StepsAway, a developer of a mobile customer relationship management platform for malls, is expanding its purview to include brick-and-mortar retail stores with the launch of its new SAKairos mobile solution, according to a company press release.
SAKairos allows retailers’ to leverage their customer database analytics, as well as Wi-Fi streaming data gained from their individual stores to generate and send real-time, personalized offers to the mobile devices logged on to their in-store Wi-Fi networks.
The solution is an extension of StepsAway’s flagship cloud-based platform, SAConnect, which allows national retailers to create and deliver promotions across multiple mall properties and mall owners on a single platform. The company also has a browser-based mobile solution, SAMobile, which provides shoppers smartphone access to hyperlocal in-store offers accessible via participating malls’ Wi-Fi networks.
It’s a strange time for the shopping mall, as the whole concept of what shopping malls should be is evolving. Amid the transformation, mall owners are looking on the bright side, and despite apocalyptic headlines, recent data from real estate market research firm Reis show that mall vacancy rates remained mostly flat in the first quarter of the year.
Technology like that provided by StepsAway could be the key to helping malls hold on to their existing customer bases and get those folks to return as much as possible. If malls know what those consumers are up to, where they are shopping and what they are buying — or not buying — they can leverage that data to deliver tailored offers and promotions on the platform that nowadays seems to demand consumers' attention no matter where they are— the mobile smartphone.
The same goes for stand-alone brick-and-mortar store. In recent years, plenty of retailers have either gone under or have been experiencing grave problems, but studies, including the recent Retail Dive Consumer Survey have shown there are plenty of reasons that shoppers continue to seek out brick-and-mortar experiences, and in many cases online shopping searches result in offline buying. The key for retailers may lie in connecting the dots between those experiences and reaching out to customers who show up in store with a personalized and real-time-relevant touch.
SAKairos goes to work doing that after store shoppers have logged onto the guest Wi-Fi networks now available in so many stores. Once shoppers provide their e-mail addresses and are authenticated on the network, they are redirected to a web app that allows them to receive personalized offers in real time based on their purchase and engagement history contained in the retailer’s CRM database.
The retailer also can leverage Wi-Fi streaming data, such as previous customer store visits, device type, country of origin and a measure of marketing campaign effectiveness, to create offers that make the most sense at the time. As an example, StepsAway says that if a shopper has already registered on the retailer’s website and abandoned a pair of shoes in an online shopping cart, they may automatically receive an offer for 20% off shoes via SAKairos when they visit the brand’s physical store.
Brick-and-mortar stand-alone stores, like malls, are trying to figure out what tools they need in the future in order to survive and thrive. Maybe the best way to do that is to simply build the strongest, most mutually gratifying relationship they can with the customers they have. Whatever they need to become next, their loyal customers can show them the way.