Retail’s future: Shopping that’s personal

Whether it’s a simple welcome message, a coupon or a promotion, retailers are increasingly trying to engage customers by communicating with them via their downloaded apps, their location and even their digital shopping lists.

Targeted marketing using geolocation isn’t brand new, but what makes beacon technology special is the ability to “wake up” an app a consumer has downloaded, but that isn’t open on the device.

A number of retailers—from Macy’s to Gamestop to Marsh Supermarkets—and mall developers such as Simon Property Group and Macerich are among those testing the waters with the new technology. Simon Property Group has installed about 4,800 beacons across 192 malls and shopping centers nationwide and not only does it hope mall shoppers will welcome messages sent through the Simon App, but it also sees the beacons as a service for existing retailers in the mall who can integrate their apps and message shoppers through it as well. The mall operator is betting customers who have downloaded the Simon app will welcome messages sent to their smartphone when they walk into the mall, especially if they reward them with loyalty points automatically for just visiting, or send them information on the latest trends at their favorite shop.

Though many beacon networks are still in pilot tests, inMarket and proximity marketing firm Mobiquity, both say there are signs that the devices are boosting both sales and the desire to make a purchase. A study conducted by beacon platform Swirl found that 73 percent of shoppers who received a beacon-triggered message on their smartphone said it increased their likelihood of making a purchase during a store visit, while 61 percent said the message would prompt them to visit the store more often.

You’re going to find it interesting because you’re in this shoe department and you’re interested in shoes and you get an offer for 20 percent off. Besides these examples, if you have any opinion about what can be done to enhance the future of retail personal shopping experience, you can share with us.


Retail’s future: Shopping that’s personal
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