Your 3-second window to connect with customers: How big data can help

As merchants get ready to head to the National Retail Federation’s annual convention Jan. 12-15 in New York, the Windows Embedded team has been meeting with intelligent systems partners to get their thoughts about the challenges retailers face. Among them: retailers really need to connect with their customers, and they only have about 3 seconds to do it.

That’s what Sweeni Ponoth at Symphony Analytics, a division of Symphony Teleca, one of Microsoft’s new intelligent system partners, told Kristin Flandreau of the Windows Embedded team. But even in that slim window of time, big data can deliver new marketing options, she writes on the Windows Embedded blog.

“Imagine a customer walking into a retail store and tapping his phone on strategically located, uniquely identified NFC (Near Field Communication) tags to trigger timely and relevant information, such as surveys, maps or coupons,” she writes.

“In addition, the consumer’s ‘taps’ leave behind digital footprints that can be mined for insights … The customer may receive a mobile coupon on his phone or be pointed to a sale on a sweater he was viewing online. The goal is to drive a new level of brand loyalty and trust.”

That’s just one example Flandreau cites. She encourages retailers to experiment with interactive technology using various approaches. One of them is called “geo-fencing,” which personalizes the shopping experience using GPS data or RFID tags “so that when a customer enters a store and approaches the watch case, they receive a text message on their phone with a promotional code for a discount on a watch.”

And to help capture customer data, she suggests retailers choose a big data platform to structure, organize, analyze and act on the information that “flows in from end points within a retail intelligent system.”

Read more about Microsoft’s vision for intelligent systems in the retail industry here. And to read Flandreau’s full post, head over to the Windows Embedded blog.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff