:

Today’s hyperconnected consumers design their own shopping journeys – seamlessly  combining digital touchpoints and store visits – with purchasing decisions guided by personal beliefs and values. The retailers getting this right are working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to re-imagine the customer and employee experience. 

These topics took centre stage at the Kerv Experience Retail CX event held in London’s iconic Beefeater Gin Distillery. Read on to get big insights and takeaways. 

The hybrid retail model has well and truly arrived 

Kerv CX consultant, Paul Cox set the scene by outlining the challenging battleground retailers now find themselves in. One where consumers mix traditional bricks-and-mortar retail and e-commerce channels without batting an eyelid. Only last year a survey[1] confirmed that 51% of shoppers checked product availability online first, with 37% ordering online before picking-up at the store. Once there, a surprising 19% of hybrid shoppers made an additional purchase. 

That doesn’t mean physical shopping is about to be replaced. Many customers simply don’t want to trade the in-store experience for a fully digital one. They may prefer personal service or being able to view and touch products before making a purchase. So instead of going all-in, customers are using the digital experience to enhance their in-store experience, and vice versa. 

Naturally, propensity towards hybrid shopping tends to vary by generation (ranging from 36% for Gen Z to 18% among Baby Boomers) 2 and at different stages of the buying process: 

Source: IBM Institute for Business Value Survey of 19,000 respondents across 28 countries (2022)

Social media (asking friends, checking ads and reviews, and so on) and omni-channel interactions (communicating directly with the retailer) being number one choices when researching and comparing options. 

Buying behaviour is more purpose-driven 

The same IBM survey found that 44% of consumers made purchase decisions based around factors like social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and ethical business practices. Surpassing traditional perceptions such as value (37%) and brand (15%). 

Major brands aligning themselves with causes is nothing new. However, retailers must be able to deal with the fallout. Whenever customers show up – in-store or online – they want to speak with knowledgeable employees who can provide advice and answer concerns on the spot. Otherwise, they’re likely to abandon baskets and go elsewhere. 

How emerging contact centre technology can help 

Previously, creating a scalable 24/7 pool of contact centre experts with such highly detailed product knowledge has been largely out-of-reach, especially for global retailers covering multiple languages.  

With advances in digital and AI technology that’s no longer the case. All-in-one contact centre platforms like Genesys Cloud CX allow retailers to quickly turn on new capabilities for managing purpose-driven hybrid shopping journeys. 

Nick Wingrove, VP for Solutions Consulting at Genesys brought that to life, aided by live on-screen demos performed by Kerv specialist Dimitri Spiropoulos. Examples of AI-powered and integrated retail solutions now available included: 

  • Making it easier to find answers
  • Supporting from anywhere
  • Seeing into and fixing broken journeys
  • Predicting intent
  • Making smarter handling decisions
  • Optimise reporting

Digital and AI transformation in action 

With over 300 stores worldwide, a final presenter described their digital and AI retail journey. Unplanned downtime, poor call quality and lack of tracking were just some of the issues previously dragging down the customer and employee experience.  

An extensive eight-month evaluation of 50-plus vendor offerings followed before deciding to partner with Kerv Experience and Genesys. Top reasons being 24/7 technical support and strong commitment from Kerv, to build a long-term relationship coupled with Genesys Cloud CX weekly product updates. 

Operating around-the-clock six days a week, the contact centre is transforming employee engagement, service efficiency, and customer satisfaction (CSAT). User training and focus groups with advisors helped ensure a smooth transition.  

The speaker’s Genesys Cloud CX platform has been running with zero downtime for 12 months and leverages capabilities such as Predictive Engagement, Agent Assist, Web Messaging and Workforce Engagement Management with gamification. 

Before, the contact centre employed around 110 advisors, a figure now reduced to 50 with digital and AI tools doing much of the heavy lifting. Other benefits included a 2% rise in CSAT scores with significant uplifts to Trustpilot (4.6 out of 5.0) and Yotpo (4.26 out of 5) star ratings. Coupled with increased deflection and self-service, this also contributed to a 4% fall in staff attrition rates.  

Click here to learn more about Kerv digital and AI retail solutions. 

[1] IBM Institute for Business Value Survey of 19,000 respondents across 28 countries (2022)

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