Many retailers today have embraced the slick combination of data and customer experience to join the pack of leading innovators in customer experience. But there are still many retailers trying to figure out their next move, or even worse, not responding to the changing consumer behaviour.
In his book, The Retail Revival, Doug Stevens recommends to retailers to have either a high fidelity or a high convenience model as their overall goal so that they don’t get stuck in the average middle. Products are now available across a variety of channels, so it's no longer the product that differentiates itself but the service that is attached to the product.
In this 30 minute video from Thoughtworks Live Europe 2014, Josh Siegel, former CIO of the Natural Market Food Group, refers to the evolution of the retail shopping experience...from the transition of the traditional brick-and-mortar stores’ single channels to multi channel all the way up to omni channel. But what's next?
Natural Market Foods took the retail experience to the next level. Known as ‘multiplexing’, it's when you take multiple channels and types of technology and integrate them to offer a great experience for the customer. The retailer who is positioned to enable the customer journey through whichever channels the customer chooses, whenever the customer wants, wins.
In the end, Natural Market Foods was able to create a high fidelity and high convenience approach, which isn’t possible with unresponsive and slow technology. They built replaceability into their revolutionary architecture, which gave them the ability to scale and remain differentiated in the market. They created multiplexing, remembering that the most expensive resource is the customer’s time and attention, while not forgeting the importance of convenience.
Going back to the high fidelity or high convenience model, it’s imperative to remember to consider which axis your retail organisation needs to focus on so that you stay ahead.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.