Integrated Marketing Communication Essay

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Explanation & Answer length: 2000 words.

Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 Foot Locker Customer Experience Research into Customer Experience Understanding customer experience is essential for companies and its importance is more prevalent than before. Companies must prioritise a good customer experience as a fundamental company goal, while simultaneously providing a plethora of engaging touchpoints, channels and media outlets for consumers, to analyse and in some instances, to criticise (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). Measuring the customer experience through research, persona development and customer journey mapping is an effective way to understand management approaches and helps companies, like Foot Locker, meet continued market challenges (Homburg, Jozić, & Kuehnl, 2017).

This report outlines the research into Foot Locker’s customer experience and combines primary qualitative research, in the form of interviews with three female customers, about online shopping and Foot Locker and includes secondary research on customer experience. From this research the market persona of the female Foot Locker customer, aged 25 -35, is explored and the Foot Locker customer journey is mapped. Finally, recommendations to enhance Foot Locker’s customer experience and integrated marketing communications approach are explored. Financial performance Foot Locker’s financial performance has continually decreased for the last three years (The Times, 2019) and Foot Locker understand that the female market are an important market segment in footwear retailing in both the physical retail space and the online retail space.

Female consumers are more prone to purchasing fashion apparel online than their male counterparts (Silva, Monteiro, & Duarte, 2018), if Foot Locker want to improve their financial performance, it is imperative that they understand the customer journey from start to finish and make adjustments to the ever-changing complex customer behaviour (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). Customer’s disposable income According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic, males earn more than women on a weekly basis and appear to have higher levels of disposable income (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 2020a). However, female consumers are more likely to save up and purchase larger ticket items online, which works in Foot Locker’s favour as they work to create a customer experience for the female market most trainers priced above AUD$100 (Foot Locker, 2020).

One interview with a customer revealed that they are happy to spend a good amount of money on a pair of shoes that they know would last, providing comfort and satisfaction (Interview with Customer 3, October 15,2020). Correct targeting In 2016, Foot Locker ranked second place behind The Athlete’s Foot for the average amount customers spend on men’s sporting footwear, however, 30% of the customer base making these purchases were female (Roy Morgan, 2016). Foot Locker already have a large market of females making purchases on behalf of males and so by correctly targeting this already existing loyal customer base, Foot Locker could convert the customers to purchase items for themselves.

The online shopping experience There are proven differences between gender and the online shopping attitude, Hasan states that the most prominent difference in online shopping attitudes between genders is that females value the utility that online shopping provides (Hasan, 2010). The qualitative research found that all three female participants found shopping online useful and that a good customer experience increases satisfaction levels (Interview with Customer 1, 2 & 3, October 15,2020). Foot Locker have encountered several issues with their online shopping experience and are failing their customer and creating negative sentiment with continued online shopping issues (Brignall, 2020; Wyatt, 2017). Continued online shopping issues are known to make customers abandon the shopping process and in some instances, abandon the brand entirely “I want the brand to have an easy to use website, if there are technical issues on the website this really affects my shopping experience and I will happily shop somewhere else” (Interview with Customer 1, October 15, 2020). Chloe Du Bois n10713077

AMN401 – Assignment 3 Persona Development Who are they? The persona of interest for Foot Locker is based on the female market who make up 55% of the footwear market in Australia (Feller, 2020a). The target age of the persona is females aged between 25 -35. This target market have a higher household income of roughly $1030 per week in comparison to Foot Locker’s suggested demographic of 14 -24 years of age which have a median weekly wage of $298 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020a). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, females ages 25 -35 represent 14.3% of the population in Australia, compared to females aged 14 -24 who represent 12.4% of the population (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020c). What do they do? Close to 76% of the market work full time (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020b) and 50.2% of said often felt rushed for time (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019).

Qualitative data found that convenience and ease of comparison was the main reason why participants shopped online. “I like to shop online because I can compare really easily and I don’t have to take the time to go from one store to another and its really convenient because I can buy 24/7 when I want” (Interview with Customer 2, October 15,2020). What are their needs or goals? From Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas, they fall into a combination of ‘Fad-tastic’ in the aspirational category and ‘Social Trendsetters’ in the Metrotech category (Roy Morgan, 2020). They prioritise social relationships, prefer mobile and online media and rely on convenience. This demographic’s goals are to create financial stability and prosperity, 24% of the demographic own a home and pay a mortgage (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020b). What’s stopping them? Based on primary and secondary research, there is a range of feelings and emotional triggers during both the pre and post-purchase process for female consumers (G. Curwen & Chloe Du Bois n10713077

AMN401 – Assignment 3 Park, 2014). These factors include the availability of stock, the price point within a competitive market and dealing with unmet expectations (G. Curwen & Park, 2014). Several participants expressed frustration when customer service was not adequate, stating “If the customer service isn’t good then I won’t shop with that store again, customer service is really important to me and it is not difficult to get right” (Interview with Customer 3, October 15,2020). Financial concerns and changes to disposable income with the COVID-19 pandemic will affect online shopping behaviours (Feller, 2020a). Price is already a major basis for competition because of ease of price comparison (BurgioFicca, 2020) and can be a major factor stopping this consumer from making a purchase if they find the same product for a better price with a different online retailer “Price is important to me and I always compare with other stores based on price” (Interview with Customer 2, October 15,2020). What are their burning questions?

1. Am I going to get the best price on this product? 2. Is this purchase going to be worth my while? 3. Will this product be comfortable and last more than a season? 4. Am I going to have an easy online shopping experience? 5. Is there help available if I need it during the purchase process? Persona example The persona example is attached below and information from the persona example was substantiated with secondary research including Roy Morgan Helix Personas (Roy Morgan, 2020) and qualitative customer interviews with three willing female participants in the target age range. Foot Locker Persona – Sally Job: I am a personal trainer and work in a gym teaching Pilates. My household income is $69K. I shop online all the time! It is so convenient and easy to do wherever I am. Name: Age: Occupation: Status: Location: Income: Tier: Sally Fields 27 Fitness instructor In a relationship New Farm, Brisbane $69K Multi-use Bio: Hi, I am Sally and I am 27.

I live in a small one bedroom apartment in New Farm, it is really trendy and has a rooftop pool and gym which I love! I have a boyfriend, Tod. We have been together for the last six months. We maybe want to move in together next year but for now we are just taking it one day at a time. I have some disposable income and love spending it on holidays, homeware for the new apartment and on active wear because I live in active wear as a fitness instructor. I am sweet, ambitious and easy to get on with. Sometimes my clients say I can be scary in the gym because I push them hard but they know its because I believe in them and want them to challenge themselves. Needs & goals: I love spending time with my friends on weekends. I would love to start my own Pilates studio and teach privately on the side of class. Of course I have to stay fit and healthy and nutrition is a bit part of my life! I am also saving up for a puppy, but I don’t know which breed I want just yet. Likes: I love travelling, experiencing new things and fashion.

I enjoy keeping fit and healthy and decorating my new little apartment. Social environment: Friends are important because I want people to share experiences with me. I enjoy going to cafes and bars, especially when there are new trendy options to try in my area. Skills & interests: I love travelling, experiencing new things and fashion. On weekends I enjoy going to the beach with my boyfriend. It is important that I stay fit and healthy, especially with my job. Favourite brands: Value Segments: • Young optimism • Fair deal Thought cloud & persona: Aspirational experience seeker (Roy Morgan, 2020).

I feel healthy and well and I find it important to have some responsibility in my job. Burning questions: Will the shoes I buy be worth the money? Will the shoes last a long time? Are they going to be a reasonable price? Is it going to be easy for me to order online? Reasons to engage with Foot Locker: Wants to experience the activities available Wants to get incredible photos for social media. They want good value for money and enjoy travelling with friends. to home which costs less than an international holiday. Reasons to not engage with Foot Locker: I prefer to purchase footwear from discount retail outlets as they have more specials. Don’t Foot Locker only do men’s shoes? The price at Foot Locker can sometimes be too high, especially compared to other online retailers who always have sales! I can’t always find what I am looking for at Foot Locker and their online system doesn’t always work, Chloe Du Bois n10713077

AMN401 – Assignment 3 Customer Journey Map The below customer journey map explores the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages of the customer journey with Foot Locker. All touchpoints in each stage are defined and a traffic light system of red, yellow and green represent negative, neutral and positive emotions respectively. Pain points, moments of truth and suggestions are included in the map. These are discussed further as part of the recommendations. The emotions displayed in the customer journey map were substantiated with secondary research (Du Bois, 2020) and three qualitative interviews. Key: Red Negative customer emotions Yellow Neutral customer emotions Green Positive customer emotions Chloe Du Bois Behaviour Stage Pre-purchase n10713077 Touchpoints Website comparison Website (Desktop) Website (Mobile) Social media Pain points

AMN401 – Assignment 3 Moments of truth Suggestions Customers will be pleased with ease of access to information Review available Available pricing options Reviews on social media Refund & returns policy Discuss with family & friends Purchase Finding size & stock levels Checkout Post-purchase Viewing negative comments and bad reviews could turn the customer away This can be a negative pain point, if the process is challenging Could be positive or negative depending the word of mouth recommendations Causes negative emotions when they are shown online that the product is available and then it is out of stock This could negatively affect the customer experience Engage more with customers online Could be positive or negative depending the word of mouth recommendations Have live and continually updated stock numbers on the website Postage cost Paining for shipping can create a pain point for customers Offer free shipping on items over $100 or work it into the costs and offer free shipping on all shoes FAQ section Needs to have the answers and constant support Provide 24/7 support for customers to ensure you assist them with their questions and concerns Seeking post-purchase information Exchange/refund process Expectations were not met and this is listed as a pain point for customers An incorrect order can create negative emotions Reviews Social sharing Make it as easy as possible for the customer to return an item.

Acknowledge all reviews with a communication plan Positive emotions and social sharing will lead to positive word of mouth EDMs from Foot Locker The Locker loyalty club Make information about loyalty club more present and accessible to customers. Not just through the app Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 Recommendations Be available, 24/7 Qualitative research and the customer journey map show that customers lose interest and abandon shopping carts if they cannot find the help and basic customer service that they expect. “If I have a question, I will send them a message on social media or through their online chat and I expect them to get back to me quickly because I think that this is an important part of customer service” (Interview with Customer 2, October 15, 2020) Foot Locker could implement an online chat function or chat bot on their website and social media platforms that enhance the customer experience. These tools wouldn’t necessarily need to be monitored 24/7, but automated messaging through these systems gives the customer an expectation of when Foot Locker will get back to them regarding their concern or questions. This would help set the customer expectation and improve the experience.

There is a quantifiable need for customer support functions in online shopping and these improve customer emotions and meet the increased demand for high levels of service and timely responses from online stores (McLean & Wilson, 2016). Enhance engagement on social platforms Previous research indicates that Foot Locker do not confirm their messaging and struggle with a lack of consistency, in addition they have faced criticism when not addressing technical issues for customers in a timely fashion, or in some cases at all (Du Bois, 2020). If Foot Locker interact with their consumers more, they will create more intrinsic value for them (Duncan & Moriarty, 2006). The customer journey map shows that if consumers, who value and expect good customer service, have issues with their shopping experience, that they will likely abandon the shopping process and consider moving to a different brand that could give them the experience that they expect. Foot Locker need to firstly monitor, and secondly implement a crisis communications plan to address the different concerns and types of complaints from consumers (Grégoire, Salle, & Tripp, 2015). Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 Improve the Foot Locker App At present, the Foot Locker app is lacking and Foot Locker need to strengthen their ecommerce platform to add value to the customer experience (Wyatt, 2017).

Foot Locker could make improvements to their app “The Locker” to enhance the customer experience. The app could add a store element which is present with retail apps for ASOS and The Iconic. A store feature in the app allows customers to browse and purchase items in the app, it gathers important customer data and facilitates mobile app shopping which is increasingly prevalent providing Foot Locker the opportunity to expand (Burgio-Ficca, 2020; Feller, 2020a). Invest in technology and augmented reality enhancements Customers online shopping habits are increasing and it is imperative that the choices they make online create a good experience (Feller, 2020b). Foot Locker need to keep up with technology and make it easier for online customers to shop and have a unique experience that they want to repeat. Foot Locker should invest innovative online shopping technology that lets consumers try current products by using the camera on their phone in an augmented reality change room from the comfort of the customers’ home.

Known as mobile augmented reality (MAR), MAR will benefit Foot Locker in many ways; it will enhance the customer journey, provide Foot Locker with valuable data sets that help determine shopping behaviours, it will differentiate Foot Locker from the competition in the variety athletic shoe market and it will create value for the consumer (Dacko, 2017). Brands including Nike and Converse have already created mobile apps allowing consumers to virtually try on items, as stockists of these brands, Foot Locker could replicate this model for their stores (Hirschfeld, 2020). Words: 2182 Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 References Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2019). General social survey: summary results, Australia. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/peopleand-communities/general-social-survey-summary-results-australia/2019 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2020a). Average Weekly Earnings Australia. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-workhours/average-weekly-earnings-australia/may-2020 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2020b). Gender indicators, Australia.

Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities/genderindicators-australia/nov-2019 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2020c). Regional population by age and sex Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/regionalpopulation-age-and-sex/2019 Brignall, M. (2020). Foot Locker seems to be locking out its customers. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/sep/01/foot-locker-seems-to-belocking-out-its-customers Burgio-Ficca, C. (2020). Online Shoe Sales in Australia. Retrieved from IBISWorld: https://my-ibisworld-com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/download/au/en/industryspecialized/4094/1/0/pdf Dacko, S. G. (2017). Enabling smart retail settings via mobile augmented reality shopping apps. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 124, 243-256. Du Bois, C. (2020). Integrated Marketing Communications, Integration Analysis. University Assignment Duncan, T., & Moriarty, S. (2006).

How integrated marketing communication’s ‘touchpoints’ can operationalize the service-dominant logic. The servicedominant logic of marketing: Dialog, debate, and directions, 21(1), 236-249. Feller, D. (2020a). Footwear retailing in Australia. Retrieved from IBISWorld: https://my-ibisworldcom.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/au/en/industry/g4252/industry-at-a-glance Feller, D. (2020b). Online shopping in Australia. Retrieved from IBISWorld: https://myibisworld-com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/au/en/industry/x0004/about Foot Locker. (2020). Women’s Shoes Retrieved from https://www.footlocker.com.au/en/women/shoes/ G. Curwen, L., & Park, J. (2014). When the shoe doesn’t fit: female consumers’ negative emotions. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 18(3), 338356. doi:10.1108/JFMM-12-2012-0078 Chloe Du Bois n10713077 AMN401 – Assignment 3 Grégoire, Y., Salle, A., & Tripp, T. M. (2015). Managing social media crises with your customers: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Business horizons, 58(2),..

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