New research has found that companies who provide a seamless and consistent experience across channels – including web, mobile, email, social media, and in-store – not only yield higher sales, but also retain more than twice as many customers than companies with ineffective cross-channel strategies. With the heightened pace of technological evolution and consumers’ steadily increasing expectations, retailers are in a race to successfully fuse the digital and in-store experience. Welcome to the era of omni-channel retail where customers expect all channels to be connected and at their disposal, wherever and whenever.
In response to this trend, we’ve developed an omni-channel research solution to obtain feedback across a brand’s multiple interactive touch points. This highly customized solution consists of various research activities to gather context-specific customer feedback, as well as highly focused reviews of websites and applications across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. In performing omni-channel research, we’ll uncover opportunities for your company to provide the best possible customer experience for your customers, regardless of where they are or what channel they are engaging.
Usability Sciences recommends a multiphase customer experience research approach focused on assessing the needs of your customers throughout the omni-channel experience. Our highly customized research solutions include the following research activities:
- Stakeholder Interviews: In order to customize a research plan that’s perfect for your needs, we begin every omni-channel engagement with a series of stakeholder interviews. Through a number of sessions, we’ll discuss where you are in your UX research efforts and determine which activities and services will deliver the answers you’re looking for. With goals clearly defined, we then develop a custom research roadmap that ensures we deliver the results you’re in search of.
- Storyboard Study: We’ll ask users from your target market to recall recent customer experiences related to the topic-at-hand (e.g. the shopping experience). With physical storyboards and paper dolls at the center of the activity, tangible stories and experiences are depicted, eliminating the pitfall of generalized users responses (what they say vs. what they do). As part of the study, we analyze and document the various channel and device interactions that take place while users accomplished their goals.
- Diary Study: Whenever customers use your product, they write an entry in a digital diary. This can provide a more intimate view of how your customers interact with your product over a longer period of time and can capture pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase behavior and impressions.
- Field Study: This study is conducted wherever customers normally use your product. This may include one or multiple environments, such as in stores or customers’ homes, to gather contextual “real world” feedback.
- Multi-Device Usability Test: When a client wants detailed feedback on the experience of using their site or application across devices, we conduct a study in which users are asked to review your product across desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms. In doing so, we are able to determine how well your product is meeting the user needs that emerged from the other phases of research.
- Feature Prioritization Focus Groups: Typically conducted in the format of a focus group, this activity asks users to prioritize various site or application features in order of importance. In the context of omni-channel research, we ask users to perform this activity across desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms for more granular results. If your team has developed new features or concepts based on findings from other phases of the research, we’ll bring these to the table and get valuable group feedback from your target user.
- Online Survey: An online survey (or a series of surveys) is used to gather feedback from a sample of customers and is an excellent way to gain quantitative reinforcement on insights that emerged from previous phases of this research.
Omni-channel research will help you answer the following questions:
- Do your channels offer a consistent, seamless and congruent customer experience?
- How unified is your brand messaging from pre-purchase through post-purchase, across digital and brick-and-mortar channels?
- What features do customers expect when accessing your website or application on their desktop, phone and tablet?
- What pain points exist in the end-to-end process, and what improvements can be made either online or in-store to expedite a purchase or positive action?
Contact us today to learn more about how we can improve your omni-channel experience.