A sneak peak at Life in the Retail Space…

Rise of the iBeacons

Digital marketing is fast becoming marketers ‘go to’ in bridging the gap in omnichannel retailing. With that being said, creating a strategy that incorporates mobile devices with the in-store experience has proven quite a challenge. The competitiveness of the retail environment necessitates not only an in depth understanding of shoppers, but also a frictionless integration of digital interfaces and conversation between consumers and brands. This is critical not just before the point of consumption or after it, but at all points throughout the shopper journey.

These days, the majority of shoppers carry a smartphone of some sorts, be it to check prices, health and nutrition advice or just to communicate with friends while on the move. Whatever the reason, the fact that they are using these devices in store presents retailers with an unrivalled opportunity for communication and engagement. All in all, an enhanced in-store experience leads to greater customer loyalty and, ultimately, a bigger basket at the point of checkout.

It is becoming clear that by combining customer data gathered both online and in store, retailers can deliver an experience for customers based on an exchange of information and enabled by new technologies and applications, including the iBeacon.

These in-store beacons utilise proven Bluetooth Low Energy technology to send any number of messages to mobile devices as they come into range. This technology allows shoppers to be presented with simple calls to action or branded content. As such, communication is facilitated between consumers and brands and companies are able to offer unique discounts and promotions to users.

Furthermore, beacons allow brands to measure the effectiveness of specific parts of their marketing strategy, facilitating a direct link to be drawn between a shopper viewing a promotion and making a subsequent purchase.

iBeacons offer a seamless and integrated omnichannel experience, solving problems people having been trying to resolve for years. Traditionally these problems were dealt with using near field technologies such as QR codes, however the friction in transactions of this type is often highlighted.

With the coming of the new era of “proximity vs location”, it has become clear that brands are increasingly aware of the importance of staying in the ‘mindset of customers’. Part of the answer is thought to be mobile apps, and iBeacons in particular, but the real challenge is figuring out the optimal timing and frequency of promotional messages and advertisements. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with information, and it is entirely possible that overexposure in the future may lead to the formation of new ad avoidance strategies by customers.

For more articles like this visit: www.thevalleygroup.com/downloads.php and access our popular periodical Life in the Retail Space.

6 “Shoppable” Marketing Tips

The question on everyone’s lips at the moment is how on earth can marketers keep up with the creative shopping revolution? The answer… Follow the retail sector.

With social commerce booming and the ability to buy any product pretty much anywhere becoming an every day reality, it’s clear that brands are truly beginning to meet their match and consequently, are evolving at an increasingly rapid rate.

Products can be bought through every medium out there including but not limited to, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and other relatively new forms of social media. The Guardian noted Katy Perry’s half time performance at this year’s Super Bowl as “something of a milestone for shoppable” noting that for the first time in history, people could buy related merchandise through their TV and without even moving from their sofas.

While progress like this would have been considered mind blowing less than a decade ago, it is also resulting in a fall in success-particularly for advertisers who are finding it difficult to keep up with advancing technology and customer expectations. As a result, perceived customer service is due to take a tumble with the gap between consumer’s expectations and reality widening at an alarming rate.

But fear not marketers! We’re on hand to help you out and get you well and truly equipped for the shoppable revolution! And the key tips really aren’t as scary as you probably thought…

1. Rethink your marketing operation
Traditional marketing structures and departments are dead and done. What is needed now? A combination of retailers and advertisers. Separate teams and functions are a thing of the past and are simply not conducive to shoppable advertising. Your marketers need to work together to overcome any technological issues, there needs to be creatives working alongside engineers, and researchers working alongside.. well everyone!

2. Be creative
Creativity has become fundamental in providing shoppable content, and not in the way it traditional was. Creative ideas must be combined with design and build at all stages of the marketing process.

The Guardian quotes Hathaway of Cheil Worldwide as saying “If your shoppable work is not emotional then it isn’t going to drive an action.” Social commerce needs creative input and traditional marketing must utilise creative innovation in order to remain forward moving.

3. Be relevant
This has and will remain to be, number one in any marketing campaign. You cannot possibly hope to sell something if the social commerce you are using is not attractive or relevant to your audience. Brands are increasingly focusing on trends, cultural shifts and events, but more of this is needed to encourage active long term engagement with your consumers.

Marketing has progressed into an experience economy and it is this concept cultural relevance that really makes those experiences for consumers.

4. Forge new retail partnerships
Shoppable content is always at the heart of retail marketing so to stay ahead of the trends and ahead of competitors, get yourselves that foot in the door with retail brands. Reach out to retailers and let their dominance help you stay on top.

5. Keep it simple and seamless
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the key to any marketing campaign is to keep it simple (look at our KISS article!!). No matter how engaging your campaign is, a shopping process which is tedious, long and boring will not stimulate the sales you’re looking for.

Keep the process as simple and seamless as possible and help yourself in the long run by avoiding complex issues caused by friction within the purchase funnel from discovery to purchase.

6. The future is connected
We all know this. We’ve seen it happen! Instagram, Youtube, TV shows, Twitter, Facebook, Apps…. they are all used to sell products and they’re really good at it so do not neglect them. Western consumers are connected in everything that they do, so penetrating the platforms that they use on a daily basis is one of the best ways to meet expectations. The rise of the iBeacon is an exciting concept in this area and the past two years have seen the industry grow exponentially. Apps such as Just Desire Ltd, are working with huge multinationals such as Mcdonalds, to bring branded content to consumers and allows consumer encounters to be shoppable.

 

 

 

A sneak peak at Life in the Retail Space…

Rise of the iBeacons
Digital marketing is fast becoming marketers ‘go to’ in bridging the gap in omnichannel retailing. With that being said, creating a strategy that incorporates mobile devices with the in-store experience has proven quite a challenge. The competitiveness of the retail environment necessitates not only an in depth understanding of shoppers, but also a frictionless integration of digital interfaces and conversation between consumers and brands. This is critical not just before the point of consumption or after it, but at all points throughout the shopper journey.

These days, the majority of shoppers carry a smartphone of some sorts, be it to check prices, health and nutrition advice or just to communicate with friends while on the move. Whatever the reason, the fact that they are using these devices in store presents retailers with an unrivalled opportunity for communication and engagement. All in all, an enhanced in-store experience leads to greater customer loyalty and, ultimately, a bigger basket at the point of checkout.

It is becoming clear that by combining customer data gathered both online and in store, retailers can deliver an experience for customers based on an exchange of information and enabled by new technologies and applications, including the iBeacon.

These in-store beacons utilise proven Bluetooth Low Energy technology to send any number of messages to mobile devices asthey come into range. This technology allows shoppers to be presented with simple calls to action or branded content. As such, communication is facilitated between consumers and brands and companies are able to offer unique discounts and promotions to users.

Furthermore, beacons allow brands to measure the effectiveness of specific parts of their marketing strategy, facilitating a direct link to be drawn between a shopper viewing a promotion and making a subsequent purchase.

iBeacons offer a seamless and integrated omnichannel experience, solving problems people having been trying to resolve for years. Traditionally these problems were dealt with using near field technologies such as QR codes, however the friction in transactions of this type is often highlighted.

With the coming of the new era of “proximity vs location”, it has become clear that brands are increasingly aware of the importance of staying in the ‘mindset of customers’. Part of the answer is thought to be mobile apps, and iBeacons in particular, but the real challenge is figuring out the optimal timing and frequency of promotional messages and advertisements. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with information, and it is entirely possible that overexposure in the future may lead to the formation of new ad avoidance strategies by customers.

For more articles like this visit: www.thevalleygroup.com/downloads.php and access our popular periodical Life in the Retail Space.