In a recent SOTI study, 34% of retailers quoted in-store innovation among their top priorities for 2018. This comes as no surprise as the reality of offline decline continues to proliferate and valuable digital experiences are increasingly brought in-store as a result.
Whereas previously, other industries, such as financial services, have very much paved the way for new innovations, in the present day, we are witnessing retailers being touted as the new trail blazers when it comes to fresh technology uptake. Below, we can see a few examples of evidence of these deployments in-store:
IoT and the Big Brother effect
IoT sensors and facial detection software are being used in-store to understand how consumers interact with products and move around the shop floor, providing valuable in-store analytics around customer behaviour, specific interest and path to purchase. All data is anonymised, with sensors remaining unnoticeable throughout the store. Retailers can use this to understand whether a customer is new to the store, or has shopped nearby, their demographic information and interests. This immediate information can help the retailer to react in real-time to information around under-trading in a particular store or product category.
Real-time response with beacons
70% of consumers today state that a company’s understanding of their personal preferences is paramount and fortifies their loyalty to the brand. Data gathered by beacon technology is used to offer truly personalised experiences, leveraging the customer’s mobile location to target loyalty offers specific to the individual and their geographic location. Information is delivered directly to a customer’s mobile device via a product or store-specific notification.
The drawback of this technology, however, is that the customer has to be a known quantity of the store, and equally the customer needs to be familiar with the store, and already have the app downloaded on their phone. The perks are that the technology has developed significantly from its inception, whereby it was used to send push discounts and store announcements using a simple data set, including a customer’s name, buying history, number of children and address.
Now, the technology no longer relies on the customer’s mobile to interact, therefore can target both known and unknown customers. Next-gen responsive technology can use digital signage, lighting and sound in-store to deliver targeted information to customers, based on their real-time behaviour and demographic information. In addition, this information can be used by in-store assistants to personalise interactions.