Chapter 3: Brands and retailers are evolving their customer experience strategies

In the face of changing shopping habits, fewer than half of retail executives have completely defined their customer experience strategies.

December 2021 | 5.5 minutes
The top three barriers to a well-defined customer experience strategy are:
Lack of organisational alignment and processes across channels
Lack of agility to turn data into insights and actionable information
Complexity with consumer data

While 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, only 32% of retail executives say they have the full ability to turn data into personalised prices, offers, and products in real time across channels and touchpoints.

Part of the challenge is that the average retail organisation uses an estimated 44 different systems to manage customer experiences. This puts loyalty at stake because 80% of shoppers will abandon brands after three bad experiences.

“Data’s important, but we’re using it in places that are not accessible, and in today’s digital transformation, it needs to be there for everyone.”

Retail executives are responding by bringing on more data scientists and evolving the technology stack.

Data scientists help brands and retailers operationalise data

To help untangle complexity and democratize data and insights, retail executives estimate that they will employ an average of 76 data scientists by the end of 2021. The number of data scientists employed by the retail industry is expected to grow a further 44% through 2023.

Brands and retailers adopt unified engagement platforms

Retail executives are also investing in technology that will help their organisations increase agility and streamline the end-to-end shopping journey. This includes a unified engagement platform, which enables retailers to access and operationalise customer data across marketing, commerce, and service functions. This drives personalised and relevant engagement across the increasing number of physical and digital channels.

The top five reasons retail executives plan to adopt a unified engagement platform are to:

Increase agility
Create a seamless customer experience across channels and devices
Increase store associate productivity
Make data-driven decisions
Deliver personalisation in real time
The majority (55%) of retail executives say their organisation is still in the planning stage for this type of platform. They are exploring their options or creating formal plans. Only 16% of retail executives say their organisations are in the “realisation stage,” operating a unified engagement platform and measuring its benefits to gauge future investments.*

Chapter 4: The store will become central to a unified shopping experience

Brands and retailers are giving new life to the store as an extension of the digital shopping experience.

More Resources

Research and report
Research and report

13 Years as a Magic Quadrant Leader for CRM CEC


Get monthly updates and fresh ideas delivered to your inbox.

Enter a valid email address