Report: Consumer expectations vs brand readiness
According to our new research, 53% of UK businesses believe that peak holiday retail sales periods are ‘make or break’. If that’s the case, optimising your conversions during this time is critical. To help you out, we spoke to Nicholas Kontopoulos, Regional Head of Growth Marketing at Adobe . The following article outlines his advice alongside that of Martine de Visscher, VP of Product Mid-Market at Adyen.
Consumer habits and attitudes are changing in ways many retailers weren’t expecting. According to Adobe’s 2021 Digital Trends: Experience Index report, 50% found that existing customers were demonstrating new buying behaviours. Loyalty is fragile. Convenience reigns. Retailers are discovering whole swathes of new customers as shoppers move online.
But what’s really changed is the death of the channel.
“Having an omnichannel strategy is becoming critical as consumer demand shifts," says Nicholas. "Customers no longer follow a linear customer journey, with linear touch points, but operate dynamically in how they go about discovering solutions to a problem they are looking to solve.”
So, it’s important to consider the cumulative experience you are offering. Do all your touchpoints and channels contribute to a more dynamic customer journey? If the experience isn’t seamless, personalised, and consistent, it’s all too easy to go elsewhere.
“Retailers need to prepare for anything and everything, both online and offline,” says Nicholas. “If your stores are unable to open, your online channels must be ready to accept increased sales season volumes.”
“From a consistent and speedy checkout experience for customers to shopper authentication and fraud prevention, the state of your payments setup can be incredibly influential during sales season.”
Payments will play a key role in your’ ability to adapt and scale, especially during the mad rush of the retail holiday sales season.
“Being able to offer frictionless shopping experiences such as Buy Online, Pick Up In Store or endless aisles will be necessary to provide convenience to the consumers that are entering this holiday period with a different mindset,” says Martine.
A single channel approach won’t suffice. Nor will applying the same strategy across different markets. The type of social activity, attitudes, and interests can vary wildly between regions.
“Keep up with social shopping trends in each individual market,” says Nicholas. “This will allow you to create targeted messages, amplify your campaigns and boost holiday sales. By using deep conversational insights, you can ensure your next holiday campaigns resonate with your audience.”
"This is another area where payments can help," says Martine. "When done right, your payments setup has the potential to unlock a wealth of untapped data insights, with which you can power an even stronger customer experience."
Thanks to the capabilities of Adobe Commerce and Adyen, French luxury brand Zadig&Voltaire has accelerated its international expansion. It has strengthened its ecommerce capabilities and localised payment methods to suit target markets.
With a two-step checkout system, Zadig&Voltaire was also able to decrease cart abandonment, increasing conversion rates by 72% on mobile.
"What often gets overlooked are things like payments, things like shipping," says Nicholas, "and these areas are absolutely critical in terms of the customer experience."
“As a customer, maybe you're not consciously thinking ‘This is an amazing payment gateway,’ but the role payments plays is really critical. It all comes back to those key moments of truth for the customer and understanding what those are.”
“Ensure the systems that power your commerce channels are integrated, so your company has visibility across multiple channels, over the entire consumer shopping journey,” says Nicholas.
“Unifying your payments across all channels creates a more seamless, consistent customer experience - think saved payments preferences and card authentication. But it also gives you a wealth of data insights and a holistic view of your customers’ behaviours and preferences,” she says.
You can use this data to inform your holiday sales preparation, from optimising online promotions and loyalty programs, to improving personalisation, and adapting to suit different markets.
With consolidated payments data, Zadig&Voltaire benefits from a 360° view of its customers. This allows the retailer to unify and personalise its customer journey, offer services such as buy online, return in store, and easily launch products at the same time across every channel.
Of course, any captured data must be protected, secure, and PCI compliant, which is where strategic partnerships can play a key role in your business.
“Security of information when making payments is absolutely critical to customers and businesses alike,” says Nicholas. “Which is why having such great partners like Adyen in our ecosystem is such a critical component of our own go-to-market, and how we engage our customers.
“It’s really important to make sure that the people you're partnering with, who form part of your customer experience ecosystem, are really considered in terms of the role that they're going to play.”
A new playing field means new opportunities. And what better time to capitalise on those opportunities than the big leagues: the highly-anticipated holiday retail sales season? It’s a chance to consolidate the lessons from the last two years, refine your strategy, and hit it out of the proverbial retail park.
This is your moment of truth: now is the time to prepare and optimise. To help you get started, Nicholas and Martine have provided an additional checkout optimisation checklist to download, share, and implement: