Customer experience in retail – are autonomous stores better?
Some experts say that the future of retail will be heavily reliant on the development of customer experience. According to the Adobe Digital Trends 2019 report, companies regard customer experience as an important business growth facilitator. This trend can be observed in state-of-the-art retail solutions such as autonomous stores. Surge Cloud, a leader in this particular sector, is a fine example of how focusing on customer experience can improve sales.
A shift in focus towards customer experience requires effort in the areas of corporate culture, operations and technological solutions, which can be challenging for some companies. Smaller players are not only more flexible but also well aware of the fact that positive customer experiences translate into long-term and stable business growth. The cornerstones of customer experience are: personalization, brand credibility, saving the customer’s time and effort, empathy and the ability to solve issues promptly and meet expectations.
Customer experience KPIs are Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Looking at the results from Take&GO, Surge Cloud’s flagship autonomous store project, it’s easy to see that customers seem to have truly embraced this new format. The CSAT is at 4.6 (on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the highest score), the NPS is at 58 (on a 1-100 scale with 100 being the highest customer loyalty score) and the CES is at 1.72 (the lower the score, the better the shopping experience). To what does Take&GO owe its impressive customer experience scores?
In-depth interviews show that the customers enjoy being able to shop quickly and easily without taking out their wallet. They also appreciate the selection of products, state-of-the-art technology and no cashiers.
Such impressive customer experience scores are almost directly derived from Surge Cloud’s technology behind Take&GO autonomous stores. What’s interesting, autonomous stores seem to have handled the recent Covid-19 lock-downs pretty well with the average basket value rising by 20% while traditional stores have been struggling. In these trying times the advantage of not having cashiers has not only protected the store staff, but also made the customers feel safer. This in turn has lead to a change in habits as the customers swapped traditional shops for autonomous stores. You could argue that autonomous solutions are the future of retail.