DeAnn Campbell and Larry Leung launch Retail Mashup in October 2022 to discuss customer experience (CX) triumphs, failures, and journeys in between. With the focus in the retail industry, there are stories waiting to be discovered, curated, and showcased. This insight showcases the key highlights from the first 90 days of the content portal.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Retail Mashup
Retail Mashup blasted off three months ago with a post called Launching Retail Mashup To The Masses. DeAnn and Larry set up out to create this content portal to mash up our perspectives in CX design/strategy and the retail industry.
Our most popular posts this year are:
Launching Retail Mashup To The Masses – Insight
Our readers like these posts as they reflect current trends like navigating around Twitter as a brand, managing winter storms through refined customer experiences, and building a brand identity through authenticity.
While CX has always played a role in the retail industry, many brands are just exploring how to incorproate the process throughout the entire customer journey.
Worldwide Semiannual Customer Experience Spending Guide noted that companies are focusing on meeting customer expectations by focusing on implementing a differentiated customer experience. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects CX spending to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period, reaching US$641 billion in 2022 worldwide.
More than 10% of that spending will be on customer experience related technologies (US$56.7 billion) with digital marketing, AI-driven engagement, and order fulfillment being the top three business cases. When it comes to services and information technologies, many brands are spending money on implementing or upgrading their customer relationship management (CRM) and content applications to personalize and drive engagement.
The United States, Western Europe, and China are the top three geographic regions with the highest CX spending. These regions have seen increased spending on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and WeChat.
CGS reported in 2022 that 45% of companies in its survey are experiencing skills/labor shortages which leads to lower customer service quality overall. Additionally, 50% of US-based consumers say they prioritize customer service as a factor to purchase products/services with a brand. 30% of them are willing to pay more money for excellent service and value helpful empathetic customer service agents.
Depending on the brands, CGS also noted the consumers surveyed chose phone calls over emails or online chats as the number one method to engage with a brand over customer service matters. However, 94% of them expect customer support to become more technologically advanced.
Key 2022 Highlights
Retail Mashup reviewed many blogs, news outlets, and videos and noted the folllowing key customer experience highlights for 2022:
Kiosks – Supermarkets, movie theaters, fast food restaurants, airlines, and hotels are just some of the market segments introducing or expanding the use of kiosks to drive self-service initiatives. This push on technology has varied receptions ranging from excitement over efficiency gains to disappointment in the over-complicated user interface. Many brands receive poor customer feedback on the user interface, confusing payment options, and a lack of in-person support.
Retail Mashup created a poll on this topic. Have Your Say!
Data – When you open job sites like Monster or LinkedIn, you will find many jobs with responsibilities to build, analyze, and manage data sets. Many brands continue to experience challenges in making sense of the customer data gathered from transactions, direct input, and third parties. Without a system mapping of how different data sources contribute to the CX journey and related revenue, it will be hard press for brands to design new personalized experiences focusing on specific customer expectations and needs.
While many brands speak about artificial intelligence and machine learning, not many are using these concepts to generate meaningful portraits of specific customers or customer segments. Many neglects using simple techniques to drive high engagement. For example, brands collect birth date data from existing and future customers. Many do not use this data to appropriately engage customers on a timely basis.
Retail Mashup created a poll on this topic. Have Your Say!
Feedback – 2022 marks the year where feedback takes a new role of enforcer. Customers are more vocal than ever through social media posts, video testimonials, and written forms. Brands ignoring feedback can experience immediate negative reputational and financial implications. For example, we discussed in a recent podcast episode called Brand Identity For The Better Part 2 where fashion brand, Balenciaga, needed to quickly address backlash from the retail and fashion committee over inappropriate marketing photographs.
Many brands focus their attention on collecting customer feedback data after product/service purchases. While those inputs can contribute to the discussion on product/service quality, useability, and overall value, brands are significantly better off building out the feedback pipeline to include touchpoints such as initial engagement, acquisition touchpoints, and continuous expectation monitoring. Retail Mashup will spend more time discussing how brands can design, implement, and maintain an overall feedback pipeline in future insights and podcasts.
Over the first 90 days, Retail Mashup takes the audience on a new journey to discover what is possible with customer experience in the retail industry. 2022 is a pivotal year for brands to organize and define their customer experience strategies and team as part of the pandemic recovery process. With the right team in place, many of them will embark on building and refining their customer experience processes. We will be right there to report their progress, successes, and challenges.