Customer Experience: Your Greatest Differentiator


Dmexco 2018 focuses on users’ needs, through the motto “Take C.A.R.E”. 4 letters for 4 topics: Curiosity, Action, Responsibility and Experience. The opportunity for us to share on these themes in a series of 4 blog posts.

According to Shantanu Narayen, the President and CEO of Adobe, “Today, people buy experiences, not products.” Decision-makers share this vision: currently, 68% of leaders place greater emphasis on customer experience than on product*.

Traditional brands have an advantage over pure-players in this respect: their proximity to local customers!

After sharing our blog posts on Curiosity, Action and Responsibility, we now present the fourth and final segment in our “Take C.A.R.E.” series focused on the benefits of positive customer experience.

Local Customer Experience: The Brick-and-Mortar Brand Advantage

Jerry Gregoire, the CIO of Dell, once claimed that “customer experience is the next competitive battlefield.” This vision proved prophetic: according to a Gartner study, 64% of consumers now consider the in-store experience more important than price when choosing a brand.

In a discussion about customer experience, it is difficult not to mention Amazon. One study conducted by Walker Sands, an American communications firm, concluded that 84% of consumers made at least one purchase through the web giant’s platform during the last year. And what is the secret to this success? It is a strategy primarily centered on customer experience. By paying special attention to consumer buying behaviors and their interest in certain products, Amazon offers a highly customized experience.

The standards behind the path to purchase are evolving—as demonstrated by the success of online options—but so are the standards for customer experience. It is here that retailers have their best shot. Customer experience is all about local: simple, real-time and face-to-face solutions delight and impress consumers seeking a nearby experience with informed staff.

Listening to customers: The foundation of a successful experience

Who is in the best position to say what works and what flops in regards to your in-store customer experience? Your customers, of course! They can tell you better than anyone else what needs improvement at your point of sale.

This is why you need to give them the chance to express their opinions, at any time and in any way they wish. You can also request their feedback after a visit or purchase: Was the welcome satisfactory? Were the premises clean?

Consider your customers’ path to purchase and new consumer behaviors: the boundary between brick-and-mortar and web is diminishing, and consumers are increasingly mobile and connected. As many as 50% of local Google searches performed on smartphones result in an in-store visit within 24 hours. What’s more, 28% of the same searches result in a purchase**!

Heidi O’Neill, President of Nike Direct to Consumer, has evoked this reality: “We’re seeing an incredible back and forth between the online and offline. It also doesn’t happen in one-stop, or in a 24‑hour period. As a consumer, I start my inspiration online. I do some shopping in the store, and I end up back online, and maybe back in the store for some advice. As much as we speak to challenges with physical retail, we still see that, at some point in the journey, at least 80% of our purchases had a moment that involved a physical connection with the brand. ”***

Remain attentive to the Customer’s Voice throughout the buying cycle. When it comes to click-and-collect, for example, gather opinions from the initial order all the way through in-store pick-up.

Continuously listening to your customers on a local, cross-channel level will enable you to record positive and negative comments that you can transform into actionable improvements of the in-store experience. As you track your customers' feedback, you will learn a lot about their behavior throughout the path to purchase.

Give your store managers the means to act

From a local perspective, the practice of processing these data as they are created presents you with a significant opportunity: analyzing key client relationship and customer satisfaction indicators and their evolution over the course of several months will enable your store managers to find and seal any leaks by addressing the factors contributing to dissatisfaction and implementing corrective action plans.

Furthermore, they can also take laser-focused action to remedy isolated instances of dissatisfaction and optimize the overall customer experience. This gives your managers vital leverage for “turning lemons into lemonade.” By implementing customized follow-ups for dissatisfied customers and introducing measures to remove frustration, your teams will create new sources of satisfaction and convert detractors into ambassadors!

You now have all the keys to differentiate your company through a positive, local customer experience. Now it’s your turn to try it out!

We share the same strong values about Customer Satisfaction? Let’s meet at Dmexco!

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*source : IBM - Référentiel de la maturité digitale 2018-2019

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