For retail businesses, delivering brilliant customer experiences depends on having a connected and integrated omni-channel technology ecosystem.

Whether shopping online, in-store, via mobile, or engaging with your head office or customer service centres, your customers expect the same high level of personalised service. This can only be enabled through building a connected and secure cloud technology infrastructure.

These are changing times for retailers. The buyer’s journey is constantly evolving as consumers become more resourceful, more savvy and more certain about what it is they are (and are not) looking for. Today’s consumers have been conditioned by retail juggernauts like Amazon to expect a fully integrated, joined up experience across multiple cha­nnels.

However, not every retailer is keeping pace. The Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018 report revealed that more than half (56 percent) of consumers believe retailers provide a disconnected experience across channels, and only half think retailers provide a personalised customer journey.

Even if you operate primarily through a traditional bricks and mortar store, to disregard consumers’ desire for a unified experience is to risk losing potential revenue. The sad fact is that high street stores are struggling. To adapt and survive, many will need to innovate and provide immersive personalised experiences, driven by access to consumer data aggregated from all customer touchpoints.

By assessing your full cloud and connectivity ecosystem across your website, mobile apps, in-store, at your head office or in your customer service centres, you can start to build technology foundations that will allow you to deliver brilliant customer experiences. In this blog, we will explain how a cloud-led approach, enabled by appropriate connectivity, can help your retail business deliver personalised customer journeys that will give you the edge to compete in a challenging market.

The Importance of Connected Cloud for Retail

The foundation for great customer experiences in the current omni-channel retail world is the efficient collection, analysis and utilisation of data. Simply collecting this data is not enough – you may be working across a number of systems, all of which are gathering data at different points throughout the buyer’s journey that must be integrated to provide true customer insight.

How do you ensure that data captured at these multiple customer touchpoints – your website, a click-through on a customer email, your mobile app, a survey filled in with a cashier at the point of purchase – can be processed in order to deliver joined up insights in a centralised manner that allows for rapid roll-out of personalised customer journeys?

The answer is reliable cloud infrastructure enhanced by a robust connectivity network. Deploying appropriate connectivity between your stores, your head office and your customer service centres is essential if you want to gather, process and equip customer-facing staff and systems with data quickly and effectively.

Connectivity networks that link all of your retail locations – high street stores, warehouses, your head office and contact centre – to your public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud platforms are fundamental in ensuring your staff and systems can deliver the high standards of personalised service your customers expect. Choosing the right connectivity network deployed in conjunction with an effective cloud strategy will allow you to achieve security, agility and the straightforward processing of data, all whilst removing the complexity that so often comes with network deployment and management.

Your connectivity network will also provide the backbone on which you can deploy unified communications and simplified collaboration tools that will empower your employees to work together efficiently to deliver personalised journeys to your customers.

The right cloud-based unified communications solutions will allow your employees to communicate seamlessly with customers across multiple channels, whether it’s voice, video, instant messaging, web chat or email. The importance of unified communications cannot be overstated in an omni-channel world where customers expect a consistently high level of service no matter how they engage with your retail business.

Deliver Brilliant Customer Experiences

There are so many factors that dictate the success or otherwise of a retail business, but the ability to deliver brilliant customer experiences is certainly one of the keys to maximising sales. Collecting and connecting data from numerous touchpoints and empowering staff to deliver a personalised service based on unified customer insights, enabled by seamless collaboration and communication tools, is all built on a foundation of robust connectivity.

Six Degrees has an enviable track record of helping retail businesses maximise revenues with the help of our Cloud services, underpinned by our Next Generation Network, and enhanced by industry leading Unified Communications and Simplified Collaboration solutions. You can learn more about our work in the retail sector here; you will also find useful information in our Unlock the Agile Workspace whitepaper, in which we explain how to leverage a connected and flexible workforce to achieve a competitive advantage. And you can always contact us to discuss your unique retail business challenges.