by Ashley Murdoch (CEO, Corethree)
With the modern day shopper seldom found without their smart phone, mobile technology is fast-becoming a cornerstone of the retail environment. More and more customers are now conducting their own online research before making a purchase in-store; now is the time for bricks-and-mortar retailers to utilise the habits of the savvy-shopper to their advantage.
Online shopping is proving tough competition for high street retailers so how do high street shops start to use technology to their advantage? Through working with mobile technology brands are now able to harness data from their customers to anticipate exactly where and when they want to interact before adjusting their environment and promotions to suit those needs. This will save time and money as well as grow loyalty.
In an increasingly paperless world, fully integrated mobile ticketing apps (m-tickets) are a great example of how to make use of multiple data points. Not only do they provide more ease and control of purchase for the customer, but also a valuable opportunity for the brand to glean vital information on the behaviour patterns of their customer base. This then allows a firm to vastly improve the services that they provide, to make it even more compelling for the customer.
The data harvested from these apps can provide information on the habits of the consumer; from their daily commute to the music they listen to. With today's customer now carrying the software in their pocket, retailers now have the ability to communicate with their customers on a one-to-one basis. Offers and incentives can be tailored to the needs of one specific customer as opposed to a 'one size fits all' umbrella of sales promotions that can often create frustration rather than loyalty. Instead of this blanket approach, with the rise of m-ticketing, retailers have the opportunity to create the concept of a personalised high street experience.
For example, the data from a consumer who uses a specific car park daily gives the retailer the capability to harness this habit by offering a free coffee, discounted lunch or even a voucher code for a haircut.
In fact we know that our incentive eco-system built for a major parking operator has generated over 150,000 activated offers, and all customers have had to do is park their car to qualify for offers. Not only does this approach build a personalised relationship between business and consumer, but by utilising the model from m-ticketing apps, retailers increase their visibility, versatility and value to their customers; be it based in a shopping centre, concert venue or sports arena. Retailers now have the ability to influence consumer behaviour patterns in a mutually positive and beneficial fashion by understanding where they shop and travel.
Mobile is an easy, secure and transportable method of payment, and by developing a synergy between online and bricks-and-mortar stores through facilities such as 'click and collect,' brands can not only generate further data from the customer but also bring them back into the physical retail environment, where they can receive additional rewards or discounts on additional purchases when they arrive to collect their delivery.
With online retailing proving to be a more significant threat to bricks-and-mortar retailers with each passing year, now is certainly the time for retailers to strike while the iron is hot in the m-ticketing industry to ripen and sustain their customer loyalty.