Consumers are Value-driven - Retailers Should Be Data-driven
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Consumers are Value-driven - Retailers Should Be Data-driven

By Bettina Thorkelin, Regional Director Nordic, Omni-channel, Valitor

Bettina Thorkelin, Regional Director Nordic, Omni-channel, Valitor

The retail experience does not end the moment a customer pays for a product. People demand clear returns, refunds, or ­exchanges ­process. What retailers do not ­recognize is the impact of a poor after payment experience; it will result in them losing ­customers, loyalty, and ultimately, ­profitability.

Every retailer, whether online or offline, claims to focus on customer satisfaction, the customer is king—they say. While this is true, a lot has happened to the way ­retailers seek to satisfy customers. Expectations have changed and customers now want a consistent user experience across every touchpoint—before, during, and after payment.

"A 360-degree view of customer behavior offers an invaluable asset for the retailer to carve out a distinct voice and purpose across all the channels that consumers use to browse, shop, and return"

Online commerce, changing consumption patterns, and fierce competition from global big tech companies are shaping today’s consumers, as we know him or her.

Consumers have become much more demanding, and their expectations of retailers and the shopping experience they deliver are at an all-time high. Today, consumers investigate the product thoroughly before purchasing or ordering it. On top of that, they expect retailers to understand their needs even before they enter the store.

According to a report conducted by Valitor, a ­majority of consumers—especially the new generation Z from age 18 to 25—are willing to sharing data on how, when, and where they made a purchase. The younger generation makes it clear that they expect the same great experience both in the store and online.

Retailers must understand their customers to offer personalized communications and experiences so that shoppers feel valued rather than bombarded. A 360-degree view of customer behavior offers an invaluable asset for the retailer to carve out a distinct voice and purpose across all the channels that consumers use to browse, shop, and return.

In other words; consumers are value-driven—retailers should be data- and experience-driven. One option to implement here is an omni-channel payment solution that provides insights into shopper transactions across multiple channels. By understanding ­where and when a shopper makes repeated ­purchases, a retailer can deliver relevant and personalized offers.

One token to rule them all

While the customer is still king, the critical factor in appealing to the younger generation of clientele has changed. As behavior-changing technologies arise and grow, so does the challenge and complexity for merchants as they try to retain their position and purpose in the market.

When it comes to payment solutions, Europe is fragmented with diverse payment methods and many European merchants must deal with these different providers. The Nordic region is much more digital than the rest of Europe. Customers in Denmark, use MobilePay, the Norwegian consumers use something different, and German users use yet another solution.

Merchants have to implement multiple payment methods in different countries to cater to the preferences of the local market. It is no big challenge for retail incumbents like Amazon, Zalando, or Walmart, but Valitor’s solution gives retailers of any size the ammunition to fight back against increasingly fierce competition across every channel. Through cross channel tokenisation, we can track and convert data from transactions into actionable ­insights, fostering more personalization, better ­service delivery, and boosted customer experience. When somebody uses their credit card in Denmark or Iceland to buy something in a webshop, the Valitor solution ensures that the purchase is mapped to an individual ­token so that merchants can identify the shopper across all the channels and make smart and personal decisions.

Valitor simplifies the complexities of managing ­multiple systems in multiple geographies to deliver best in class customer experiences. Payments are ­intrinsic when considering how to navigate the challenges of the modern-day retail landscape and honing the capability to make multiple platforms work together is a massive win for retailers.

Loyalty in return

Valitor discovered that more than 60 percent of consumers wish for a long-term relationship with a merchant they feel connected to and valued by, but will not hesitate to share negative reviews if they feel badly treated. Strict and complicated return policies primarily annoy consumers. Many retailers struggle to recognize a consumer and handle the return automatically. But, now with Valitor’s tokenized solution, the consumer can buy a product in Iceland and return it in Denmark because the ­merchant has the opportunity to recognize the consumer.

While the revenue generation continues to rise from online commerce, physical stores are struggling to keep up with them. Physical stores are not rightly playing their ­experiential strengths and in the face of fierce ­competition and pricing wars, the retail landscape is predicted to get even more difficult.

The high street will not be extinct in a couple of years, but the consumers may demand the need to feel and experience products and brands in the future “high street”. Likewise, physical stores will become experience and convenience centers to project all the values and services that retailers want their everyday shoppers to enjoy and regularly use.

Much indicates that physical stores must get used to a new reality in the future—an omni-channel one. Retailers must leverage data from all channels to glean deeper understanding of customer behavior and ultimately boost sales through perfectly curated shopping experiences, by adding applications and services that support the purchasing experience consumers know.

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