The large-scale retailing sector is undergoing a major transformation and facing numerous challenges as almost everything becomes digital. This new era of digital transformation is characterised by the development of many and varied individual customer journeys. It is also being remodelled by ever fiercer competition both locally and internationally through both physical and digital channels, heightened by the emergence of new technologies that are re-shaping retailers’ strategies and the usages of their target customer groups.
For these large-scale retailing players, differentiating themselves digitally is no longer an option but a pre-requisite in order to meet the needs of users and remain attractive. A brand can use its dot brand TLD to facilitate and enhance the purchasing experience for its customers and thus increase their satisfaction.
In this series of articles taken from the dedicated study, we will set out five key challenges we feel large-scale retailing brands need to overcome to remain competitive and pursue their development, and will look at to what extent a brand TLD provides the answer.
After covering marketplace visibility, promoting CSR initiatives and setting apart new e-services, it’s now time to talk about a 4th challenge for large-scale retailing brands: personalising the user experience to strengthen customer proximity.
New, fun and personalised tools to increase customer satisfaction
For consumers, benefiting from offers, services and messages and, more broadly, experiences that meet their needs is key differentiating factor in the choice of brand. To respond to this, brands have for some years been rolling out increasingly smart, more personalised services. The development of intelligent virtual assistants (connected robots) bears witness to this determination to serve and attract a clientèle in constant quest of speed and with differentiated needs.
Let’s take the example of the Hopla initiative developed by Carrefour: a shopping advice robot that makes shopping easier for customers. Connected to the website’s search engine, the tool is able to put together baskets of products based on a user-defined budget, menu ideas or food constraints, accompanying customers right up to the time they make their purchase.
Communication channels aligned with consumer usages
The rise of omnichannel sales and the improvements in logistics processes are also accompanied by digital communication targeting consumers. Nowadays, social media are preponderant in many brands’ customer relations.
The principle of ‘social shopping’ consists in taking advantage of consumers’ interactions to attract them and redirect them to an online sales website or platform. This social channel also allows brands to form and maintain a close-up relationship with their audience without having to resort to sales and marketing language, which is sometimes considered offensive. Social media-based customer service has spread widely and become an important functionality for large-scale retailing brands.
A dot brand to strengthen customer loyalty
Complementary and completely customised services aim to strengthen customer relationships and create real continuity between social platforms and the brand website. For example, using information on a customer’s latest orders and consumer habits, the brand could offer a service providing personalised proposals for improvement based on CSR principles (carbon footprint, Nutri-Score, etc.) with calculation of the impact and monitoring over time. A service like this offered under a brand TLD sustains and prolongs the customer experience and, more importantly, on a proprietary reference space rather than a third-party platform.
To strengthen this proximity-based relationship even more, the brand TLD could be used to give each customer a personalised URL of the “www.surnamefirstname.brand” type, allowing connection to his or her personal account. The customer would thus have a completely dedicated space and access to custom services and a tailor-made loyalty programme, creating an association with the brand; this URL would emphasise the feeling of belonging and could hardly fail to cement his or her loyalty.
Download the full study “Brand TLDs and large-scale retailing: 5 key challenges solved by a dot brand”
This article is an extract from the full study which presents:
- A situational analysis of large-scale retailing in France
- A focus on the brands with their own TLDs in this sector
- 5 key challenges faced by these brands which can be solved by a brand TLD