In Italy – as with most countries – customers expect a fast and seamless experience. Indeed, the optimization of the pillar of Time and Effort has almost become ‘the new normal’; as such, it’s quite difficult for some brands to differentiate themselves using this pillar alone, as many organizations are already offering smooth experiences.
This is due, in part, to the way in which the omnichannel experience has been mastered. On the whole, Italian companies have efficiently connected their offerings across a myriad of touchpoints, making it easier for consumers to achieve their goals via the mediums of their choice.
The jewelry retailer Morellato is a good example in this respect, as one of the biggest movers in the Italian rankings in 2019. In the last year it has risen 55 places to rank seventh, and has used technological innovation to keep the customer experience relevant. For instance, it has developed a product known as the Morellato Smart Jewel, which has the appearance of an ordinary pendant, but can also be used to connect to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth. When the person receives a phone call, text or other notification, the pendant gently vibrates, and a crystal LED lights up.
With such innovations, Morellato demonstrates that it has an understanding of its customers’ lifestyles and needs, which is symptomatic of the brand’s customer obsession. Much of this is reliant on good use of customer analytics, and whilst many Italian organizations acquire customer data, not all of them have the means or the knowledge to put this information into action. Those that do have a much greater chance of scoring highly for Personalization – the pillar with the greatest weighting on loyalty.
Indeed, Personalization is one of the strengths of Italy’s third highestranking organization – the luxury fashion retailer Chanel. It designs much of its customer experience with the individual at the center, even going to great lengths to exude Personalization in its fulfilment of online orders. Customers who shop via its website receive their products in a signature white box – along with a personalized note – which Chanel describes as “a gift.” There’s a sense that great care is taken to fulfill every order, heightening the sense of importance for that specific individual.
"In decades past, only the largest firms could afford the teams needed to analyze and report customer data to drive business decisions. So most decisions about the customer were based on guesswork, or at best, intuition (what senior people think the customer wants). In today’s rapidly changing world, that is an extremely dangerous way to do business. Leading organizations of the future have to develop strong customer analytics competencies and embed it at all levels of the organization. This enables a successful business with every employee, not only the front office, obsessed with creating a positive experience for their customers."
Partner, Head of Customer Advisory,
KPMG in Italy
In second place is the online payment platform PayPal – a brand that has risen six places in the Italian rankings since 2018, and is notable for its performance in the pillar of Time and Effort. As one respondent to the research explained: “The PayPal account is very comfortable and efficient. I recommend it to everyone. It’s also safe and easy to manage.”
Undoubtedly, one of PayPal’s strengths lies in the ease with which customers can achieve their goals. This is exemplified in the brand’s One Touch service, which enables people to complete transactions with a single click. The preference can be activated within the user’s profile, after which One Touch can be seamlessly used across any device, be it a tablet, smartphone, or PC.
The country’s highest-ranking organization is the online retailer Amazon. Indeed, Amazon is the country leader for almost all of The Six Pillars.
“I love Amazon because it makes my shopping safe and simple,” said one respondent. “I really like buying on this site because I find everything here.”
Not only is Amazon notable for its vast product range, but it also stands out for its plethora of delivery options. Shoppers can choose how quickly they want items delivering, and the brand also offers a same day delivery service for those customers living in Rome or Milan. Moreover, for bulky items, Amazon offers a service whereby a person can specify which room in their house they’d like a product taken to.27
Time and Effort, therefore, is a key consideration for Italian organizations. But as mentioned previously, this is no longer enough, in isolation, to gain a competitive advantage. Italian companies must also take time to fully understand the people they’re serving and fashion more personalized customer experiences that cater for the specific needs of the individual. As brands such as Chanel demonstrate, attention to detail is key here and nothing should appear to be ‘too much trouble.’