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Retailers must show value of in-store identification efforts, says BRP analyst

NEW YORK – A Boston Retail Partners analyst said at Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Research Summit: Data & Insights 2015 that retailers’ goal in five years to be able to identify shoppers via smartphones when they walk in a store points to the need to engage consumers with offers and games that deliver a real-time experience.

The session, “How Mobile Technology is Transforming the Customer Experience,” examined the retailing industry’s evolution on mobile, referencing a BRP study which found that by 2020, 59 percent of retailers plan to be able to identify customers when they walk in a store via their smartphones. The results highlight the need for retailers to showcase special offers or games that show consumers the value of opting in to a mobile program.

“Customers could download some application – [retailers] would have to have an angle to allow some identification of them,” said Ryan Grogman, vice president of Boston Retail Partners. “Retailers are going to have to show the positive values in doing this.

“Some people will always see [in-store retailer identification of a shopper] as a very creepy thing,” he said. “But the more you can show the value – come in our store, you are using our app, you get a 50 percent off purchase – there are little ways to drive people to take advantage of [your] identifying them.”

Real-time retail
Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Research Summit: Data & Insights 2015 offered views from a host of experts on mobile commerce and topics and trends such as data, customer reach, digital divide, payments, location based advertising, media consumption and customer experience.

Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a holistic experience to consumers whenever, wherever or however they choose to shop by gathering, analyzing and disseminating customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels – in real-time.

Ryan Grogman at Mobile Research Summit: Data & Insights 2015.

This enables retailers to leverage customer context, defined as the interrelated factors of customer insights and environmental conditions, to make the shopping experience relevant.

The research found that within five years, 59 percent of retailers planned to develop their mobile programs to be able to identify customers when they walked in a store via their phones. Seventy percent hoped to be using in-store beacons within that time.

Other BRP research findings validate retailers’ commitment to implementing real-time retail by leveraging a unified commerce platform and other innovative technologies.

For instance, 76 percent of retailers plan to provide suggested selling based on a customer’s previous purchases within three years. Eighty-three percent of respondents plan to offer promotions based on the customer’s geographic proximity within five years. Ninety-one percent plan to have real-time inventory available at the POS within three years. And 95 percent plan to implement real-time analytics within five years.

Personalizing experience
Research also showed that customers prefer personalized experiences. Shoppers would be more likely to shop in stores that personalized coupons (85 percent) than recommendations for products (64 percent).

Getting the lowdown on mobile topics and trends at the research conference.

“The customer has the information, often time they have more information than store associates,” Mr. Grogman said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York