The UK retail numbers for the final quarter of 2016 have all been coming in recently, with most looking positive. People are finally out on the High Street spending again despite all the uncertainty around Brexit.
But one result caught my eye in particular. Supermarket chain Morrisons has posted their best Christmas trading results for seven years with a 5.2% like-for-like jump in sales. This stood out because when I looked for information about the sales increase Morrisons said that they attribute the improvement in business completely to their strategy of focusing on improving the customer experience (CX).
Morrisons have taken measures at the customer-facing front-end as well as inside the supply chain. They introduced a policy of keeping more checkouts open more often to ensure that payment lines are reduced. They also introduced an automated stock ordering system that has access to the sales history of each store so it can predict stock requirements and place orders without managers needing to intervene.
These front and back office measures have led to more products being on the shelf when needed and an easier in-store payment experience. Morrisons was criticised in recent years for being very late to the online shopping market, yet now they have offered customers an online option they have experienced constant growth and the week of Christmas 2016 was their biggest ever single week for online sales.
Measures like improving stock control and opening more checkouts might sound like bread and butter issues for a supermarket, but taken as part of a wider strategy to put the customer experience at the centre of strategic planning this is an interesting example of how a CX focus can directly lead to improved sales.
In such a competitive market, achieving 5% growth is a fantastic result. Have you seen similar results from a focus on CX in your business? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by Matt Thorpe licensed under Creative Commons.