Editor’s Note: E-commerce, mobile commerce and quick commerce are blending together more than ever before. Modern customers expect to move from online to in-store seamlessly, and they expect customer service to keep up with them as they make those moves. In the eyes of the customer, especially those in the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts, it’s the responsibility of companies they patronize to understand their particular needs—or else they’ll be happy to take their business to more attentive competitors. Providing an agile and fully staffed customer service contact center is crucial to modern customer satisfaction.
When it comes to delivering winning customer experience to today’s consumers, brands need to streamline their focus and deliver on their promise of seamless CX in a channel-less world. Mobile is the glue between the digital and physical universe. Determine what your metaverse looks like.
For the responsible consumer of today, “wanting it all” means the trend for collaborative consumption is more pronounced. 70% of under-45s claim that a company’s ethics and morals play an active role in their purchasing decisions, with the sharing economy shaped by this mindset that’s attuned to environmental issues and maximizing existing resources.
Smart retailers therefore need to learn how to exploit the sharing economy to their benefit. For example, the Marks and Spencer–Oxfam Shwopping partnership began in 2008 as an easy way to give unwanted clothes a second life. With over 28 million garments donated thus far, this is now worth an estimated $24.7 million and a clear example of collaborative consumption in action as channel takes to the seat and seamless experience takes a stand.
The blurred line between online and offline further disappears as new market entrants typically start online, moving into the physical space with pop-ups and networks of collection or showcase stores as awareness and demand increases.
This means pure-play online retailers will continue to develop physical presences to enhance fulfilment and customer service for multi-brand sellers. This is especially important in a time where customers are pivoting to online fulfilment services.
But emphasis will shift from take-home transactions to building brand awareness through smaller store formats and event-driven pop-ups, which will occupy more desirable locations to satisfy manufacturers’ demands for reach and impact.
Q-commerce: The partnership opportunity of the fragmented physical footprint
That demand for large-footprint physical retail space will fall further as the need to keep complete inventories in stock at every store diminishes, due to improved logistics built around online delivery and quick commerce (q-commerce).
Millennials’ demand for instant gratification is driving the $25 billion q-commerce industry. Amplified by learned consumer behaviors during the pandemic, it is forecast to almost triple to $72 billion by 2025.
It is essentially the latest iteration of e-commerce, as quick commerce has a strong online component but often requires physical fulfilment. This sees retail space turned into mini depots, resulting in new partnerships between third-party delivery platforms that want to offer customers more choice and physical retailers that can’t afford the costs of last-mile delivery.
M-commerce: Mobile is the glue between the digital and physical universe
This trend towards speed is the driving force behind retailers optimizing their sites for mobile shopping, turning the smartphone into a platform that supports the whole shopping journey. With 73% of the dollars spent on online purchases today through mobile devices, mobile-enabled loyalty programs are also set to become the norm.
Done right, m-commerce delivers instant gratification and exceptional user experience to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It provides levels of interactivity and engagement that traditional programs cannot match, with 63% of smartphone users claiming they are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps offer them relevant recommendations on products they may be interested in.
The popularity of q-commerce and m-commerce also points to the rise of the curated, contextually relevant shopping experiences. As the range and depth of data continues to proliferate and enable an increasingly rich view of the consumer-shopper journey, 66% of customers now expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
The evolution of predictive analytics will further assist retailers in determining consumers’ likely future actions and needs, supported by next-generation digital assistants to ensure a next-level, personalized and curated shopping experience.
The space between online and offline: What does your metaverse look like?
Brands also need to consider the interplay of the virtual world and real world in the metaverse. An extension of the “channel-less” space between online and offline, experts suggest it could be worth as much as $800 billion by 2024, which is why 70% of major brands will have a presence in the metaverse in the next five years. Some companies are already looking at the possibility of creating shopping centers, boutiques and virtual shops where avatars buy NFT products and pay in cryptocurrencies.
This shift towards all things digital extends beyond increased quantity, as there have also been increases in frequency of visits and time spent on these channels, with a stronger focus on customer experience and pressure on brands to not only deliver on but also exceed shoppers’ increased expectations in 2022.
Explore how Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) from Windstream Enterprise can be your omnichannel customer care solution.
This article was written by Andrew Wiseman from Bizcommunity.com and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.