No two customers are the same: Why online retailers need to offer personalised customer journeys

Smart Company

As an unprecedented number of retailers scramble to stand out online, the consumer is hit with a lot of noise that is fast becoming unbearable, writes Kelly Slessor. Kelly Slessor, CEO of Shop You and a digital growth expert, discusses why online retailers need to offer personalised journeys for their customers.

We jump from LinkedIn to Facebook, Instagram to TikTok, and from our mobiles to desktops.

We have an average of eight tabs open on our computers, and yet we still can’t seem to find what we are seeking.

Products are throwing at us on every channel. Out of the 30 images I scrolled through on my Instagram feed, seven were ads for things I have no interest in ever buying.

COVID-19 has quickened the pace of shifting to online. More than 200,000 new households shopped online in April 2020. 

The retailers that personalise the journey will be the ones that truly stand out and connect. Personalisation is not just about sending an email with peoples names. It is about providing services, journeys and experiences that are unique to the customer. It’s about taking the human experience into a digital world.

Somewhere along the line in the digital evolution, we forgot the importance of connection and personalisation. Now everyone is a faceless customer who looks and sounds the same as the next customer and the one before.

There are some steps that retailers can use to create a more personalised journey for their customers.

Read the full article at Smart Company

COVID-19 – A Wake Up Call For Selling Online

Business Essentials Daily

This conversation was posted as a podcast on Business Essentials Daily. Kelly Slessor speaks with Chris Ashmore from SoundCartel about COVID-19 as a wake-up call for retailers to move to selling online. 

Since COVID-19, online retail has seen its most significant growth on record. For businesses, it’s never been easier to set up an online store. Kelly Slessor is a digital growth expert and founder of Shop You, a personalised virtual shopping mall based on AI technology. Kelly has spent the last 20 years working with retailers, property groups, banks and media companies to develop their digital strategy. She explains what businesses need to consider when starting an online process and outlines the digital tools available in which to do so.

The internet has become a great saviour since the pandemic. It makes it easier for customers to shop online for almost anything they want, and selling online. Given that since March 2020, businesses are seeing their online sales skyrocket. So, how can these businesses take advantage of online technology and tools to grow their online presence and increase revenue.

There has been a considerable gap in the connection between the physical and digital worlds. Businesses realise that they cannot have a gap between online and offline. They recognise that they need to have a seamless connection between the two worlds. Companies and retailers have no choice but to make online an experience that reflects the physical experience.

“We see a seismic shift in consumer behaviour and in ways which consumers shop… and it’s becoming more natural”.

Local businesses and retailers will be the ones to win in this scenario. Customers are more likely to shop locally and on-shore than overseas. They will look for local retailers where they can quickly return products they don’t like or get local reviews.

Personalisation in Retail – Let’s Get Personal

Power Retail

Online retail is becoming more personalised with every click. As technology advances, so does the customer behaviours that customers present to retailers. In this article, we sat down with Kelly Slessor. To discuss the power of personalisation in retail and the future of e-commerce. In addition, we talk about the changes within the industry and how tech is helping retail reach its full potential. Kelly Slessor is the CEO and founder of Shop You.

Online retail has soared in the last six months. Many trends will come out of a post-COVID world. According to Kelly, the primary trend would be consumer-driven and focused technology. Consumers focus on convenience and safety. Additionally, there will be ongoing growth in contactless and cashless technology.

Two Key Steps

Many retailers have moved towards e-commerce platforms, including but not limited to small-medium enterprises and local retailers. There are two ways that these retailers can grow and survive in the digital environment.

  1. Develop a clear vision of its customers. Target them with the right keywords and messages.
  2. Treat Google as the shop’s front. More than half of customers’ buying decisions start online. Investing in SEO and optimising Google is found to be essential for growth.

There is enough room for existing e-commerce retailers to grow. For example, video chat, guided selling, and immersive experiences.

Opportunities and Impacts for Retail

The retail model is broken. We are not serving what the customers need. The opportunity is in collaboration. Cooperating between technology companies, shopping centres, retailers, the government, and the customers. This helps to build out solutions that address the pain points.

The problem is connecting individual platforms to create one seamless journey. It is a job that sits with the retailer. However, it requires skill and expertise that many retailers do not have.

If platforms can be connected flawlessly, there will be huge growth opportunities for retailers.

Retailers that continue to provide disconnected experiences and barriers between physical and online will not survive. This is one of the biggest reasons for failure. As a result, these retailers go bankrupt and close down.

The Future of Retail

With an increasing number of digital experiences, retails are moving at a faster pace. The significant impact that we will see in retail is using artificial intelligence for personalisation. Personalisation in retail can take of huge amounts of data in real-time and provide the customer with what they need. There is a demand for many touchpoints that allow customers to spend their time and money.

To sum up, online will become an immersive experience. Each customer would have a personalised experience. These experiences will have a seamless connection to the physical store and provide a journey that is connected. From intent to fulfilment.

Read the full article at Power Retail.

Stand out in four steps: How local retailers can compete with big brands online

Smart Company

Kelly Slessor, CEO and founder of Shop You, shares her insights on how local retailers can compete with big brands online.

Generally speaking, local retailers have had it tough for some time now. A decrease in high street traffic, a shift to online, increased competition from overseas and changing consumer behaviour has driven many to close their doors.

Businesses that have struggled are now faced with one of the most difficult times in the history of retail.

Not all will make it. For those that do, the opportunities to grow and to stand out in an online world are bigger now than they have ever been.

As we faced restrictions and lockdowns, availability and local convenience became a priority. 

According to Australia Post, local retailers grew more than 80% year-on-year eight weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Shifting to and standing out in a digital world is not easy for many local retailers. They often lack the skillset, funds and time. There is also the fear of the unknown.

Having worked with retailers and running her own digital growth course, Kelly has developed four key steps for growing retail online. These steps are:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Plug-and-play
  3. Offer convenience
  4. Choose your channels

Read the full story at Smart Company. 

Kelly Slessor Ecommerce Coach

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow. As a thought leader, strategist and speaker she has worked with world leading companies. Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.

Ask the Experts: Home Decor and Furniture Retailers

Power Retail

As Australians remain inside during the pandemic, the popularity of housewares have gone through the roof. We look to leading e-commerce experts to rank three home decor and furniture retailers. 

Shoppers are redecorating, updating their home office and keeping themselves occupied during lockdown. We sat down with e-commerce expert, Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, the Managing Director at MI Academy, Kelly Slessor, the Founder and CEO of Shop You, and Jane Magoffin, the Senior Account Manager at Reload Media. We examined and broke down the good, bad and the mediocre.

We’ll be looking at are Temple & Webster, Brosa and Zanui. What do these leading e-commerce experts think of these three retailers?

Temple & Webster - Home decor and furniture retailer

Temple & Webster is a retailer that understands its customers. It is one of the market leaders in Australia.

With so many people searching on their phones for home decor, it is crucial that the homepage is easy to navigate. 

Product review systems is a strong selling point. It shows user-generated content of real customers who own that product and how they have used it.

“Huge range of product images and great size easy to see the product in detail on mobile.”

Brosa - Art-inspired furniture and decor retail

Brosa provides art-inspired furniture and decor. This retailer is design-led and environmentally-friendly.

The homepage gives the user a push into taking action. Customers are faced with options. Calling a stylist, finding a physical store, a virtual conversation or browsing their top product categories. Homepage is focused on sales and uses GIFs to show different products.

“Great imagery on the homepage, but the fonts on imagery are too small to read.”

“Clean imagery coupled with design inspiration.”

Product page has rich information with detailed and visual product descriptions. It is clear that Brosa uses a personal approach. This can be seen by their call to actions – ‘We’re here to help’ and ‘Call us’.

Zanui - Homewares and furniture retail

Zanui is an online leader for Aussie homewares. It provides the trendiest furniture for Aussie online shoppers.

Zanui does a really nice job of adjusting their homepage to whatever device the customer is on. Either mobile or desktop. The mobile experience is slightly different from the desktop experience.

On each product page, there is product description, live stock updates and shipping quotes.

“Image navigation on the homepage is clear and well designed.”

“Two pop ups on mobile product page can be distracting, but there’s great product imagery.”

Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce Coach and a digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers grow. Kelly has worked with 100’s of retailers, shopping centres and property groups to develop their digital marketing plans, e-commerce platforms and technology strategy. Companies include Westfields, Woolworths, Big W, Sainsburys, Gluestore and small independent brands and restaurants.

Read the full story at Power Retail.

Let’s talk: Running a retail business

dynamic business

Running a retail business is full of ups and downs, and isn’t easy. There are risks, but there are also opportunities. There have been many significant challenges that forced retailers to come up with creative solutions to adapt and overcome these challenges. For example, COVID-19 transforming shopping attitudes and behaviours.

COVID-19 has reshaped retail and given business owners many unprecedented challenges so far this year. As shops on high street were forced to close under lockdown rules, consumers switched behaviours and e-commerce saw a huge uptake.

What are the pros and cons for retail businesses considering the circumstances of recent months? We ask experts in the sector to outline their viewpoints on the question.

Kelly Slessor points out that pre-COVID retail was already experiencing huge challenges. Operating seamless channels that integrated both the physical and digital store. It required investment and a skillset that many retailers did not have. During COVID we saw an online increase of 50%. Services such as curbside pickup increase by 208%. The forward-thinking retailers move on to video concierge and personal stylists type services. 

Analysts believe that the retail industry will accelerate by more than 5 years in less than 3 months.

Customers have been retraining to shop online. Over the next 6-12 months, we will be seeing the survivors driving enhanced experiences in their digital channels.

There will be many fallouts of those that cannot invest in and accelerate their digital experience.

There have been many demands and pressures on retailers placed by the pandemic. Such as unprecedented disruptions to supply chains, explosive demands, and rapid shifts in consumer behaviour.

Many retailers face an unknown future. Retailers must be able to adapt whilst staying alongside product innovations and industry trends. These are the ones who will survive.

Read the full story at Dynamic Business.

How retail can get with the times and provide quality customer journeys

venture

This article was a cover story in The Venture Magazine – What does the future have in store for retail? Kelly Slessor discusses the future of retail. Kelly Slessor is the founder of the personalized virtual shopping mall Shop You. Slessor shares her insights on how the pandemic is helping to speed up its arrival.

Retail is broken

To begin with, it’s no secret that retail is broken. That was true before the novel coronavirus shut down storefronts across the globe.

COVID-19 has revealed that retailers are being forced to think about how customers shop in the real world. Realising and understanding this will enhance the customer experience in the future.

When e-commerce was launched, it made retailers forget about humans. It removes the personal touch of an in-person experience. What retailers need to do is to create a smooth connection between online and in-store.

Innovations such as a virtual try-on will increase customer satisfaction and reduce waste. It’s not just about ordering something that fits a customer’s body. Shoppers want clothes that fit their personalities. In fact, Slessor views it as the gap between online and in-store experiences. So, she has been working on a personalization formula for Shop You.

Today, we are seeing more cashier-less stores with contactless payment systems. Of course it’s convenient, but it’s also safer during the pandemic. The ‘Click & Collect’ option will rise over the next several years. Again, it reduces contact and increases convenience over time. 

Retailers looking to remain part of the customer journey must move to multichannel. Otherwise, left behind. So, retailers will need to keep the human aspect of the shopping experience. For instance, asking customers questions and getting to know them. Rather than presenting customers with a catalogue. 

Shop You is a virtual mall that will give customers an online experience of an in-person experience. Customers will be able to find what they’re looking for and get it in a way that is convenient for them. 

To sum up, adding customization elements to the online experience will drive customer satisfaction. This also gives augmented reality another purpose.

Retail will never be the same again: the future of retail

CEO Magazine

The coronavirus pandemic has convinced many CEOs that what is actually happening was going to happen in the future. Retail has been hit badly. 

“Retail will never be the same again. There is no turning back and no returning to normal; the future just happened,” said Kelly Slessor, founder and CEO of personalised mobile shopping app Shop You.

“The retail industry was already on course for a huge shake-up and with lockdown forcing the closure of shopping centres and retail stores. The industry has been forced to act.”

COVID-19 has spurred a massive change for the retail industry. Retailers have been scrambling to adapt. As physical stores closed, consumers have shifted to online shopping. As a result, this has forced retailers to create new ways to ensure business continuity and optimise e-commerce business functions. To survive and thrive, retailers need to take advantage of online technology and tools.

Many trends will come out of a post-COVID world. The drastic shift from in-store to online is not going to change to its previous state, after the pandemic has passed. Shoppers will continue to go to the physical store. However, their behaviours will change. It is more likely that customers will visit physical stores less and spend more when they do come.

Retailers will need to provide an immersive experience.

Read more at The CEO Magazine.

Retail will never be the same again.

Virtual Shopping Malls – the Future of Retail

Virtual Malls

Why are virtual shopping malls the future of retail?

Retailers and shopping centre owners around the world are trying to figure out what the future of retail looks like. With foot traffic declining and online traffic increasing, the structure of the shopping centre offering will change significantly in the next year – in fact analysts have reported that COVID-19 has accelerated the retail industry by five years, writes Kelly Slessor. Kelly Slessor is the founder and CEO of Shop You. Virtual shopping malls are the future of retail.

 

The new future will be impacted by several factors. Some of which existed long before the coronavirus pandemic hit:

  • We have just trained 4.57 billion people to shop online. A friend shared a story about her 80-year-old grandmother who is now doing all her grocery shopping online. Before COVID, she never would have considered jumping online
  • We have developed a crowd-averse and safety-first mentality
  • Convenience is a commodity that we will pay for
  • Shopping local is convenient

No one could have expected what 2020 would look like, and no one could predict what happens next. However, we can make assumptions based on consumer behaviour. We can be certain that shopping behaviour will fundamentally shift.

The question is not whether we will shop online or in a physical store. It is about how does the physical store and the virtual world connect to provide a seamless customer experience.

This opens the opportunity of a virtual shopping mall connected to the customer’s local mall comes into play. Customers now have more choices and access to brands and alternatives than ever before. It is not a quick COVID-fix. We need to build a sustainable platform for growth.

This is an exciting opportunity to rethink retail and the customer experience.

Sky News Interview: The Future of Retail

skynews

Future of retail….

Digital growth expert and CEO of Shop you, Kelly Slessor, discusses the future of retail: personalised shopping experience that a “virtual mall” connected to a physical store can have for people with Sky News. The future of retail lies in the opportunity of a virtual mall.

Shop You is a mobile application that uses artificial intelligence to enhance the shopping experience. It matches people with brands and styles.

“The virtual mall sits on top of your physical mall”.

“It knows you”. It presents things to customers based on their personal attributes.

“You can add events; you can speak to a personal stylist”.

“The main thing it does, which is the most important thing, is it connects to the physical store”.

What we saw during COVID is more people shopping online. More importantly, we saw more people shopping locally.

Kelly Slessor The Future of Retail Sky News
BIO

Kelly Slessor, is an Ecommerce Coach and a digital marketing expert. Passionate about retail, hospitality and retail service providers. As the founder and CEO of Shop You, an AI powered personalised virtual shopping mall she has spent 20 years building retail technology that responds to customer needs, drives conversions and increases revenue. Over the past year she has worked with over 1000 retailers and hospitality providers. She has helped global leading companies such as Westfields, Woolworths, Big W and Gluestore, and small independent brands and restaurants. If you want discover more about digital growth and optimisation, work with me.