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Survey: Customer Engagement Top Priority for Retailers

BOSTON — In their quest to gain and retain customers, retailers across all channels are placing a greater emphasis on customer engagement, according to a survey by Boston Retail Partners, an independent retail management consulting firm.

Customer engagement means many things, including:

  • Identifying the Customer: 883 percent more retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store within five years.
  • Analyzing the Customer: 100 percent of the retailers surveyed plan to utilize analytics/dashboard to understand shopping behaviors within two years.
  • Engaging & Motivating via Gamification: Nearly nine in 10 retailers (87 percent) plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years.

“The key to influencing a customer’s purchase and offering a personalized experience is to identify the customer early, as soon as they enter the store. However, in many cases, customer identification is happening at the point of checkout, which is too late to influence a current purchase decision,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Fortunately, our survey indicates that within five years, more than 50 percent of retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store.”

Almost half of the retailers surveyed (46 percent) also indicated a structured loyalty program is a top priority.

The consultancy’s 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into their current state and planned initiatives, priorities and future trends that relate to customer relationship management (CRM) practices associated with the retail industry’s shift to unified commerce.

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