The Location Marketing Challenge for Retailers

Businesses are sitting on an enormous amount of data – from spending and conversion patterns to sentiment analysis. But, how many are actually connecting the dots and drawing intelligent insights from it? And , most important, taking some action from it?

Location based marketing / services like Multichannel can add value only when they can push what customer is really interested in OR what’s the need of the hour. You now have a front end delivery system. What’s missing is a connect between the back-end and the front end. The back-end is the one which has to drill through the customer’s interests, his buying habits and what he is looking to spent cash now.

The customer now a days goes to a retailer or brick and mortar shop after doing enough research on the internet. Looking for the price points, user reviews etc etc. the user leaves behind enough traces on what’s he looking for. If there is something that’s existing to drill through this and using AI to push offers when he is at a retailer, then it will click.

What’s happening now – you browse various online shopping sites for a product you are interested in for two days and for the next 2 months, the ad partners starts displaying ads on all the sites you normally visit. Out of this how many ads , you see that are customized for you? Did the seller displayed any ad tuned for you?

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Even with all the technologies, the ad delivery look the same as they were years ago – billboards. The connect is what’s missing. Think of a future when the billboard on the highway, when you are passing by, changes it display to advertise something of interest to you and not of n-1 living souls of the world.

Retailers are already overwhelmed by the challenge of re-training staff and upgrading IT infrastructure. They are very aware of how JC Penney for example, was damaged by reckless and poorly-tested change. The most popular iBeacons use-case (“put beacons throughout store and pop up coupons”) is still unproven, and is potentially a huge implementation cost. Retail execs need a way to test iBeacons sooner, on a low-cost basis, with live customers, before committing big money.

For example we’ve been using a combination of Passbook and iBeacons, with extra flourishes to make them more customer friendly. This creates solid customer results and learning’s for staff without change to IT infrastructure or mobile apps. Probably there are other short term solutions out there also.

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