The “Connected Customer” is at the heart of retail’s future

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The “Connected Customer” is at the heart of retail’s future

21 June 2017 - Fiona Wijngaards, Business Development Manager, Global Retail, Worldpay

I’m back from Salesforce XChange in beautiful Copenhagen! The event was spectacular, bringing together key influencer in eCommerce, retail, and the wide ecosystem we all play in.

While we felt we learned a lot, one concept really stood out at the event: the massive shift from a view of customers to individuals

The combination of Demandware and Salesforce to create Salesforce Commerce Cloud has changed the way retailers can connect with their shoppers, encouraging a better, more personalised shopping experience as standard.

This concept is a natural reaction to the tech-savvy, always-on, demanding and mobile customer expectations on retailers today. And we have learned through speaking with many retailers at the event that any retailer can be an innovator, pioneer, “trailblazer” in the digital age – in fact, they’re almost expected to by this new breed of consumer.

They call this consumer the “Connected Customer”, and the concept pertains to not just the devices people choose to engage with, or an omnichannel experience. It’s about treating customers as individuals, not numbers, and developing a customer satisfaction roadmap, rather than a simple sales strategy.

In today’s global, social, commercial world, everything and everybody is connected. Customers have evolved to require a connected experience and technology innovation, running on intelligent data and customer information.

Great examples of retailers embracing this notion are Coach and PetSmart, who have mastered the connected experience with Salesforce’s Intelligent Customer Success Platform and are paving the way.

When presented, this impressive retailer showcase had a huge impact on the merchants in the room. General consensus is that it is such an exciting digital age, one where human connection is still of incremental value and one where technology can now add to this connection, rather than dehumanise, thus encouraging loyal buyers and brand lovers.

Taking the concept of using technology to improve the human connection was seen in the emphasis on the benefits of emerging virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) realities.

One of the keynotes explained how New Balance are pushing the boundaries by incorporating VR, and Worldpay ourselves have developed a proof of concept, bringing virtual reality payments to retailers without ever taking the customer out of the experience.

There were so many topics of interest covered, with a huge wealth of knowledge from Salesforce themselves, as well as the myriad of retailers and service providers. We can never really do them all justice in a blog post, but we’re looking forward to learning more and participating in the new wave of retail together.

If you would like to learn more about any of the topics above, or about our involvement at Salesforce XChange EMEA, please get in touch with me.