According to Frank Weil, chief customer officer at commerce solution focused firm KWI, it’s essential for retailers to connect online and offline channels. “While technology allows retailers to be faster and smarter, at the core, customers still want to be treated with a personalized touch and feel known as an individual shopper.

That means when a customer walks into a store, a salesperson should be able to access size information and previous purchases — both online and in-store — with a small amount of input,” he said. “Only when all your retail “technology works together can there be this holistic and unified experience for the customer. Brands that continue to silo their customer in an online or in-store bucket will lose out.” Here, Weil reveals how and retailers can better connect both digital and physical shopping experiences.

How do you make shopping online more seamless?

FW: “Keep it simple and easy, and do not overcomplicate the experience. But offer as much information as possible on fi t — that’s one of the primary reasons a consumer will return your product. How can you deliver the same level of customer service online that you do in-store? M.Gemi is a great example: They offer virtual custom fit consults and detailed sizing information that includes fi t notes based on the design (i.e., if it starts out snug but is designed to stretch) and feedback from their staff testers, who try out every shoe.” 

How do you improve the in-store experience?

FW: “A successful in-store experience is all about making life easier for the customer. This could mean short lines, easy returns and being able to track or order something in another style or size if not available. All of this can be accomplished by using the data available for each customer. Many retailers don’t have an accessible 360-degree view of their customer, so they can’t respond to their needs quickly or even predict their needs even before they come in. But when all systems speak with each other — online and off — a more complete picture of the customer emerges, and in-store salespeople can add value to the shopping experience.”

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