Unique experiences key for modern shoppers

February 17, 2016 by Cristy Burne, Sciencenetwork Wa, Science Network WA
Unique experiences key for modern shoppers
By encouraging customers to co-create their retail experience research indicates retailers can better influence customer behaviours, such as stickiness or loyalty to a particular store or SRT. Credit: iStock

Why ask customers to build their own burger? Or design their own shoes?

Modern day customers are no longer happy to simply purchase a product or service, Curtin University researcher Dr Alisha Stein says; they're looking for a unique and memorable experience as part of their shopping journey.

UWA Associate Professor Sanjit Roy agrees, suggesting the rise of the Internet of Things is driving the use of smart retail technologies (SRT) such as touch screen kiosks, hands-free scanning, shopping assistant systems and mobile solutions to facilitate new retail experiences.

"We call this 'smart retail'," A/Prof Roy says.

A prime example is Australia's fast food industry.

"McDonalds customers use interactive displays in the store to build their own burger and salads…Domino's customers can utilise mobile platforms and web to customise their own pizza," he says.

Australian company Shoes of Prey even allow customers to design their own shoes using mobile and web interactive technologies, he says.

By encouraging customers to co-create their retail experience research indicates retailers can better influence customer behaviours, such as stickiness or loyalty to a particular store or SRT.

Seven types of customer interaction

But before retailers can co-create a customer experience, they need to spend some time "in their customer's shoes," Dr Stein says.

To better understand how customers navigate each individual retail journey, Dr Stein set out to deconstruct shoppers' opinions of a recent online or in-store retail experience.

Dr Stein gathered qualitative data from a diversity of shoppers using the sequential incident technique, which encourages interviewees to retell an event in their own time and words

She found despite the diversity of , each customer experience was comprised of seven shared types of interaction including physical characteristics like a shop's décor or a website's layout (atmospheric).

Other times of interaction included one-way promotion or advertising campaigns (communicative); employee–customer interaction (direct and indirect); any direct customer interaction with technology related to the retailer (technological); customer-customer interactions and product interactions.

Dr Stein says her research provides retailers with a specific list of touch points—or instances of interacting with a customer—that managers can focus on to better manage their time.

"This is really a diagnostic tool that retailers can use to map and improve their customer's experience," Dr Stein says.

Explore further: 50 percent of retail will be automated by 2020

More information: Alisha Stein et al. Towards the identification of customer experience touch point elements, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.12.001

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.