3 Ways Customer Experience Should Affect Retail Budgeting
Usually, a retail budgeting approach is concerned with sales objectives and KPI targets and things like that. These things are important. What many managers miss are the ways that customer experience affects budget planning. Three of these factors are digital marketing, in-store conditions, and staff preparation. Ignoring factors that affect customer experience means your budget is lacking investment in something that directly affects your profit.
Is digital marketing an afterthought? Are there people who have the responsibility, capability, and authority to do something like place Facebook ads and make sure that the promoted items are available? When a shopper clicks on an ad, what happens next? Every click on a link within a text message or an online ad needs to be a good experience for customers. This does not happen without investment in digital marketing processes and their integration with order fulfillment, etc. Retailers who silo their channels suffer when digital-savvy consumers are not happy with their experience.
Customers who walk in the door might not be specifically thinking about aisle width but they notice when it’s awkward to pass someone reading labels on an item. They may not realize that lighting in the dressing rooms is warm or cool spectrum but if they don’t like how they look in the mirror they are not inclined to buy.
An overall sense of dinginess, poor signage, empty shelves where a promotional sale should be, dirty restrooms, and experiences like these can be eliminated by budgeting for store upgrades and maintenance. The money spent to assess store conditions and improve them is well-invested because customers respond to good in-store experiences.
What kind of impression is given when the customer has more information about a promotion than the sales staff? Failure to inform salespeople about what is happening in marketing has an effect that is hard to measure but it isn’t positive. Budgeting for training sessions and equipping staff with tools to communicate and collaborate will pay off in a sales force that is confident because they don’t have to read the label on the box in order to answer a question.
ChainDrive has the analytical tools needed to look at all the variables and identify where investing in digital marketing, in-store conditions, and staff preparation would be a good idea. This optimizes your retail budgeting by including customer experience in your goals.