Retail Marketing Has Never Been More Exciting.
The CBI and the Retail Gazette may have spent the month of January complaining about how the retail industry is suffering its weakest post-Christmas trading period in 4 years but…
…that doesn't dampen the excitement that the marketing arm of retailing is experiencing right now!
With technology able to predict our preferences and buying behaviour, smart in-store technology is creating a new shopping experience for buyers and huge marketing opportunities for retailers.
Alexa may be able to act as a personal in-home shopping assistant, taking care of "Chore Shopping", like the replacement of toilet rolls and dishwasher salt, but when it comes to hitting the high street for some retail therapy, this is where new technology is changing the game.
In-store video and facial recognition programmes can now identify when shoppers are frustrated or unhappy. If the source of this displeasure was deemed to be long checkout queues, the systems then notify the floor staff to open up a new till to reduce those checkout lines.
Facial recognition is also being used to associate shoppers with their bank account. This means you can now also automate the payment process for a shopper using Scan and Go technology to completely eliminating the need to queue.
The advancements in Machine to Machine communication means more and more retailers are investigating ways of bypassing even the scanning process. Through the automated communication between smart phone apps, the shelves holding the product and exit points that automatically take payment, a new and exciting way of shopping is emerging.
Tracking a buyer's journey throughout a store, tied in with analytics about buying behaviour and personal preferences, is enabling marketing teams to push, timely, relevant and exciting promotions in front of hungry buyers and this is only scratching the surface!
But… antiquated IT infrastructure is holding retailers back.
The slump in sales referred to above and years of seeing margins squeezed has left companies cutting costs just to stay profitable. One of the biggest casualties of this trend has been… The IT Budget!
Under investment in IT is a roadblock to progress. Exciting innovation in retail marketing through technological advancement is going to need not only a new mind set, but new investment as well.
Don't be alarmed. A new investment model, driven by the growth of cloud, means that access to these new capabilities can be realised WITHOUT major capital investment.
For many, the huge savings that can be made through network refresh creates a zero-sum game, providing access to new technological benefits and marketing opportunities without actually costing any more.
If you're not already, all marketing executives of retail organisations should be joining the IT conversation. No longer is it a technical conversation… it's a business enablement conversation.
• It's a conversation about business growth.
• It's a conversation about buyer experience.
• It's a conversation about survivability.
Are you in marketing?
Are you joining the technological innovation conversation?
Find out how Blaze Networks can help improve your network and your business