New York City -- PwC US, in its report Experience Radar 2011: Retail Insights, found that retailers that design differentiated ‘experiences’ around their products and services can drive growth, profitability and lasting consumer loyalty, while also maintaining a price premium over competitors.
The study, based on PwC’s Experience Radar methodology, measured the experiences of more than 6,000 U.S. consumers across 11 industries.
The PwC Retail Insights study found that consumer loyalty is born from shopping experiences that create strong psychological connections, rather than from points or rewards programs alone. Looking at five core consumer experience attributes — accessibility, support, quality, presentation and social belonging — the PwC study’s objective was to identify what’s most important to consumers and then develop and deploy an action plan to deliver a great customer experience.
“In today’s economy, retailers must identify new ways to set themselves apart, and that begins with a clear focus on customer experience,” said Susan McPartlin, PwC’s U.S. Retail & Consumer industry leader.
PwC suggested that retailers focus on enhancing service through investing in knowledgeable staff and leveraging front-line employees. According to the study, product knowledge and recommendations accounted for almost one third of good experiences related to support, while only 1% of shoppers cited rewards programs alone as influencing their purchase decisions.
According to PwC, retailers should consider developing an experience action plan built upon their loyalty program's customer knowledge that strives to achieve five key experience enhancers: using front-line staff to create positive shopper experiences; make customers brand ambassadors; overcome shopper concerns and help them avoid risk; embrace the anytime, anywhere economy; and when something bad happens, fix it.