We operate in a world where ‘generic’ just won’t suffice. Consumers expect retailers to understand who they are, where they are, and what they want, in order to deliver encounters that are meaningful on a personal level.
The good news is that the technology exists to deliver such customisation, across all channels. However, at present, far fewer retailers are successfully tailoring customer communications in-store compared to online. Why is this?
The spirit of store collaboration
One problem is that retailers aren’t using the right web management system to support localised customer experiences – in fact, many aren’t using any form of digital management system at all. These retailers still depend on the knowledge and skills of their store associates, without supporting front-line staff with the digital tools to do their job better.
The reason store staff are valued by both retailers and customers is because they make the brand personal and relevant. However, we all know that there can be fluctuation in the quality of service that customer-facing personnel can provide; a bad experience is at best disappointing, and at worst permanently off-putting.
But that’s not to say human interaction should be replaced; far from it. Effectively localising brand messages and marketing promotions aren’t the domain of man OR machine. The solution works best when both collaborate around the customer.
Making retail service personal
In an ideal world, what retailers need to do is support staff with the means to localise store experiences through technology – rather than rely entirely on associates for personalisation. This can work in two different ways:
- Introducing smart solutions that enable potential customers to interact digitally within the store, such as intelligent advertising screens and self-serve kiosks
- Giving staff the technology to serve customers more effectively and personally, through tablet or wearable devices that react to who the customer is, or what is going on in-store
However, the challenge with both of these opportunities is creating a scalable interaction model that can also be tailored to work on a local level.
Finding the right technology to localise content
As we mentioned earlier, many retailers aren’t using a web management solution (or one that is fit for purpose) to unite the increasing number of technologies they are introducing into the store. However, this back-end platform is critical to the front-end customer experience.
The right solution will enable store managers to operate every single piece of smart tech in their store from a single platform – whether that device is being used by the customer, or staff. By uniting control of all solutions in a central place, users can make strategic decisions about what content to deploy and where, in order to engage individual store visitors.
Not only that, a single web platform platform enables local teams to make decisions about what works best in-store. While a head office marketing team may create a suite of assets and arrange for their translation into regional languages, ultimately the store team can choose which assets to use and when, based on how effectively they are resonating with each person that walks through the door.
In addition to tailoring marketing messages, in-store teams have access to powerful tools to make decisions about their products based on local conditions – for example, how to set pricing. One sector that store level pricing flexibility would work well for is grocery; read our latest blog on dynamic shelf-edge pricing in grocery retail for more information.
One platform, thousands of solutions
IoT may not be on the radar of all retailers at present, but it should be. The right platform can turn a suite of in-store technologies into a cohesive customer engagement solution. With this in place, retailers will find themselves able to deliver digital interactions at scale, at the same time as empowering individual stores to interpret centralised campaigns in the way that work best for their location. A cost-effective way to deliver tailored campaigns at a national – and even international – level.
Speak to Grassfish about how our Smart Store Solutions enable dynamic content delivery across your store network.