As the retail industry moves towards the vision of a connected store, one of the biggest challenges for omnichannel marketers is how to understand who is walking into the store and where they are at in the purchase process. Online marketers have had the luxury of being able to identify customers and track them around the Internet to get them to purchase. With technology and shopping rapidly evolving, retailers are beginning to identify customers in the store and connect the dots between online and offline experiences. Here are four steps to increase customer identification:
1. Begin With the End In Mind
Every retailer knows that their in-store experience is in need of an update to reflect the ever changing nature of shopper habits in the store. Auditing the in-store experience is the first step towards omnichannel success. Below are some starter questions around creating a connected store experience:
- What is currently working?
- What would make our customers lives easier when they are shopping in the store?
- How can we leverage our existing assets to produce value?
- How can we provide value to the customer after they walk out of the store and they didn’t make a purchase?
2. Create Immersive Experiences That Highlight Top Brand Attributes
In a world where customer loyalty is hard to come by, it has been shown that shoppers want brand experiences that allow them to connect with the brand in the store. Two examples that define immersive brand experiences in the store are Apple and Nike. They create environments that are more likely for the shopper to adapt their state of mind to the brands. When customers feel a part of a brand, whether it be aspirational or innovative, it allows them to be themselves and more receptive to the brand story and products that are in the store. Being able to connect with customers on a personal level establishes trust and more likely to share more information with the retailer over time.
3. Complement Physical Experiences With Digital Touchpoints That Shoppers Expect
In-store shopping is no longer an analog space where most marketers view it as a “black hole of data.” Today, shoppers come into the store well equipped with smartphones filled with a tool set that every retailer fears. From price checks on Amazon to checking availability at a competing local store, the opportunities for retailers to convert shoppers while in the store has gone down due to increased competition. While it might seem daunting, retailers can build off their in-store experience with proven digital strategies. For example, in CloudTags’ connected stores, store associates are equipped with smart badges with them, being able to assist customers with specific products they are considering to purchase in the store. This benefits both the customer and the retailer as the customer gets a personalized experience in the store and the retailer is able to collect more offline with the store associate as the connector.
4. Take the In-Store Shopping Experience Online
When a customer comes into the store with some of her research done online, it is going to take an exceptional in-store experience to push her over the line to purchase. However, if she is not comfortable with making her decision in the store, there is still an opportunity for retailers to make sure that she purchases that item with your company, even if that is online. Going back to creating immersive experiences in the store, it doesn’t end there. If a shopper walks out of a store without making a purchase, the next brand touchpoint will more than likely be online. Are retailers going to be able to connect the dots and provide the same great experience as in the store? Once retailers nail down the offline customer identification process, it will lay the foundation for bigger and better initiatives, such as predictive intelligence and in-store remarketing.
Read more on the 3 Reasons Retailers Need to Focus on Customer Identification and get started by downloading the Customer Identification Playbook.