Are retailers missing opportunities to leverage location-powered experiences?
Connecting the physical and digital worlds has been a goal of retailers for years. Many of the components needed to deliver location-based services have also been around for years, but the complexity of implementing infrastructure and integrating systems has kept retailers from using this technology to optimize operations.
In the recent RetailWire webinar — “Location-powered customer experience: the next retailer frontier” — a panel of experts discussed why it’s time to implement infrastructure platforms to improve store experience, service and customer loyalty through geofencing.
Delivering relevant content, in context to a shopper’s history and current activity is essential. RetailWire BrainTrust panelist Shawn Harris said, retailers should develop programs to understand and connect with customers based on where they are relative to stores:
- Outside – improve BOPIS experience by reducing wait times, improving staff efficiency and providing timely instructions;
- Threshold – replace traditional traffic counting and greeters with personal digital messages;
- Inside – send messages and promotions triggered by store displays, shopping lists, etc.
Loads of Loyalty
“Think of loyalty in terms of why customers should pay attention to your brand,” said BrainTrust panelist Phil Rubin, founder of Grey Space Matters. Historic and real-time data allows brands to better serve customers in the ways that matter most to them.
- Recognition – understand where customers are physically located as well as their current purpose;
- Time – make it easy for customers to complete the task at hand;
- Value – serve up curated content, advice and assistance based on where consumers are located at any point in time.
A solid infrastructure provides the basis for location-based services on which new devices and services can be built, data can be collected, analytics can be applied and new devices and technologies added to deliver communiqués and capture information.
- Get consent from customers to use first-party data (information collected directly from customers, site visitors and app users) is essential to making meaningful connections. Merkle found that 86 percent of consumers were willing to trade their information to receive personalized offers based on their interests, browsing or purchase history;
- Integrate martech systems to seamlessly automate data collection, message customization, delivery and measurement;
- Make an app the centerpiece for interactions. Featured webinar panelist Nick Patrick, co-founder and CEO of Radar, said that engagement improves when an app is a consumer’s constant companion.
Now is the right time for retailers to implement location infrastructure and systems that deliver top- and bottom-line benefits.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why have retailers been slow to implement location-based solutions? Where does geofencing offer the biggest benefit for retailers?