With the rise of all things digital, shoppers' expectations are growing, and they expect brands to provide a high-quality customer experience. 86% of shoppers1 are prepared to pay more for a better experience.
For businesses, this requires anticipating shopper demands, looking at disruptive brands for inspiration and constantly innovating to provide the best possible customer experience.
Check out these 5 examples of brands that are innovating in customer experience.
1. Nike: Providing a unique in-store experience
Nike is a trailblazer in the in-store customer experience. One of their key revolutions was opening the House of Innovation in three different cities, New York, Paris, and Shanghai.
In the House of Innovation, shoppers have a consistent and unified experience. For example, they can use the « Nike App » to order a product, reserve a changing room, receive personalized recommendations… The store becomes a « physical extension2 » of the mobile app and adapts to changes in shopper habits: 82% of them3 use their Smartphones in a store when deciding whether or not to make a purchase.
Shoppers also have a unique and customized experience. Using the « Nike By You » service they can see all the elements available to « customize their products »: colors, designs, laces… and personalize a specific shoe model to their tastes and preferences. These experiences are important to attract shoppers: 75% of them4 spend more time in the store if there are visual stimuli and 38%5 are more likely buy after a customized experience.
2. Castorama: Optimizing the product search process
On Castorama's eCommerce site, there is now a visual search feature6 to simplify the customer's search for a specific product.
Shoppers can access this feature through the search bar or through a product datasheet. They can take a photo of the product they're looking for or download a photo from their image library. The search engine will use the photo to search for similar products within the Castorama catalog.
Visual search features save time and are attracting an increasing number of millennials: 62% of them7 would use this feature given the opportunity.
3. Decathlon: Eliminating the friction of the checkout process
In physical stores, 70% of shoppers8 consider the payment process to be one of their main « pain points ». To simplify the process, Decathlon has launched the « Scan & Go » application.
With this application, shoppers can scan the products they want to buy and pay as they go. When the product is paid for, the anti-theft function of the « RFID9 » tags (Radio Frequency Identification) is automatically disactivated. Shoppers can leave the store without having to go through the checkout process.
This application improves the efficiency of the payment process. It can also greatly improve consumer satisfaction: 82% of shoppers10 questioned consider this type of app to be « excellent » or « very good » and 77% of them11 would be more likely to shop in a store providing this option.
4. Lego: Co-creating products with the community
Lego has put co-creation at the heart of its innovation strategy with its « Lego Ideas » website on which shoppers can submit their project ideas to a vote.
If a proposed project reaches 10,000 votes, it will be studied attentively by Lego: adequation with the brand's values, economic viability, originality… If the project is validated, it is then implemented and commercialized. The « creator » will receive 1% of the profits12 from that product. Lego Ideas currently has 1 million subscribers and several projects have already been initiated by fans: Minecraft, Ecto-1, Wall-E, Friends…
These co-creation initiatives portray an image of a modern and cutting-edge brand with 92% of shoppers12 considering that it is « keeping up with the times ». They also improve results and can increase sales by up to 20%12.
5. Ikea: Investing in innovation and providing leading-edge products
Ikea is recognized as an innovative brand, and one of its groundbreaking fields is the « smart home », in which they recently launched the « IKEA Home smart13 » mobile app.
With this app, shoppers can manage and control the brand's smart products remotely (lamps, coffee makers, air purifiers, blinds…). For example, they could change the color of their lighting, control the volume of music, open or close blinds… allowing them to create their preferred ambiance at any time. They can also use the timer tool to program their smart products to operate at a specific time, even when there is no one home.
These types of innovation are essential to attract shoppers. Most consumers (84%14) appreciate innovative brands and are prepared to pay more to get the latest innovations.
To sum up, brands are constantly innovating and implementing concrete actions to improve the customer experience wherever possible: improving the in-store experience, optimizing product search options, implementing a co-creation process… To take things further and stand out from the competition, brands must also look at the Product Experience or PXM, which is a key element of any successful customer experience.
Key Customer Experience Statistics to Know. (2022, November 15). superoffice.com
2 Sirot, L. & Demoux, P. (2020, July 29). Nike s'offre les Champs-Elysées pour son « magasin du futur » . Les Echos.
3 Llewellyn, G. Micro-moments : What are they and how do marketers need to respond ? Smart Insights.
4 Experts in Innovative Food Merchandising Solutions | HUBERT.com. (2022, November 14). hubert.com.
5 Sensory Experiences Drive 9 out of 10 Shoppers Back to Stores, Says Global Mood Media Study. (2019, January 14). Business Wire.
6 Salgues, F. (2020, November 9). Comment Castorama innove avec la recherche visuelle - IA Data - E-marketing.fr.
7 Moore, K. (2019, September 4). Why More Retail Brands Are Launching Visual Search Tools. Forbes.
8 Damen, A. (2021, April 9). The Future of Checkout : How Retailers are Innovating the Payment Experience. Shopify.
9 Laratte, A. (2019, February 21). Comment la puce RFID révolutionne le commerce. leparisien.fr.
10 Anyline Retail Survey : 77 % of Shoppers More Willing To Visit Stores with A Scan-and-Go Option. Anyline.
11 18 Self Checkout Statistics You Have Been Waiting For. Soocial.
12 Landecy, C. (2022, September 26). La co-création : une pratique qui séduit entreprises et consommateurs.
13 Découvrez ce qu'une maison connectée pourrait faire pour vous. Ikea.
14 Lab42. New study reveals importance of innovation to consumers. customerthink.