With the ever growing spread of artificial intelligence and its consequent adoption throughout industries alike, retailers are investing more than ever in ai related technologies and for good reason. Today’s market has made it harder than ever for retailers to stand out amongst the vast amount of competition. Is your company taking the right steps to ensure they are keeping up with competition?

A 2017 report by Credit Suisse showed that just barely a quarter into the year and already the number of store closures have surpassed those during the 2008 financial crisis. This unsettling information might pressure present-day retailers to completely abandon the brick-and-mortar store model. However, a 2018 KPMG study on Retail Trends states that despite declining number of brick-and-mortar style stores, there are also a significant amount of store openings as well. Leading retailers such as Apple, Sephora and Costco, that rely mainly on brick-and-mortar style shops, continue to successfully take over the industry. One reason for this success; their obsession with creating an exceptional customer experience.

With the constant barrage of advertisements targeted to consumers and the ever growing number of competitors in the retail industry, it has become harder than ever for a retailer to truly stand out, many of whom have already lost track of how to create truly individualized and exceptional customer journeys. Leading retailers are aware of the importance of utilising technological advances to their benefit without underestimating the power of the human connection in the process. To create an exceptional customer experience, retailers must become obsessed with their customers and offer them a truly personalized and impactful experience.

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The biggest mistake companies do is that they do not put enough emphasis on training their salesforce to become experts on their products and services; they undervalue the importance of human contact to enhance their customers experiences. Therefore, retailers must not exclude the human contact factor when constructing their customer journey model.