Every year the Northside Festival presents and brings together the best in ideas and information on “What’s New” in innovation. This year, we learned how drones will change the face of marketing and how VR is charging through as the new form of experiential media.

There were many informative panels on retail and its new phase in relationship with technology. The Lionesque Group was a part of that conversation at the “Northside Innovation Meetup Panel” sponsored by Dell where we discussed brick & mortar and the new ways mobile tech is changing the retail experience.

Mobile has become an interesting topic of conversation because we all have grown a dependency to our mobile device. Our device has become an extension of who we are and can do anything we want it to – and if it can’t, there is an app that can. It has become a necessary tool in our everyday lives and also has become a useful tool for companies to learn more about you as a consumer.

There is constant data being acquired in new ways from all the patterns of our behavior and engagement. This leads to us wanting to go further in depth as to how exactly data can be acquired through customer engagement.

In maintaining the effectiveness of your business it is helpful to realize what you are doing right and if you are not getting the results you want, what are you doing wrong. There are a few ways you can track the patterns of your customer in order to learn how that can translate into sales and eliminate the guesswork. One way to optimize your business with actionable insights is to transform your cameras and other connected devices into analytical tools.

Sensors

There are different types of sensors that can be placed in your store in order to track the behavior of your customers. For example, heat mapping is a way to track store traffic. Through the use of cameras, areas in the store can be tracked by popularity. The more frequented areas that gather the most traffic heat will appear red and the less frequented will appear green to blue. This allows for potential re-merchandising of the store in areas that seem to be less popular.

via SeqSecurity

In-store sensors can also be placed by the entrance of your store which can track traffic patterns of the time of day people come in and walk by during the day.

Knowing the times and areas of your store that are most frequented can help you in a few ways:

  • It can predict your staffing needs
  • Help you track buyers’ purchases
  • Merchandise planning
  • Discover hidden profitability

Acquiring this data will help you make decisions which will be important to how people feel when they shop.

Beacon Technology

Like sensors, beacons are small devices that can be placed throughout the store that can track visitor patterns and behavior. Unlike sensors, Beacon technology serves as proximity marketing for retailers because through beacons you are able to send your customers personalized messages and advertisements direct to your customer’s phone in real time.

via ibeacon
The data acquired from Beacon technology can help in:

  • Sales forecasting
  • Personalized marketing

Through the use of the customer’s mobile Bluetooth and dedicated app, Beacons can pinpoint the location of customers in a store to deliver targeted discounts, promotions or even a personalized recommendation. Store displays can suddenly become interactive and personalized and move past the store floor or shelf to deliver a personalized digital form of outreach.

Social media

As we all know, social media can be a powerful tool for engaging your customers and the data acquired from campaigns that work (and don’t) can be helpful in learning about your customer and what they want more of.

Creating campaigns and contests are a great way to track engagement. When we worked with Marc Jacobs on their first beauty-industry pop-up shop, they used social media posts as social currency. Their new Daisy fragrance line was handed out in exchange for the proof of having posted an image at the shop using their dedicated hashtag. This strategy created brand awareness and a powerful metric to track engagement.

With the use of different tools, you can track how campaigns are performing at any given time and how altering a campaign can affect results.

Gathering information from social media will:

  • Grow your customer base and increase loyalty
  • Revise your marketing strategies
  • Measure your digital footprint

Learning about your customer’s reactions and listening to conversations about your product or offering through social media platforms will help you target accordingly.

Data research is necessary in creating a long lasting relationship between brand and customer. Because each brand and product is different, your objectives need to be strategized and implemented with your long term goals in mind. Trying different things in order to acquire your customer is a must in business, but doing it blindly without analyzing your results is detrimental.