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Consumers have more information and choice than ever. That’s why shopping experiences provide an opportunity to differentiate and delight customers – rather than competing on cost alone.
The digital shopping revolution has given us access to companies and information that was unimaginable two decades ago – and it has raised our expectations of bricks-and-mortar retailers in the process.
79% of customers will take their business elsewhere after experiencing poor customer service, while 70% expect their store staff to know the items they have in their online shopping cart. A seamless, personalised shopping experience across channels is now an expectation.
But store staff find themselves struggling to rise to the challenge of delivering best-in-class service without access to the right digital tools. Which may explain why 83% of shoppers believe they’re more informed than store associates.
So how can retailers equip store staff with what they need to succeed, win share of wallet and grow customer lifetime value? Let’s take a look at what some of Microsoft’s retail customers are doing today: from using intelligent bots to wowing customers with mixed reality.
Savvy business leaders know that connecting and empowering ‘Firstline Workers’ – those employees who are the ‘face of a company’ and lead customer engagements – is a key part of creating the intelligent, personalised shopping experience that modern consumers expect.
Dixons Carphone is using intelligent bots to pull up a customer’s ‘Wishlist’ to identify what they’re looking for. Store staff can then direct them to those products or related upsell products.
“We’re trying to give our customers a consistent, world-class experience across all the channels they use to interact with us,” says Antonia Colin-Jones, Strategic Partnership Program Manager at Dixons Carphone.
Meanwhile, G&J Pepsi Co. is using digital technology to create a data-feedback loop between its field and corporate teams. This makes corporate more accountable for providing field teams with support, as well as highlighting insights the entire organisation can tap into.
Home retailers like Lowe’s are using mixed reality to bring customer designs to life and create an in-store shopping ‘wow effect’, as well as helping them feel more confident about their customisation plans.
“This takes the uncertainty out of the home renovation process,” says Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “With these visual cues, we can focus in to what a customer really wants.” To scale this solution to more locations, store staff will be trained on handling HoloLens units, along with leading mixed-reality experiences.
While digital transformation looks different at each of these customer organisations, store staff are the common denominator.
Microsoft 365 F1 is a complete, intelligent and secure solution that connects Firstline Workers to the rest of the organisation, empowering them to manage their workday effectively – from anywhere.