Some 85 percent of consumers polled rated outstanding customer support as most important when shopping a brand, according to a survey by Qualtrics, the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software acquired by SAP SE last year.
The findings were part of the “SAP Fashion Index,” which asked 5,000 consumers about their perceptions of fashion brands and their overall shopping behavior, according to SAP.
In addition, 81 percent of the survey respondents said they expect brands to go above and beyond when it comes to their offers and promotions. To meet consumer expectations, brands need to analyze customer data to create a balanced strategy for personalizing content experiences with the preferred channels that resonate with each individual consumer.
Acting on key moments can be the key to building a customer base of loyal brand advocates. Many brands are missing this mark, as evidenced by the significant gaps between consumer expectations and experiences. For example:
•75 percent of consumers have high expectations for digital shopping experiences, but only 63 percent believe brands are delivering.
•73 percent of consumers expect brands to go above and beyond for delivery and pickup, while only 59 percent believe brands are performing.
•57 percent of consumers expect reward and loyalty programs as part of the overall experience, and only 47 percent of brands are fulfilling these expectations.
An enhanced XM strategy is needed to close these gaps and meet consumer demands. Winning brands deploy actionable surveys and then activate changes.
“Understanding the consumer’s ideal shopping experience gives brands an advantage in today’s retail landscape,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, SAP Industries co-president. “As survey respondents indicated, outstanding customer support is a top desire. Retailers should adhere to this demand, offering personalized, in-the-moment experiences to deliver on expectations.”