Bricks, Mortar and The Digital age of retail competition

IN THE AGE of digital convergence our electronic devices become more powerful as traditional technological boundaries are blurred.

Smartphone technology has now combined a vast array of technologies including telephone, camera, music player, email and internet access and even personal digital assistant into a single hand held device.

Most people know this.

What many don’t fully understand is the smartphones inherent ability as a beacon for user data procurement and as a channel for targeted communication and interaction.

Now this may sound familiar.

And that’s because it is.

It is the exact foundation upon which internet marketing is based.

As we navigate our way through web pages and search engines, we are accustomed to receiving highly targeted communications that relate directly to our behaviours in the online world.

Saved cart reminders, ‘can we help’ chat-bots, push notification technology, digital remarketing, and invites to mailing lists and social media channels all serve to inform, educate, persuade and influence positive brand association and purchase decisions.

This is done so that online retailers give themselves the highest possible chance of making each individual sale and to minimise waste in their marketing budget.

Foresense Technology has developed a platform that enables this exact same approach to be used by retailers in the physical world – a solution to empower brick and mortar stores with the pinpoint accuracy of online marketing.

Consider this case study.

As a member of an informal book club with friends Jennifer makes regular purchases.

As a modern, tech-savvy shopper, she buys both on-line and in-store and is looking to make purchase decisions based upon what she feels to be the best combination of price and service in each instance.

She entered the store with the intent to buy, but left hurriedly as she ran out of time.

The bookstore not only missed out on the chance to interact with her while instore but also after as they now have no possibility of establishing any line of communication after her swift exit.

That night she went to an online retailer, placed the book she was seeking into her cart when her phone rang and she got chatting with a friend.

After she got off the phone, it was getting late and she had to turn in for the day as she had an early start in the morning.

Over her morning coffee she was checking news headlines and the book she had left behind the night before appeared in a banner ad, inviting her to visit the website again.

When she checked her emails and she noticed an email reminding her what she had left in her cart, and a targeted ‘buy now’ special-offer of free shipping for signing up to their email list.

This was enough to entice her to revisit the site and make an immediate purchase.

The online store not only made the sale, but also gained her contact details – and her explicit agreement for future marketingmessages.

For her most recent book the group is reading for January, she called into a nearby bookstore to browse during her lunch break in the city.

After browsing for a while she looked at her phone to see that she had lost track of time and was going to be late back at the office for a meeting.
If the brick and mortar bookstore had the tools to keep communication lines open and reengage with Jennifer, the sale – and the direct contact details of a regular buyer – could have been in their grasp.

It is a major fallacy that brick and mortar cannot replicate the online experience.

With Foresense physical retailers gain a powerful toolset previously only in the hands of online digital shopfronts to close more sales, foster brand loyalty and improve the bottom line.

From owner-operator storefronts though to multinational retail chains and shopping malls, Foresense brings the powers of consumer profiling and digital marketing from cyberspace into the real-world.