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5 factors to build a superior customer experience


Creating an exceptional customer experience can set you apart in today's world of retail.

This infographic breaks down the five keys to delivering an experience that keeps customers coming back to mid-market and independent retailers, including actions you can take to get your retail business where it needs to be.

Contact our Retail professionals to learn how we can help you with your business strategy.

The Harvard Business Review1 found a direct link between customer experience and revenue: customers who have a great experience spend 140% more than those who don’t.

For that reason alone, as a mid-market or independent retailer, setting up your business to deliver an easy, enjoyable, and memorable experience is crucial.

Here are five key areas to focus on when looking to improve the customer experience.


Three retailers account for 28% of Canadian non-auto retail sales: Weston, Walmart, and Costco.2 Their bricks and mortar stores all feel the same and the feeling carries over digitally. For shoppers, that familiarity is comforting.

Action item:

Do an experiential audit. Look at everything from average transaction speed, to brand colours and tone of voice. Get as much customer feedback as you can. Sometimes they’ll see things you won’t.


Global retail sector technology spending will grow 3.6% this year to over US$203 billion.3 These investments include:

  • AI to improve the customer experience with quicker paths to information, a practice that has been shown to increase average order values by 14%.4
  • Mobile pay, to make checkout more convenient. Studies show that 44% of smartphone users aged 35-44 have digital wallets.4 
  • Digital marketing, which 49% of retailers have made significant investments in.6

Action item:

Take an inventory of your experiential pain points and inefficiencies, and look for technologies to help solve them.


The average retail job pays $24.12 per hour.7 At 30 hours per week, that comes to $37,627.20 annually; not a lot of incentive to go above and beyond. 

Pay your people a little more and you’ll get more out of them. If you think you can’t afford it, remember: 

  • 77% of customers would recommend you if you gave them a positive experience.8
  • 51% would never shop with you again after one negative experience.9
  • 42% would post a negative online review or share their negativity on social media.9

Action item:

Look for operational efficiencies that let you direct more money towards staff. This will allow you to be more discerning when hiring as well.


The fastest way to ruin a customer experience is by falling short on two basic promises: you can buy what you want and get it quickly. The numbers back this up: 

  • 87% of customers will abandon their purchases if the checkout process is too difficult.10
  • 80% of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping.11
  • 61% want their purchases within 1-3 hours of ordering.11
  • 65% of retailers are expected to provide same-day delivery services by the end of 2019.12

Action item:

Evaluate your in-store, online, and shipping efficiencies. Are there investments you can make to improve any of these areas? Examine the relationship you have with your fulfillment provider. If they don’t offer same-day delivery, it may be time to find a provider that can. 

Customer Data Capture

Consider these numbers:

  • 31% of consumers would like a more personalized shopping experience.13 
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalized experiences.14

With the right data-capturing mechanisms, you can find out everything you need to know about individual customers and deliver an experience they want. Considering that 64% of consumers complain retailers don’t truly know them,15 even a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. 

Action item:

Use every available opportunity to collect data. Personalized offers are a good place to start: 57% of consumers are willing to share their personal information if that gives them personalized offers.16

What can retailers do next?

Anyone can sell what you sell, but your customer experience is unique to you. In today’s retail world, that’s what can set you apart.

A BDO strategic review can help you start on the five action items above, elevate the customer experience, and grow your retail business.

Contact our Consumer Business team for a consultation.


  1. Harvard Business Review. The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified, August 2014 
  2. Canadian Retailer, CSCA Retail 100, 2018
  3. Gartner, Gartner Says Retailers Are Investing Heavily in Digital Capabilities to Meet Customer Expectations, October 2018
  4. Salesforce, Holiday Shopping Report 2018
  5. Payments, Cards & Mobile, The rise of digital and mobile wallet: Global usage statistics from 2018, November 2018
  6. BDO, Retail Rationalized Survey, February 2019
  7. Retail by the Numbers, Retail Council of Canada, July 2019 
  8. Temkin Group, Customer experience leads to recommendations, February 2017 
  9. Vonage Business, The $62 Billion Customer Service Scared Away  
  10. Internet Retailing, 87% of shoppers will abandon a cart if checkout process is complicated, August 2018 
  11. Temando via Digital Commerce 360, Shoppers want their online orders faster, January 2016 
  12. Go People, Same Day Delivery Trends and Statistics to Guide Your Business, August 2018  
  13. Infosys, Rethinking Retail
  14. Epsilon, New Epsilon research indicates 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, January 2018 
  15. Salesforce, Shopper-First Retailing: New Research from 6,000 Consumers and 1.4 Billion Ecommerce Visits Reveals What Shoppers Actually Want, August 2018
  16. Salesforce, Customers Are Willing to Swap More Data for Personalized Marketing, November 2016

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