To say the retail industry is experiencing a disconnect with its loyal customers that is at an all time high will be an understatement. Recent reports published by Ipsos suggest “The Retail footfall was down by 4.7% for this boxing day when compared with the previous year. Stores in high streets and retail parks suffered the most, with traffic down 7.1% and 7.2% respectively. Outlet centres saw 4.3% fewer shoppers, while town Centre malls and regional shopping centres, such as Bluewater in Kent and Meadowhall in Sheffield, fared the best relatively, with footfall slipping only 1.9% and 2.9% respectively” These results when compared with on-line retailers is seriously worrying, as it sets to drive home the fact that more and more consumers are felling extremely disenfranchised by their once beloved favorite high street shops. When compared with its on-line counterpart, the off-line retail industry has being the most reluctant to adopt technologies necessary for improving the overall consumer experience of their loyal customers. They lack the personalization and contextualization that e-commerce retailers are perfecting and reaping the rewards for. With the lack of technology present on the shop floor, sales assistants are unable to access the data required, so as to detect when a frequent loyal customer is present and how to personalize the services offered, so that each individual customer can feel valued.
Companies like John Lewis are beating the competition because they have anticipated the change in their customer’s buying behavior and taste, and put in place necessary practices to ensure that they are ahead of the game. To further solidify its positon as a leader in both on-line and of-line retailing, it invested in ibeacon powered devices that allows for offers, rewards and contents to be sent to each individual customer based on their personal preferences and context. This is particularly significant because it has found a way to bring the benefits of on-line personalization to the off-line world, by allowing only the contents that are relevant to individual loyal customer to be pushed to them based on their location. The overall point is that off-line retailers struggling to convert loyal customers into brand advocates and looking for ways to integrate personalisation and contextualisation in-order to increase their store foot-fall, still stand a chance of doing that. The Reyou ibeacon powered proximity marketing app can be integrated into your business to help drive both social engagement and recover lost customers. It provides each individual business with real-time data of what their customer’s personal preferences are, their current location, so that only contents relevant to those customers at that particular time are beamed and subsequently shared on social media platforms, helping your business create value and retain its core consumers.
We live in a digital age and pretty much everything we do leaves some sort of a digital footprint behind. Although there has been recent debates regarding privacy and what internet companies can do to better safeguard our personal details. However one cannot deny that the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. We are a nation of shoppers, we relish and delight at the thought of a weekend with the girls hitting up all the major retailers. Shopping in retail stores in addition with all the services that tag along with it, is still very much one of the main reasons why we all still flock to the high-street at such an unprecedented rate. There is an enormous advantage associated with going in store, getting a feel for a product/merchandise and then eventually making up your mind with regards to purchase.
However we stand at the moment, in the middle of tectonic Plates of cool technologies, which are severely disrupting industries that are hundreds of years old and changing their face beyond recognition. Lets take for example, Apple in mid 2013 quietly announced the assimilation of iBeacons into their iOS powered iPhones. As a non-techie, this might not necessarily mean a lot to you, but fast forward to eight months later and the likes of Macy’s in New York, McDonalds, Waitrose and John Lewis in the UK are all shelling out huge amount of money to invest in this innovative piece of device and a compactible app.
Retailers are not only adopting these technologies at such a past pace but are being rather smart about its implementation. Not only do they deploy them to better enhance each individual customer’s experience but to also ensure that they stay loyal through offering in-mobile digital rewards or coupons that can be stored to each individual’s mobile device wallet and then redeemed at a much suitable time. By engaging with customers through iBeacon powered apps, retailers can entice more customers into visiting the stores and based on prior purchasing habits can personalise the offers and notifications sent to that particular customer in a context that is relevant to them, thereby increasing the chances of them spending money because what is being offered to them is not only relevant in terms of taste but also relevant to their current context, future increasing sales volume and in-turn sales revenue.
The many attributes of the iBeacon especially in the areas of contextualisation and personalisation makes them an ideal investment for any business/brands reviewing its modern digital marketing strategies. It provides multiple industries with data that might not have ordinarily been available to them off-line. With the iBeacon enabled dashboard, a business can analyse who their best customers are, their average spend per visit, the duration of each visit and how customers interact with their products in real-time, so that the products generating the most engagements are pushed to the fore-front and with Apple Pay coming to every iOS mobile device near you, be prepared for a whole new way of playing the brick and mortar game.