With more data capture opportunities than ever before, the world of retail has a surplus of customer information flowing through it. Capturing and re-deploying such information to drive ROI however is a challenge which is puzzling even the world’s most tech of savvy retailers.
“71% of chief marketing officers around the globe say their organisation is unprepared to deal with the explosion of big data over the next few years.” IBM survey
Advancements in the mobile field could be about to change that. Offering highly personalised product suggestion, loyalty schemes and streamlined transactions, new device features are set to offer retailers an extensive arsenal of tools for both data capture and effective deployment.
Utilising localised bluetooth signals, beacons offer retailers the opportunity to interact with customers via their devices - in real time for a negligible cost. Whether tracking movement in-store, serving up loyalty suggestions, or even just welcoming customers into their shop, this real time data capture and content deployment will serve to greatly optimize the customer experience if implemented effectively whilst also profiling the customer at every possible juncture. Tesco recently used beacons to direct customers to particular aisles, guiding them through their pre-made virtual shopping lists and speeding up store navigation.
At the tail end of the the customer journey, expect to see NFC (Near Field Communication) dominating our transactional habits. Allowing users to pay for products using their devices will not only streamline transactions but also serve as another mobile contact point. Apple have already started rolling out their own NFC system Apple Pay across the US and have confirmed it will feature on the Apple Watch, enabling Apple Pay on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Apple rarely lean toward backward compatibility, a point which should emphasise the speed at which they are looking to levy existing customers and establish their new payment system globally. With the likes of McDonald's, Bloomingdale's and Macy’s already on board, expect to see smaller vendors follow suit.
Collecting, processing and re-deploying customer information in real time is what’s going to separate a disjointed mobile experience from true mobile integration in the retail sector. With a new wave of devices set to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 6, expect to see mobile deeper and deeper ingrained in the retail space.