The I to T of retail's IoT
It’s no secret that the IoT holds huge promise for bricks and mortar retailers. Faced with falling footfall, declining revenue and increased on- and offline competition, brands with physical locations are perfectly poised to make the most of connected technology. Starting with customers’ mobile phones, retailers now have access to a web of connected devices that provide an enormous amount of live, contextual marketing data for personalization. Intelligent personalization, naturally...
Collecting and analyzing data from an ever-widening range of devices enables more intelligent personalization of customer experiences: driving sales and boosting revenue by knowing just what to give each customer - and exactly when to give it to them.
Just in time
RFID tracks stock movement from the distributor, onto the shelf, round the store and out via the POS. Reporting on inventory in real time is easy - as is directing online customers to the nearest store with stock, or delivering related information to in-store customers on connected displays and smart shelves.
Keep it simple and straightforward. Start with your existing technology: CRM, POS, store WiFi, add more where it makes most sense. You don’t need huge capital outlay to benefit from connecting mobile and other devices.
Linking technology with data means loyalty programs can be tailored to individual customers, giving them the rewards they’re most likely to respond to - and making sure you’re not giving away margin unnecessarily. And delivering loyalty programs via mobile means fewer cards cluttering the wallet.
Marketing content can be triggered in a number of ways: by crossing a geofence, coming in range of a beacon or WiFi, or even at particular times or days of the week. In addition to being delivered at just the right time, it needs to be personalized with data drawn from customers’ mobiles and your other connected devices...
The retail IoT starts with mobile as the most detailed - and immediate - source of customer data. However kiosks, beacons, in-store displays, PoS, wearables and more can be networked to send and receive data. And with billions of potential data sources, marketing’s only going to get more personal.
As customers we want seamless, consistent shopping experiences regardless of channel, so retailers need to present a unified brand and a consistent experience across all channels or devices they use: online, mobile, offline and more.
Feeding the data collected from devices through analytic algorithms and processing via machine learning gives retailers the ideal combination of content, time and place to net results: moving beyond predicting results to modelling the best course of action.
Multiple technologies help to engage shoppers and make closing the sale easier. In-app offer redemption, bar and QR codes (still not dead), click and collect, image matching, virtual fitting rooms, offline wishlists - even talking coat hangers.
We’ve all come to expect that we’ll be given what we need when we need it. Without live data, real-time personalization becomes more difficult – if you’re just working from past purchases and database demographics you can’t accurately predict what will work best for each customer. More, failing to meet customer expectations of relevant, timely information can seriously damage a brand.
The key to engaging millennials and Gen Z is social sharing – FOMO and the power of referrals will pull customers in when pushing your message won’t work. It’s way more intuitive to share an experience on a device you have at-hand (or on-wrist) than it is when you get to a computer hours later.
Historical purchase data is important, which is why most retailers have a lot of it. But it isn’t enough, which is why Things are such a big deal. Things will help you collect the data you need for ongoing personalization: location, weather, local events, transport conditions and more.