Retailers urged to 'get to know customers' by consultancy firm Ovum

Ovum, suggests that the decline in High Street shopping will continue if retailers do not adapt to the changing tastes of their customers.
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High Street retailers are being urged to get closer to their customers and improve their shopping experiences, following the disappointing Christmas reported by many.

London-based consultancy firm Ovum suggests that the decline in High Street shopping will continue if retailers do not adapt to the changing tastes and behaviours of their customers.

Shop owners are therefore being urged to invest in technology to aid them in identifying these behaviours, enabling them too boost customer engagement and overall experience.

Research from Ovum suggests that businesses are often being held back by slow decision cycles, lack of workforce engagement, operational and channel silos and a 'serendipitous attitude towards innovation.'

Hardeep Signh Garewal, European president of IT services specialist ITC Infotech, said: "Failing to respond to the customer's preference, their likes and dislikes can lead to a bad customer experience, or at least something that is far from optimal.

"Retailers simply can't afford to do that in the tough and competitive business environment of today. In addition, new channels of expression like social media are allowing customers to share their experience whether good or bad, potentially causing more damage to the hard-pressed retailer.

"Many of the factors that affect the customer experience negatively can be tracked back to an inability to recognise customers across channels, and across lines of business.

"These are areas that intelligent use of CRM should be able to address." 

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