In 2022, retailers will lose half of sales of out-of-stock items unless they make up for it with experience, according to Forrester


Brands risk losing 50% of their sales on out-of-stock items unless they compensate with customer support, Forrester said in his Predictions 2022: Customer Experience report. The report also predicted trends for services during a pandemic as well as work practices that could affect the customer experience. The research company also released its consumption forecast for 2022, suggesting that brand values ​​will continue to be a factor for customers.

Customer churn due to supply chain issues. Product availability is one of the most common reasons American consumers buy from a retailer other than the one they originally planned, according to Forrester. These unresolved product shortages can lead to frustration, which negatively impacts customer loyalty. Brands that can stabilize their supply chains, suggest internal alternatives to out-of-stock products, and proactively educate customers about shortages and expected availability are best positioned to curb customer churn, Forrester predicted.

Customers will want some pandemic-era services to be part of the new normal. Since the start of the pandemic, companies have introduced new ways of doing business, such as curbside pickup, senior shopping hours, easier and more flexible flight changes, and virtual alternatives to services. or traditionally in-person experiences. “Brands that are successful in navigating the transition to the new normal will avoid turning back the clock and will analyze current customer information and research to assess which services to keep, adjust or discard,” said Forrester.

One-fifth of retail and consumer goods companies will compromise on customer experience. Usually, customer expectations only increase, but these demands can put a strain on employees. The past year and a half has shown the human cost of these amenities. Nearly 40% of U.S. consumers say concerns about business work practices influence their purchasing decisions, according to Forrester. The research company predicts that next year more companies will consider their responsibility to their employees when planning their customer experience and product offerings.

Company values ​​will continue to be a differentiator. Brand values ​​took center stage last summer and will continue to be the case, but Forrester predicts the focus will be on environmental sustainability. In July of this year, three-fifths of Fortune 500 companies had committed to climate action, up from 32% the year before; and just today, Microsoft announced plans to reduce data center water consumption by 95% by 2024.

“Brands that take a stand on more intense issues will target a small segment of hyper-aware consumers with a personal connection to these values,” said Lai et al.

Why we care Predictions can be random, and Forrester’s predictions are no different. However, these predictions are in line with what many companies have experienced and how consumer sentiment has changed since the start of the pandemic. While most predictions aren’t directly related to SEO or PPC, they can affect reviews, ad campaigns, and customer loyalty, which greatly influences search marketers’ strategy.

Supply chain issues have become a major factor for retailers, which can affect inventory decisions as well as advertising campaigns leading up to Cyber ​​Week. It’s no surprise that more support and transparency can prevent customers from canceling orders or going to a competitor.

About 60% of US and UK consumers agreed the pandemic has changed the way they shop. After having had more than a year to get used to the services and features that make them easier while maximizing security, it may be shocking that some companies are no longer offering these services now that the pandemic is better under control. This nasty surprise can be reflected in reviews or churn rates when customers look for businesses that consistently meet those needs.

Consider whether your brand’s values ​​and ethics are a selling point for your particular audience before incorporating those values ​​into your marketing. Consumers can resonate with this type of message, which could build loyalty, but they will ultimately hold you accountable for your values ​​and upholding this will almost certainly require resources that could have been allocated elsewhere.

About the Author

George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic search, podcasting, and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Before entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and teacher in a public school.

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