The Zendesk team was at the Internet Retailer’s Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) this week. And what a week! We met so many of our amazing retail customers, Anna’s Linens, Moontoast, RJMetrics, Zip Line Gear and Rackspace—just to name a few.
What we heard across the board is how consumers are engaging with retailers in new ways—via mobile, social and chat. For those who didn’t make it out to Chicago, here’s a quick recap of the top themes from IRCE.
One of the IRCE highlights for us was the keynote speech by Alexis Maybankour co-founder of our customer Gilt Groupe, who encouraged continued innovation among retail businesses to delight their customers. She echoed Internet Retailer’s publisher Jack Love’s manifesto that highlighted the need to find new ways to meet the growing demands of today’s 21st century customer.
Alexis noted the influence of mobile devices in current consumer behavior, “As increasingly younger generations start shopping they want it on their terms and on their time, so there will be a big shift into mobile devices and shopping.” The boundaries where customers live, work and play are now blurred, so businesses need to be present and ready to provide support wherever their customers are.
Alexis continued her address with the important role of social media in the retail lifecycle, “One thing that all retailers do and should do more often is find ways for their product to be inserted in the conversation. Allow people who are talking about your product to do it easily and make it easier for them to share.” The introduction of new social channels has presented more interactive ways for customers to engage with their favorite brands—driving greater customer loyalty. For example, she noted how traffic to Gilt Groupe from Pinterest now rivals traffic from Twitter.
Customer service through live chat was an important support feature for many of our customers. Retailers are eager to better connect and understand their customers. What easier way is there to connect with your customers and deliver fast service than via live chat? There are often barriers for customers to find and purchase the products they’re looking for. Support technology is helping to make this discovery process easier.
It was promising to see and hear the up-leveling of customer service as a key business differentiator in retail. We can’t wait for what next year’s IRCE has in store. To learn more about Zendesk’s social, mobile and live chat features, visit here.