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Retails Tech Renaissance

You may have come across statements that Retail is Dead but there are plenty of signs saying otherwise. Yes, eCommerce is becoming more prominent (with yearly growth rates of 15%), yes sub-par retailers who cant catch up with the changing times are going under water like ToysRUs. Yet, according to US Department of Commerce, 89% of all purchases are still done in physical stores in the US.

First of all, Retailers with an online presence are taking a page from the eCommerce playbook; they measure their customers online behavior and use retargeting in the digital world which is a well understood and effective online tool.

However when it comes to their customers in-store behavior, they are relatively blind. Some retailers measure behavior inside their stores using door counters or more sophisticated in-store hardware, but they are still blind to what their customers do outside of their specific stores.

This leads to a gap of understanding from the time customers enter a shopping mall to the time they enter the store of interest.

If the goal is to analyze customer behavior, retailers need to take a more holistic view than just a fraction of time they spend in their specific store, and understand their customers intent that brings them to that store.

With the proliferation of mobile phones, its almost guaranteed that your customer has a smart phone that accompanies them in the physical world. With this new normal, name of the game is to reach customers at the right context: the right time and place with the right message. Retailers who choose to build a native mobile app to reach their customers gain a very powerful tool to reach their customers; namely push messaging.

However, it is easy to overdo a good thing and negatively impact customers app experience with overuse. According to research, users receiving more than 6 push messages a week from an app are more likely to delete it and its not hard to understand why: Users receive on average 60 push messages per day (android platform). This makes it essential for app makers to find effective ways to cut through the clutter and really get their customers attention. Otherwise customers either start to tune out these messages, revoke push notification permissions or worst yet, delete the app.

This may sound like technology is creating a new problem, but the solution to this problem also lays in technology, namely indoor location based mobile engagement. This is where Mall IQs proprietary solution comes in, allowing retailers, loyalty apps and banking apps to send the right message at the right time and more importantly right place through its hardware-less indoor location technology. By targeting the right customers, app owners are not only engaging the customers most likely to positively interact with their brand, but theyre also sparing their general customer base from irrelevant messages.

In summary, retail companies, while going through the shift in how retail is perceived by their customers, need to employ every tool and tactic that will allow them to leverage their physical presence, and indoor location based engagement is one of the heaviest hitters in their quest to stay relevant.