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The Transformation of Offline Retailing – How Reliance Brands leveraged contextual conversations with their customers to its advantage

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Visiting a retail store is an investment of time, energy and money. Hence, offering a superlative experience, not just a product, can help entice customers to come back to the brick-and-mortar stores.

The retail sector has seen unprecedented changes in the last couple of years. In the world’s biggest retail market, USA, over 5000 stores shut down in 2017 and the country is gearing for more closings in 2018. Though the retail apocalypse has not hit India, the proliferation of smartphones and growing prominence of e-commerce is proving to be the proverbial thorn in the side for brick and mortar stores. Struggling to provide a seamless experience like their online counterparts and lure customers away from their smart devices, retail stores are going all-out to transform themselves and their businesses.

At the forefront of this endeavour to transform is the need to listen to the voice of the customer across their life-cycle. A quick, simple and effective way to get visibility at the moment-of-truth for businesses to dramatically improve customer experience. Contextual conversations allow brands to capture actionable insights in real-time on dashboards that enable touchpoint owners to drive processes and improve the overall experience being delivered.

LitmusWorld, a platform for improving stakeholder experiences (http://litmusworld.com/blog/improving-stakeholder-experience-made-simple.html), enabled Reliance Brands to initiate conversations with their customers on post-purchase experience across all their stores in India. These conversations were backed by contextual campaigns to drive incremental engagement and revenue. Since the customer feeds are taken at the lowest rung of the retail chain, everyone from the store manager to the CEO have access to it. This has given program visibility across functions and this empowers the entire organisation to start working towards last-mile delivery of a superior experience. Customer experience management (http://blog.rai.net.in/cem-the-new-way-of-business/)continue to be the new way of doing businesses for leading retailers to drive growth.

Darshan Mehta, CEO – Reliance Brands, shares his experience with LitmusWorld.  “Retail is all about taking newer leaps of faith, being iterative, constantly looking at new things and placing new bets. LitmusWorld is one great bet that we placed and it has played off really well”.

Going to a retail store is an investment in terms of time, energy and money. So, the product you offer has to be supplemented by an experience that makes it worth your customer’s while. A platform that enables contextual conversations with the brands, lets customers know that they are appreciated, that their opinion is important to the organisation and any issues raised will be addressed immediately. And that goes a long way in building brand loyalty.

Deval Shah, Business Head, adds “Our mission is to put customer first; and this is a good step in that direction. Since every single customer gets an opportunity to rate us, it’s much more comprehensive than any other mechanism. This also gives us a way to understand how well each of our stores is doing. Because the survey is simple, we have a high percentage of customers who respond to it.”

“From store managers to store directors and all the way up to the management team, the feedback is taken extremely seriously and helps the organisation drill down to areas that they really need to focus on.” Adds Sujoy Mitra, Head IT.

70% of Indian users only use the mobile device to access the internet, they are constantly connected and are willing to express their emotions on a continuous basis. The opportunity for brands lies in the ability to initiate a contextual conversation with their digitally advanced stakeholders. Retail industry leaders like, Reliance Digital, Croma, Raymond, Metro amongst 100 other brands (http://litmusworld.com/clients.html) have initiated contextual conversations across 40,000+ retail touchpoints to capture emotions across the stakeholder journey. Their clients have achieved over 10% improvements in CX scores within the first 3 months of initiating a touchpoint level conversation with their customers.

Ramesh Natarajan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramesh-natarajan-7003632/), co-founder, LitmusWorld (http://litmusworld.com/), says, “Reliance Brands has been one of our first clients to use this platform for improving their overall stakeholder experience. The management dashboards are giving them real-time visibility across 100+ stores and that’s truly transforming their business.”

 

2017 has been a landmark year for retail brands in India. 2018 is going to be the deciding year for many. For a generation that is embracing technology like never before, a superlative customer experience in-store, at par with the smooth trade in online retailing, is paramount. With an enhanced customer experience technology and seamless payment in-store, the smart offline retailers are putting up a stiff fight to their new-age rivals. Retail industry leaders like, Reliance Digital, Croma, Raymond, Metro amongst 100 other brands have initiated contextual conversations across 40,000+ retail touchpoints to capture emotions across the stakeholder journey.

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