In contrast to online retail, the customer journey in stationary retail is difficult to map and involves a great amount of effort. The buying behavior of customers changed significantly as a result of developments in e-commerce and online retailing as well as Retail 4.0. As a result, questions are being asked, especially in stationary retail, about what the customer actually expects and what the optimal experience for the customer in stationary retail looks like. One of the most important factors in stationary retail is trust. This is how retailers can stand out with a personal touch in times of Amazon and Co.
- The buying behavior of customers has changed significantly due to e-commerce and retail 4.0
- One of the most important factors in stationary retail is trust
- The customer journey includes all touchpoints with the respective product, brand or service
- The aim of the customer journey is to map the entire customer experience
- Needs and expectations are determined and the customer experience is optimized
- The customer must have the right communication channel at the right place and at the right time
- Omni-channel retailing for a consistent buying experience
- Customer experience in focus in brick-and-mortar retail
- Customer proximity and personality are the greatest advantages of stationary retail
A simple explanation of the customer journey
The term customer journey comes from marketing and describes the journey of a customer from the first contact to the purchase of a product and even beyond. During the customer’s journey, the customer journey takes into account all of the customer’s touchpoints with the respective brand, product or service. The development and visualization of a customer journey in stationary retail can be very time-consuming and tedious because there can sometimes be several hundred touchpoints before a customer makes a purchase or any other final action. However, the development of a customer journey in brick-and-mortar retail is very valuable and ultimately reflects the behavior of customers, making it possible to understand them better and thereby increase the company’s success in the long term.
Different customer journey models
There are various models of the customer journey, but what they all have in common is that they are divided into different phases. A customer journey usually consists of four to five phases. This is based on the assumption that the customer does not decide to make a purchase immediately after the first touchpoint. This assumption applies in particular to high-priced products or special services. Two models of the customer journey at a glance:
The classic customer journey (five different phases):
- Awareness / Attention: Interest is aroused
- Consideration / weighing up / obtaining information: The interest is specified
- Conversion / Purchase: The purchase decision is made
- Retention: The first experience values are collected
- Advocacy: The experience is shared with others
The customer journey based on the AIDA model:
- Attention / Information
- Interest / Spezifikation
- Desire / Anbieterselektion
- Action / Anbieterauswahl
Goal of the customer journey
The customer journey aims to map customer behavior patterns and the entire customer experience. This makes customer preferences and motives clear. With the help of the customer journey in stationary retail, the needs and expectations of customers can be met better and the customer experience can be significantly optimized, so that the success of the company increases. Ultimately, the customer should get the perfect communication channel at the right time in the right place. The results and insights from the customer journey in stationary retail ensure a satisfactory customer experience and increased customer satisfaction.
Customer Journey in Stationary Retail: how ecommerce has changed buying behavior
Nowadays, customers first become aware of products and services on the Internet, search for them on their desktop PC, or compare prices on their smartphone before going to the local store. This all happens within a single continuous customer journey in stationary retail and is made possible by omnichannel retailing. Omni-channel retailing brings together the retailer’s various channels and enables a uniform shopping experience.
E-commerce has had a significant influence on customer purchasing behavior over the past few years and has thereby also changed the customer journey in brick-and-mortar retail. The “Moments of Truth” model, which consists of Stimulus, First Moment of Truth and Second Moment of Truth, had to be supplemented with the Third Moment of Truth. The research phase is referred to as the zero moment of truth and the phase after the purchase experience, in the form of ratings or comments, as the third moment of truth. People are now even talking about the Ultimate Moment of Truth when products or services are shared on social media. These can then in turn become zero moments of truth for other users. What is the last touchpoint of the customer journey in stationary retail for one customer can be the first touchpoint for the next customer.
Retail 4.0 – Focus is on the customer
Differentiating products and services from the competition is becoming increasingly difficult in the digital age. This is particularly the case in saturated markets where the differences in the quality of products and services can hardly be identified. Therefore, other ways must be found to set oneself apart from the competition. The customer experience plays a major role in this. The digitization of the shop, agile processes, the correct use of employees and contactless technologies play a decisive role here. For example, WiFi should be a matter of course in retail stores, digitization has made it easier than ever for employees to work quickly and agilely, and contactless payment or self-service checkouts are a very clear advantage in times of Corona. A CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System) can help to keep an overview of marketing, sales and support.
Stationary Trade: trust is everything
A study by Uberall (conducted in September 2021 on behalf of TapResearch) shows that two-thirds of all customers trust brick-and-mortar retailers more than online shops. In addition, trust in the company they buy from is very important to customers (around 89 percent). They rely on recommendations, online reviews, as well as satisfaction guarantees and local proximity. In addition, most customers in Germany (87 percent) regularly research the Internet before buying products or services.
Personality and customer proximity for a better customer experience
Customers in Germany expect a practical, trustworthy and personal customer experience. The proximity of the offer also plays an important role. Customers want social interaction and competent customer service both in-store and online. Personal and customer-oriented communication is decisive for whether customers are satisfied with their shopping experience and come back or prefer to switch to the competition.
52 percent of all respondents name friendly and helpful employees as decisive factors for a good customer journey and around 46 percent expect reasonable prices. Furthermore, quick answers to questions (40 percent) and easy contact (38 percent) are essential factors for a good customer journey.
Large companies are making more and more effort to meet their customers personally and to be approachable. In this way, customers are greeted courteously at the entrance and if it takes too long, any waiting times are excused. The companies that manage to create an inviting environment and at the same time ensure a unique experience are successful.