Retail has always been a challenging business. Today, more than ever consumers want the latest and best products at the best price, matched with quality service and a quick response when they want more information. The customer is very much in control and aware of their various buying options and now have the tools to shop around and get those great deals. New apps and online stores make it easy to comparison shop on-demand.

As consumer expectations grow, retailers are playing catch-up trying to deliver that personal shopping experience. Consequently, retailers are turning to technology to customise their marketing’ looking at buying behaviour and trends and deliver relevant content. This is all based on data capture – knowing as much about your customers as possible. By collecting data at every brand touch-point, retailers are better equipped to anticipate future purchases. This could take the shape of reminding an online shopper of a pair of shoes they were considering, to relevant vouchers given at the till after payment that relates to their weekly grocery shop, encouraging the next in-store visit. These ‘hand-picked’ voucher offers shows the customer that the retailer is paying attention and keen to offer them money off of reward points for future purchasers – they key thing, it’s completely relevant to their individual purchases.

Another way to personalise the in-store experience is through beacons. Beacons can be used to improve customer service, enhance the benefits of loyalty programs and increase revenue through targeted marketing. It can also target known customers and convert passers-by to visitors. Beacons allow retailers to:

Strengthen customer loyalty: Once a beacon detects that a customer has entered a store, a retailer can retrieve information from a loyalty program database and details of previous purchases. Information from such databases can be used as a customer travels to different parts of a store. For example, if the customer has made multiple purchases in the electronics section over the past year, the store could push notices about today’s electronics specials to his or her mobile phone.

Increase revenue through customized and targeted marketing messages: A retailer could send personalised offers as a customer roams around their store. If the customer lingers near a particular merchandise display, a reminder that the items in that section are on sale could be delivered instantly to his or her mobile phone.

In today’s fast paced, on-demand world of retail – the personal touch is the one thing that stands out. From the online customer who is served content that anticipates their next purchase, to harnessing power instore and encouraging passers by to step inside – technology is here to stay and can only evolve.

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