From digital signage to smart shelves, technology is forever changing the face of retail shopping. We live in the information age, so if a potential customer is standing next to your latest smart TV, wearable, or voice assistant, make sure to provide them with only the best that digital marketing has to offer. Facilitate their access to more info. Deliver a discount wirelessly to their mobile phone. Convince them, on the spot, that your product is the right solution for them.
Keep reading to discover 7 digital tools that will enhance your retail marketing efforts.
If this is your first go at digital marketing, starting with digital signage is the best way to get your feet wet. This may take the form of simply replacing existing posters with screens, or you can take it even further by replacing other items like price cards, menus, floor maps, and more. Once digital, all these screens can be updated effortlessly, often remotely, and provide a more dynamic experience by using slideshows, presentations, video, and animation.
A digital product catalogue can simply be a digital version of a paper catalogue, or it can make use of technology to offer a digitally savvy experience. Within a retail setting, a digital product catalogue may take the form of a touchscreen enabled kiosk or be available to customers as an app or mobile site. Such catalogues are great for showcasing features or product options that can’t be shown on shelves. They can also be used to order products that your store may not currently have in stock.
A digital product selector is a kiosk or mobile tool that guides consumers towards the right product for them. Filters such as desired price range or product features are added to a search query, which the tool’s algorithm uses to recommend products that match the consumer’s request. Product selectors are particularly useful when a sales representative is unavailable, but are also a great resource for sales representatives to use with customers to offer them a more complete in-store experience.
QR Codes and Mobile NFC
Mobile devices can scan computer generated barcodes, called QR codes, to directly open specific links. In a retail setting, this technology can be used to easily provide customers with product details. Picture this: an eager customer scans a QR code attached to a product they’re interested in, and instantly, in the palm of their hand, they can view colour and size availability, read reviews, and compare it to other options on the market. Additionally, these codes can inform customers about special offers or recommend similar products. The applications of QR codes are limitless.
Near Field Communication, or NFC, acts by wirelessly transferring small amounts of data between devices or items. While the most common use of NFC comes from the chip on your credit card that allows you to use contactless payment, NFC technology also has some great applications in a retail setting. For instance, it can be used to transfer information from a poster or display shelf directly to customers’ mobile devices, including web addresses, discount coupons, or even better, the ability to instantly pay for items.
Customer Aware Video
Have you ever been welcomed into a store by a digital greeter? If you haven’t yet, it may seem like a strange concept, but you may be surprised to learn that there are many advantages to such tools. Digital greeters are video kiosks with built in motion sensors that cause them to automatically share information about promotions or store news when customers come near them. But that’s not all they do. Some digital greeters are now equipped with technology that allows them to assess customers’ demographic information such as age or perceived gender. They then use this information to customize their greeting video to be customer aware, containing recommendations that are most suited to the detected demographic.
Similar customer aware videos are also being integrated into smart shelves. Sensors within the shelves identify the items picked by consumers and use this information to provide relevant product recommendations or promotions.
Personalized Retail App
Retail apps keep customers engaged with brands, even when they’re not in your store. Most provide information about current products and announce the launch of new products, but many also allow customers to place orders directly from their mobile device. Some more in-depth apps include features like product comparisons, wishlists, customer service staff reservations, product holds, as well as browsing maps of the nearest retail locations.
In addition to providing store and product information, retail apps use various strategies to further engage customers. For example, personalized suggestions can be sent to customers’ mobile devices as they browse your store, and coupons or promos can be sent directly to them to help initiate a sale.
In-Store Movement Tracking
You can track customers’ in-store movements using wireless signals, Bluetooth, Beacons, or geofencing technology. This gives you access to some very valuable information, notably the number of customers who visited your store and where the majority of their time was spent. If users have a retail app, tracking their location within the store can be used to send them appropriate offers and product information. Tracking results can be visualized using heat maps, which you can then use to sharpen your in-store marketing strategy.
Consider how you might apply one (or more!) of these digital strategies to your retail marketing efforts. Start small, with just a digital product catalogue or some in-store QR codes, before moving up to more focused technologies like mobile apps, customer aware videos, and smart shelves. Regardless of how you choose to apply these tools, you’ll be able to attract customers in a whole new way just by infusing your retail experience with technology.