The retail landscape is changing at breakneck speed. Customers are setting the tone today, not retailers. To keep up, you need to be on top of your game to notice, understand and respond to rapidly changing consumer behaviour.
It’s also important to note that with the ecommerce revolution, retail is not just a store anymore. Retail is a relationship between the business and the customer. And if you want to succeed in this environment, you need to update and transform your customer engagement practices.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that retail has always been about the customer in some way. But exactly how you should be tracking and adjusting for customers has changed.
Instead of conceptualizing retail as solely centered upon your physical location, you must shift your mindset so that your business is hinged on customer behavior and how you should be catering to it.
For a good customer experience today, you need to offer:
- Products they want
- Knowledgeable employees
- Technology that supports their needs
And as you build out the right processes, keep in mind that you need to go to the customer, not wait for them to come to you. Part of doing this means offering a seamless experience no matter where your customer is, be that in-store, ecommerce or social media.
If you can’t track the changing ways customers shop—from online to off to both, to shifting payment preferences, to changing product tastes, to marketing responsiveness—you’ll find yourself behind the curve, reacting instead of proactively adapting.
That being said, data in and of itself isn’t enough if you can’t act on it in a timely manner. That’s why you also need tools that enable you to not only get to know your customers, but to actually serve them better.
This is where Lightspeed comes in.
Since 2005, Lightspeed, founded in Montreal, has been a valuable point-of-sale and ecommerce software provider that helps retailers understand and connect with the consumer of today.
Lightspeed is more than a POS. It’s the center of a business, online and in store.
The one-stop commerce platform helps merchants simplify, scale and provide exceptional customer experiences. The cloud solution transforms and unifies online and physical operations, multichannel sales, expansion to new locations, global payments, financing, and connection to supplier networks.
Lightspeed’s notable products include Retail POS (for tracking data as sales are made), Advanced Analytics (for interpreting data through customizable reports), and Payments (an integrated system for taking digital and card payments faster).
As the future of retail is being in that relationship constantly with the consumer, tools like what Lightspeed offers are crucial. With Lightspeed, you can maintain and nurture that relationship by tracking, acting, and adjusting to what the consumer is doing.
Take, for example, the age-old question of customer loyalty. You need a way to reinforce loyalty in an era of shifting customer tastes.
Accomplishing this takes more than just a punch card they use in-store. It’s crucial that you be there for your customers across all channels as they shop.
What’s more, different customer segments have varying preferences when it comes to when they’d like to hear from you and what they want to experience.
This is why you need to stay in tune to your customer’s behavior. For instance, if your customers shop more after being engaged on social media, you need to be able to offer rewards for interacting with your brand on social. If you have a high number of seasonal shoppers, you should connect to those shoppers and their unique needs directly.
This is a big ask, especially for small and medium size businesses. Retail giants can track minute changes in customer behavior, and smaller companies might feel like they are at a disadvantage if they’re not up to speed with the new tools they can use to track consumer spending.
If you are an SMB, you might feel discouraged—but you don’t have to be. The solutions you need to be successful are more affordable and accessible than you think.
Lightspeed is the great equalizer. Some of retail’s biggest players invested millions to develop their own technologies. As a small or medium retailer, you don’t need all of that to level the playing field. Thanks to Lightspeed, you can easily access tools to help you compete.
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