Customer Portfolios' Blog

4 Technologies Changing the Retail Game

Today’s retailers are focused on how they can deliver a unique and personalized experience in to fuel customer engagement and loyalty. To that end, retailers are turning to technology and customer data to make this possible by providing them with an understanding of customer behavior and preferences. This allows them to deliver targeted offers and communication.

In a sea of technology and changes, which are the ones that will deliver the most value to your business? Below are four technologies that we predict will have the biggest impact on retailers’ ability to create a more tailored experience.

1. Beacons

According to research done by WPP agency, Maxus, 2016 is going to be the year that beacons go from hype to delivering real business value. Not surprisingly, fan favorite and technology disrupter, Apple demonstrates a successful use case of beacons in-store. If customers are anywhere except a physical Apple retail store, the app store functions like any other retail app. However, once customers enter an Apple storefront, they are met with a push notification asking them to opt in. This message leads to a screen of specific tasks customers can do in-store, including the ability to request a sales-person, a training event or attend a Genius Bar appointment.

2. Clienteling

Retailers struggle with two main business challenges; differentiating themselves from their competitors, and identifying whom their best customers are. Once retailers know who their best customers are, they can create better, more sustained engagement. This is where clienteling can play a key role. Gone are the days of little black books, in today’s retail world clienteling is focused on using customer data to enhance the in-store experience. By leveraging customer info such as product history and prior brand communication and engagement, in-store associates have an understanding of a customers’ purchasing behavior and make strategic recommendations about what products they will likely purchase next.

3. Mobile Wallet

Using a phone to make a payment is not what is driving the transaction; it is simply another form of payment. Instead there needs to be a value exchange between the retailer and the customer to encourages adoption of the mobile wallet. Value exchange can come in the form of compelling content like special offers, access to a loyalty program. Starbucks reigns supreme in creating a value exchange with customers. The Starbucks app facilitates the transaction and it also offers users access to their loyalty program and special offers and app / music downloads. Starbucks illustrates a need for there to be a payment and non-payment aspect of the mobile wallet to foster customer adoption.

4. RFID Tags

There is an old adage in retail that fashion tends to repeat itself. RFID technology is experiencing a similar a rebirth. Although RFID technology is not new, it is being leveraged in innovative ways and one way to connect retail to the Internet of Things (IoT). Previously, retailers were primarily using RFID tags to manage inventory. However, today’s retailers are using RFID tags to create a smarter shopping experience. For instance, retailer Rebecca Minkoff is attaching RFID chips to clothing tags to trigger an interactive mirror to digitally display the items. Using the mirror’s touch screen, customers can ask a clerk to bring them different sizes or styles and can also customize their lighting.

We are sitting on what is the cusp of the golden age of technology in retail. There are a lot of great tools and tactics that you can utilize to bring value to the customer and increase revenue. Customer Portfolios’ knows how to build and implement the right tech solutions for your business that puts the customer at the center. Just ask us.


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