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Good or Bad, Customer Experience Impacts Retailers’ Bottom Line

  • Michelle Browning

    Michelle Browning

    Senior Client Managing Director

Created at July 8th, 2021

Good or Bad, Customer Experience Impacts Retailers’ Bottom Line

People are bombarded by marketing messages everywhere they go.  People encounter advertisements constantly – when they are reading their favorite blog, searching for a new gadget, watching their favorite TV show, or filling up their car at the gas station.

I am probably like most people in where I don’t want to have my preferences assumed. I want personalized messages and expect to be valued as an individual consumer with buying power.  McKinsey research found most internet users in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany felt most marketing didn’t seem aligned with their interests. In the U.S., only 32% of respondents felt marketing messages were tailored to their interests, meaning 68% did not.1

I have no doubt a retailer’s bottom line is affected by whether a customer has a bad experience or a good one.

Let me tell you about a bad customer experience and a great customer experience I had.

I had been a frequent shopper at a major retailer, but once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I didn’t shop there nearly as much. As the world opened back up, I went on a rather large shopping spree with the help of discounts tied to the store credit card. The following month, eager to purchase some items for my newly remodeled bathroom, I headed there again, but when I went to check out, my store credit card was declined. What happened? I was here a month ago and my store card worked, but not today?! Since I couldn’t access the store card benefits, I ended up leaving the merchandise at the checkout counter and walked away. What a horrible welcome back experience for a loyal customer!

Bad experiences leave a retailer’s loyal customers with a bad taste in their mouths.  People have many choices about where to shop and they vote with their wallets.  What if the checkout person knew I was a highly valued customer when I was trying to use my store credit card? Then he could have handled the declined credit card in a more thoughtful way and made my experience more pleasant. A customer’s bad experience can translate to lost revenue and, even worse, it can mean a broken relationship.

Great retail experiences can generate more value in the moment as well as long-term return on investment. I am a very loyal customer of a major women’s retailer, originally because of the excellent in-store customer experience.  From the moment I walked in the store, the experience was different. The associates greeted me with a warm welcome, then left me alone to browse.  Once an associate saw what I was interested in, she offered help and useful suggestions.  The associate was attentive and took my items into the fitting room while I shopped.  The best part of the experience was when I walked into the dressing room, the associate had not only put my selections in there, but she had created complete ensembles that included matching accessories.  Needless to say, I spent more money than I planned, joined their loyalty club, and walked out with multiple shopping bags. The retailer’s online experience is just as impressive.  My shopping history at this retailer was used to drive its marketing messages as well as product selection, and a virtual associate puts together ensembles based on my preferences. Needless to say, I have achieved the retailer’s highest loyalty status, and I am provided many perks to increase my loyalty and drive my shopping obsession.

Acxiom helps retailers improve the customer experience by enabling marketing to an individual based on the person’s preferences, driving the right messages to the right person at the right time. Acxiom Real-Time Personalization solution enables retailers to vary the product and service value proposition based on when the individual is enacting with the brand — whether on a website, mobile application, call center or in person at a store.

People expect brands to deliver a customer experience resonating with their activities, interests, and opinions to build a lasting relationship. By implementing Acxiom Real-Time Personalization solution, both brands and customers benefit. The customer gets the ultimate experience, and the retailer gets a strong return on investment.

To learn more about how Acxiom can help retailers enable real-time personalization, contact us at

Click here to learn more about our Real-Time Personalization Solutions.

1 “The Art of Personalization – Keeping it Relevant, Timely and Contextual,” Periscope® By McKinsey, April 30, 2019