If there's one thing most retailers can agree on, its that the business isn't as simple as it used to be.

In an era when seemingly every facet of life is being disrupted and forever changed by digital technology, retail has not been immune. But while just a few years ago there was widespread fear that online shopping would quickly swallow brick-and-mortar establishments, the reality has been more complicated. Digital sales are a big deal, to be sure, but physical stores are focused on providing unique experiences – which can increase sales even though they may seem divorced from the actual process of salesmanship.

"We may be entering a new generation of advertising."

For instance, one burgeoning new trend, according to an article on Bizcommunity.com, is that retailers are putting less stock in waiting for shoppers to come to them. We may be entering a new generation of advertising, one in which marketers use digital technology to reach their audience. Gia Conte-Patel, mall division product manager at Primedia Unlimited, told Bizcommunity.com that retailers are looking to take advantage of the widespread ownership of smartphones by investing in location-based beacons for digital advertisements and in-store coupons.

"Bridging the gap between traditional out of home and mobile is the next big thing," she said.

In other words, retailers would become more proactive about collecting data on loyal shoppers, and then use that information to supply those customers with tailored push notifications as they enter the store.

Never-ending Shoppable Moments
Why did online retail grow so popular? It wasn't just price. Consumers also came to quickly appreciate the convenience of clicking a button and having their order appear on their doorstep in a few days. To compete, physical retailers need to embrace convenience by creating shoppable moments where previously none existed. 

Strategy Online calls it "the death of friction." The idea is that consumers would no longer have to wait between the time they decide they want something and the moment when they are able to buy it. They'll have the opportunity to purchase their item through their mobile device and have it available for in-store pickup at their convenience. 

The news source cites Starbucks, which already allows customers to preorder food and beverages through their app while standing in line. Another example is Uber, which allows users to call a car to their location in minutes whenever they need a ride.

By collecting information about customers, retailers will know when to time targeted offer notifications in a way that maximizes the chance of a frictionless shoppable moment. This, of course, is the challenge.

If businesses are going to make serious forays into targeted advertising, they will need the capacity to collect and analyze large amounts of customer data from multiple sources. Interactive Edge offers a number of creative ways to get the most out of your data and meet the many challenges that your business will face as it grows. Check out the rest of our website to learn more about the services we offer to our clients.

Categories: Field Sales