While some may claim the trend to digital shopping experiences comes at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores, recent research shows mobile devices, which consumers increasingly rely on to access product information or simply locate items at aisle level — are actually driving shoppers into the physical store. This shift creates massive opportunities for retailers who harness mobile and indoor location to connect with consumers and ride this wave.
How are smart brands and retailers using a mix of mobile and indoor location technology to deliver valuable assistance and contextual marketing when customers appreciate it most? Why is it imperative to remove friction from shopping and where can companies start? How important is it to optimize physical store data to encourage customer interaction and — ultimately — drive sales?
These are some of the key questions examined in the new issue of PeerSphere, which this month also showcases Aisle411 as a prime example of a company that is literally mapping out the Future of Retail. The article calls out our platform— which offers shoppers indoor navigation on their mobile devices and provides brands and retailers real-time insights into both physical store inventory and consumer-product interaction — as one that “pays dividends” for both shoppers and retailers.
PeerSphere, which appears in both print and digital platforms, including computer, tablet, eReader, and smartphone, is published and distributed by the CMO Council,. The organization is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. It counts 8,000+ global senior marketing members who together control more than $400 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. [Register to download the complete issue here.]
But the article doesn’t just recount how Aisle411 is equipping retailers, including Home Depot, Walgreens and ToysRUs, to help shoppers find products and access relevant offers at the aisle level. It also details the model we have developed to calculate the value generated for retailers and their staff.
The Retailer Value Creation Model calculates the value generated for a typical retailer if they harness mobile product search to boost consumer convenience. The equation also factors in the time and salary saving that result when shop assistants can spend their time serving shoppers, not just walking confused consumers to items they can’t locate.
The results are impressive. Retailers can expect to see a net margin improvement of between 5 – 11 percent, and I have to stress that’s not counting the potential uplift generated when satisfied shoppers spend more time, and more money, because the shopping experience is easy, convenient, and even fun.
Mobilize the world
But the real value of this article is the relationship it sees (and substantiates) between the integrity of the data and the quality of the consumer shopping experience. Drawing from must-read retail manifestos produced by industry leaders, it argues that “One-Click Everything (providing shoppers with a near real-time view of what is in stock at the every store and harnessing technology to enable customers to plan the perfect experience) will soon be a necessity, not a luxury.
We go one step further and envision a future where retailers will be under huge pressure to not just simplify shopping. They will have to also make it fun.
Simply put, mobile and indoor location data will not simply transform the shopping journey. It will redefine it, turning up the pressure on retailers and brands to sell experiences, not just products.
In view of this trend, Aisle411 has become involved in Google’s Project Tango, laying the groundwork for the maps — and the intelligence— that will soon power an amazing 3D augmented reality experience in-store. [Read more in this detailed blog post published by the Mobile Marketing Association UK.]
We have also stepped up our efforts, working with our customers, to humanize and optimize the product data they provide and use these insights to help retailers better plan their store layout and wider contextual marketing strategies.
The article concludes that “it’s the tremendous new power of mobile and digital that will bring shoppers into the bricks-and-mortar store and its the ability of retailers to remove the friction, increase convenience and deliver shoppers information about products and offers— in their immediate context — that will allow retailers to keep them there.”
We couldn’t agree more!