Over the last decade, the internet has transformed the idea of marketing. Gone are the days of traditional ways of marketing, where a business house used to advertise about their company or their product and services through newspapers or on pamphlets. Even a simple flyer could go a long way for spreading brand awareness. But within a few years time, things have changed drastically. In this digital age, people are seeking for any type of information from the Internet. This has completely changed the way, business houses are reaching out to prospective customers.
25 years ago, the key metric for mail-order stores was catalog circulation. More catalogs in more mailboxes = more sales. It made sense then, but if today’s department stores—or any retailer—counted print catalogs as their main measure of growth, they’d be missing a huge part of their business.
Yet many brands currently find themselves in a very similar situation when it comes to digital: still leaning on legacy desktop marketing metrics in a world that’s gone mobile-first. Left unaddressed, this can sabotage growth in even the most forward-looking businesses. It’s not easy to shift digital marketing KPIs and measurement methodologies, but it is possible and (most importantly) invaluable. Because?spoiler alert!?mobile isn’t going away. It’s the engine of growth for brands in a new world that is:
Full of micro-moments. One car buyer had 900 digital interactions before she chose her new SUV and drove it off the lot.
Cross-device. Over 75% of online adults (18–54) start an activity on one device and then continue or finish it on another.
Cross-channel. 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day.
Today’s stores lack the real-time connections between the customers, associates, inventory information and pricing that are absolutely essential to omni-channel success. And retailers are therefore missing a huge opportunity to attract and retain customers.
The store of the future will be defined by four attributes: mobility, relevancy, personalization and ubiquity :
Mobile devices present vast opportunities to enhance customer service, particularly with mobile point-of-sale (POS) and inventory lookup. Further, sensors, beacons and other technologies can identify customers via their mobile device, giving the associate the ability to personalize the shopping experience.
Geo-location and geo-fencing are two technologies that will enable retailers to understand who and where their customer is, and deliver the most relevant messages. Touch screens, virtual mirrors and virtual reality like ‘smart’ fitting rooms will provide a more immersive shopping environment.
Retailers must leverage technology that empowers them to know their customer. Mobile devices used by store associates to assist with clienteling, guided selling, inventory lookup and checkout are a few examples.
Real-time retail is the ability to engage with and deliver a seamless shopping experience wherever shoppers discover and interact with a brand. Retailers should be able to identify shoppers; analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing, and inventory data across all channels. Those that lack this capability will be left behind.