How IKEA and Nordstrom are Revolutionizing Retail and How to Keep Up - 3 minutes read
Retail shopping doesn’t mean what it used to. Despite in-store sales falling in recent years, retailers who have embraced ecommerce have been able to adapt and even thrive in this new digital-first world. The growth of ecommerce in recent years has pushed retailers to offer flexible shopping experiences across multiple channels. Customers today want to shop on their own terms, whenever and wherever they are, on their preferred devices or channels. Companies often consider online and in-store experiences as completely separate entities, but customers do not. They expect seamless transitions between stores and the web. To meet evolving customer needs, here are some examples of how major retailers like IKEA and Nordstrom are enhancing the ecommerce experience.
Bring the personal touch to online shopping
Traditional brick and mortar stores leverage their sales associates to help guide customers when making purchases. They can help you find the right size or make tailored purchase suggestions based on your preferences. Providing personalized service is a tried and true method to building lasting relationships with customers. In today’s digital-first world, ecommerce retailers often neglect the importance of the human touch in their online user experiences.
American department store Nordstrom understands that adding the personal touch can help distinguish yourself as a company that is willing to go the extra mile. Their Stylists service is a platform that allows sales associates to provide their expertise to customers online. Any user can quickly get in touch with a sales associate for instant fashion advice or request curated looks on their website. This allows Nordstrom to provide a consistent standard of personal service across both channels.
One way that you can apply the personal touch to your own online shopping experience is to add a chatbot or live support to your site. Experiment with how you interact with online consumers by helping your consumers make purchase decisions along the way.
Leverage mobile to enhance the store experience
Mobile plays a crucial role in the decision making process of customers, even in stores. More than 3/4 shoppers use mobile devices along with physical shopping. By optimising mobile content you can take control of how customers engage with your brand on this increasingly important channel.
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA uses their app IKEA Place to seamlessly integrate physical and mobile to meet customer needs. Using AR technology, customers can use the app to place true-to-scale 3D models of IKEA products in their own homes. While not a traditional ecommerce offering, the app acts as a virtual extension of the store and customers can find out if their new furniture will fit without having to leave their home. Customers can save their favorite items and choose to order online or check for availability at their local store. By making it easier for customers to make purchases on their preferred channels, IKEA understands that mobile can be a powerful platform for integrating the in-store and online experience.
Innovative retailers are leveraging branded apps to ensure that customers are getting the most out their mobile offerings. You can make sure that you are appealing to mobile consumers through responsive web design. Your website has to be accessible both on desktop and mobile to fit today’s mobile-first consumers.
Experiment with your online shopping experience
In order to bridge the gap between instore and online shopping, you must design engaging experiences that put the user first. Usability testing is a great way to gain insight into your consumer’s preferences and maximise sales online. Focus on meeting customer expectations with intuitive store navigation and easy checkout processes. Conduct usability tests with as little as 5 testers on wireframe prototypes to try out new ideas like one-click ordering or streamlined checkout layouts for better conversions. Testmate can help you design a test plan to revamp your ecommerce website for increased conversions or develop new apps or services that change how customers engage with your brand.