A Friction-free Customer Experience

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday by the numbers

Traditionally two of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, November 24th and 26th, did not disappoint in 2017. Shoppers opened their wallets, setting records in online purchases while also hitting the malls in a big way.

As reported in USA Today, shoppers spent $5.03 billion on Black Friday, 16.9% more than on that day in 2016, and a new record, according to Adobe Analytics. Cyber Monday was also a good day for businesses across the country. In fact, Adobe Analytics ranks it as the largest online shopping day in history, with consumers spending more than $6.59 billion online Monday — about $1-billion more than last year, as reported by NBC.

So what do these numbers vis-à-vis in-store vs. online shopping mean for retailers? No data scientist needed for this one. Today's consumers demand both; moreover, they expect nothing less than a personalized, effortless, and enjoyable experience across all channels and touch points — and, of course, the very best value.

In essence, consumer behavior during the Black Friday-through-Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza illustrates what consumers want from their daily shopping experience, namely, satisfaction.

’Tis the season for learning what customers want

While there is much debate on the holiday shopping season's waxing or waning importance for retailers, what cannot be denied is that, today, the spike in shopping from November through December provides retailers with a valuable widow through which much can be learned about shifting consumer behavior and shopping trends.

Clearly, consumer expectations have risen sharply over the past several years. The status quo is no longer sufficient. Consumers crave immersion in their world, not the world as defined by traditional retail. They want to participate with a brand that knows them, shares their values, and makes transacting business a natural activity, one that is as engaging as it is helpful, as enjoyable as it is practical, as honest and safe as it is easy, memorable and fun. Consumers crave interactions with retailers that are both effortless and satisfying.

To remain relevant retailers must successfully navigate today's digital world and demanding consumers. RFID, IoT, unified commerce, mobile payments, mobile clienting, beacon technology, digital displays, home delivery, in-store pickup and real-time analytics are just a sample of innovative technologies and processes retailers are investing in. But one-off projects amount to little more than paying lip service to customer-centricity. In the end, only seamless integration of myriad technologies — connecting core systems to all customer touch points — will have a lasting and positive impact on the shopping experience and, ultimately, a retailer's success.

Retailers who fail to provide a personalized, unified, friction-free experience that presents the right product at the right price through the right channel at the right time are not long for this world.

Here’s just a small sample of the high price you’ll pay for a bad customer experience:

  • 47% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service (24/7)
  • 60% of consumers have not completed an intended purchase based on a poor customer service experience. (BI Intelligence)
  • It takes 12 positive customer experiences to negate the poor impression left behind from one unresolved, bad experience (BI Intelligence)
  • Only 15% of shoppers would give a brand or product a second chance after a poor experience (InReality)
  • Only 27% of shoppers would give a physical store a second chance after a poor interaction (InReality)

SAP Hybris and NTT DATA – the dynamic duo to retailers’ rescue

SAP Hybris solutions provide omnichannel customer engagement and commerce software that allows organizations to build up a contextual understanding of their customers in real time, deliver a more impactful, relevant customer experience, and sell more goods, services and digital content across every touch point, channel and device. Through customer data management, context-driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes, SAP Hybris solutions have helped some of the world’s leading organizations to attract, retain and grow a profitable customer base.

Over a three-year period, businesses that implement SAP Hybris’ cloud solutions for sales and service can realize gains in productivity, increased deal sizes, and a positive return on investment (ROI), according to studies conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by SAP Hybris.

The combination of the SAP Hybris platform, along with the integration of additional SAP applications (such as SAP Sales Insights for Retail, SAP Net Margin Analysis, SAP mobile solutions, the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform and other Business Suite applications), provides SAP customers a significant, sustainable competitive advantage in delivering new levels of personalized customer engagements and new opportunities for additional, unified commerce offerings that are both compelling and timely.

For our part, to help you better understand the challenges your customers face when doing business with your organization, NTT DATA offers a comprehensive Customer Friction FactorSM (CFFSM) service. Our CFF service takes a 360° view of the customer journey and, in a matter of weeks, provides detailed insight into interactions that negatively impact your customer’s experience. We also provide comparisons against your competitors and identify actionable opportunities to reduce customer friction and increase customer loyalty.

In addition, NTT DATA’s has earned distinction for helping retailers advance business with SAP and SAP Hybris solutions:

  • 2017 SAP Pinnacle Award Finalist for "SAP Hybris Partner of the Year - Small and Midsize Companies.”
  • 2017 SAP Hybris Global General Business Partner of the Year
  • 2017 SAP Hybris Partner for the Year Finalist in Asia Pacific and EMEA.
  • Leader in IDC’s MarketScape for Worldwide Omni-Channel Engagement IT Services, 2017

Contact NTT DATA today for expert help in providing your customers a first-rate, friction-free experience.

Post Date: 12/8/2017

Tim Clark - NTT DATA Tim Clark

About the author

Tim is a Vice-President with NTT DATA with responsibility for SAP Consulting and the global HANA COE. He has 20+ years of experience in the SAP space with a focus on leading large scale global transformation programs and outsourcing engagements. He has worked across 30+ countries and a variety of industries, including Wholesale Distribution, Semiconductors, Building Materials, Consumer Products and Oil Field Services. Previously, Tim was a Vice-President at Neoris/CEMEX and a Partner at Accenture.

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