5 Hot Topics In Retail Technology - #5: Influencing Customer LoyaltySource: Zebra Technologies
Using Technology to Drive Brand Recognition and Recurring Sales
Throughout this series, you learned how mobile point of sale (POS), self-service kiosks, and technologies like the iPad and RFID are transforming the retail experience, an experience that, until now, has essentially been the same since the 1950's. Will these new technologies really make a difference? Beyond the "wow" factor, how will this technology revolution ultimately change benefit retail at the enterprise-level?
No doubt, a key objective for retailers today is to influence shopper decisions across all selling channels. Sales and marketing campaigns that use mobility stand to gain the most when they integrate with both online and in-store shopping tools. The more channels the customer is exposed to, the greater the chance for cross selling successes.
Today, customers receive brand and product messages from several marketing channels including email, in-store promotions, mobile messaging, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Each of these channels helps drive awareness and provides an opportunity for consumers to opt in. What's more, each data "touch point" with the consumer feeds customer relationship databases so that enterprises can glean precious metrics about buying preferences and patterns.
Armed with rich, "right now" metrics, retailers can adjust and target their marketing campaigns to directly influence customer actions. This sort of 360 degree understanding of the customer is exactly what retailers need to remain competitive.
"Right Now" Consumer Information Pays Big Dividends
Mobile POS and self-service shopping offers an unmatched, powerful medium to reach consumers at each phase of the shopping lifecycle. Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase "The medium is the message", recognizing that the type of a medium (ie-"wow" technologies like the iPad) embeds itself in the message and influences how someone interprets the message. Why not carry this concept into the retail shopping experience?
Forward thinking enterprises recognize how these new technologies can transform how shoppers connect to the brand. In just one example, analysts expect mobile POS to expand throughout mainstream retailing within the next 18 months. Businesses that jump on board will deliver a new way for launching sales touch points, while driving deeper relationships and interaction that is more meaningful.
Integrating data from all sources, including mobile and fixed POS, RFID track and trace, online promotional campaigns, and self-service shopping is the final mile for driving customer loyalty. As a result, retailers can create tailored loyalty and couponing campaigns based on shopping behavior, promotional cycles, and seasonal demand. Dynamic loyalty programs can quickly adjust to the shopper and create incentives to "buy now"—a concept that only existed as a dream a few years ago.
Empower Your Customers
Self-service shopping means customers can fully serve themselves, without assistance or interaction from store associates. Providing the medium to enable consumers to engage and shop on their own terms is the ticket to success in retail. When customers know precisely what they want to purchase, self-service kiosks provide an easy, intuitive way to check out quickly. Kiosks also help retailers "save the sale" by giving customers a way to purchase out of stock items or complimentary items that may only be available online. Furthermore, self-service kiosks provide sales staff with more customer face time, which means additional opportunities for cross selling and up selling. In fact, some retailers are already seeing sales increases of 30 percent due to self-service applications.
It's time to get excited and join the retailer mobility revolution. Take a proactive approach to influence customer buying habits. Track and trace inventory for improved efficiency. Excite shoppers by propelling them out of a 1950's shopping experience into the world of self-service and multi-channel retail. Most importantly, utilize the powerful data to understand your customers so you can deliver meaningful, timely offers to deepen the relationship and build loyalty.
SOURCE: Zebra Technologies