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Are retailers failing to unlock the value of digital experiences?

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A study recently revealed that large numbers of businesses in Europe are not taking the necessary steps to unlock the value and opportunities provided by their customers’ digital experiences.

Only 33% of business executives believe their customers’ digital experience could qualify as “high quality” with just 3% believing that it is “excellent”.

Ben Pring, Co-director of Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work said: “As consumers become more demanding and their shopping habits evolve, retailers should look more closely at how technology can better support their business. Disruptive digital technologies, such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) as well as sensors, are already becoming mainstream. House of Fraser’s introduction of beacon-equipped mannequins and the unveiling of Apple Pay, for example, focus on tailoring the in-store experience and making it more convenient for consumers. This type of digital development is fantastic to see as it could really impact a business’ bottom line:  by offering customers ways to keep them engaged and encouraging purchasing loyalty, data will be generated leading to hugely valuable insights.”

However, many retailers are running the risk of being left behind by failing to react to the evolving market.

“The right digital experience can reveal what their customers are interested in, what products they like and even predict future preferences,” explains Pring. “Companies should turn to the digital information that surrounds each customer, organisation and device – what we call Code Halos. Currently only 24% claim to be effective at collecting and using digital customer data, meaning many are missing out on a huge opportunity to refine their products and services in line with customer preferences. By tapping into this data and analysing it, companies can understand their customers better, react faster when needed and anticipate new requirements to drive future growth strategies, both in-store and online.”

For retailers, increased consumer confidence and the opportunity to drive profits through innovation are set to make 2015 an interesting and highly competitive year. Ensuring customers have a high quality digital experience will be central to unlocking new opportunities. Retailers must move quickly, or risk being left behind.  

Published on Friday 01 May by Veebs Sabharwal

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