There's no denying it, finding the perfect Christmas present for your family and loved ones can be a tough task. It's an experience that can throw up a series of thought-provoking reflections.
Being a stressful time of year, the importance of a strong customer journey and the necessity of a simple experience is more profound than it is at any other time of year for B2C businesses. Particularly in the digital age where online shopping has become the preferred medium for securing gifts.
But how do we define user experience?
Well, according to The International Organisation for Standardisation, we can define user experience as being "a person's perceptions and response resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system, or service."
Perception of overall user experience is derived from brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behaviour and the system's assistive capabilities.
The key then to crafting a good user experience during the festive period revolves around a cohort of factors, but when all is said and done, businesses should revolve around making the process of Christmas shopping simpler.
the rise of digital
The internet has undeniably had a profound effect on retail, particularly as usage of the mobile web and shopping via mobile apps has increased.
With the development of the web, we have seen an increase in pure-play businesses who perhaps can't afford the expenses that come with physical stores.
On the flip side, we have seen an upturn in brick-and-mortar businesses who have made the switch to a brick-and-click model, whereby the internet presents the next logical opportunity to broaden the businesses horizons and grow the brand.
As you would probably imagine, the rise of digital has affected how consumers shop over the Christmas period, but how exactly?
Well, courtesy of research from Deloitte, it has become clear that, irrespective of generation, more consumers plan to spend a greater amount online as opposed to in-store when completing their Christmas shopping.
Furthermore, we are seeing a continuous steady rise in consumers using their smartphones to make purchases, with 70% intending to do so in 2019.
This is very much the season for pure-play and brick-and-click retailers to continue to push for individual apps and invest in a seamless, mobile-first, customer experience online.
But what does this seamless experience look like? Below we've highlighted some of our favourite examples on mobile devices.
In a world where many businesses will find themselves with a presence both online and in-store, regardless of the strategy they employ the importance of a immaculate, unified omnichannel experience cannot be understated.
Deloitte highlight that customers will in fact spend 208% more with omnichannel retailers as a general rule of thumb.
One would imagine that this figure would be considerably higher during the Christmas period where consumers will value the convenience offered to them by this retail strategy.
So what can your business do to see the benefits of an omnichannel approach during this festive season?
- A first step would be aligning your branding across all channels. Your channels must feed into one another. Across the web, instore, and on social media, consistency is the name of the game. You must create something coherent and strong.
- A second would be bringing the world of digital convenience into your brick-and-mortar stores. Integrating digital devices into your in-store offering has never been more accessible. Apple's retail stores provide a shining example in how to improve the user-experience through in-store digitisation as employees walk the shop floor armed with iPhones and iPads to present product information and availability on-demand for consumers.
- Thirdly, focus on developing content that resonates with your consumers' shopping behaviour. For those retargeting old customers and pushing promotions to prospective customers, this is vital to the omnichannel experience, particularly over the Christmas period. Offers can look to entice new customers or reward returning ones with offers specific to them as a consumer. Vitally, ensure your offers are consistent and aligned across all channels and devices.
- Finally, gather feedback whenever possible. Public positive feedback increases consumer confidence in your brand. Email, social media, feedback links on receipts and in-store digital feedback forms via iPads or other digital devices are all valid means of collecting feedback to project across your various channels.
The importance of crafting a coherent, simple user experience over the Christmas period cannot be understated. With retail being such a crowded marketplace over the Christmas holidays, failure to focus on your brand's overall user experience across various channels and mediums will simply see your target consumers taking their commerce elsewhere.
on the fourth day of Christmas, Adido gave to me:
four happy shoppers,