Enhance cross-channel retail personalization with IoT

 |   Microsoft IoT

For retailers, the Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing administrative processes like managing supply chains, tracking inventory, and monitoring refrigeration units. But IoT extends far beyond the back office for retail – it also has the potential to increase conversion rates and deepen customer engagement by driving personalized marketing. Using in-store beacons, retailers can recognize when a mobile app user is nearby and reach them with personalized content. Location-based marketing powered by IoT beacons will drive an estimated $44 billion in retail sales this year, up from $4 billion in 2015.

By leveraging beacons, sensors, and strong cross-channel analytics, retailers can direct personalized messages and promotions to a customer’s phone, wearable, or an adaptive digital sign in the store. Plus, IoT devices can sense where customers are spending time inside the store, giving retailers valuable additional data about customer preferences.

The Retail Personalization solution from Plexure and Microsoft is an IoT-driven CRM solution that enables brands to provide a contextual, personalized and engaging in-store experience. Read on to see how Plexure’s IoT capabilities can help you solve three marketing challenges: activation, engagement, and retention.

Activate new customers

IoT-driven personalization turns shoppers into loyal customers faster. In-store IoT devices allow you to reach customers with relevant content in the store, which increases their spending and drives return visits. For example, if a customer has been browsing for an item online, you could nudge them toward the final purchase by offering them a special pricing when they reach the store. If they have something in their virtual shopping cart, a beacon could direct them to the aisle where they can find it. Location-based push messages like this have the power to double redemption rates – even more so if you personalize offers further with context like weather, time of day, and local events (so you are not offering ice cream in a snowstorm). A global convenience store retailer working with Plexure increased mobile transactions by 73% by targeting customers based on their spending habits and digital behavior. When you give customers the deals that are most relevant to them, they are more likely to come back for more.

Optimize customer engagement

In addition to activating new customers, IoT-driven personalization enhances in-store customer engagement by tailoring in-store marketing. In the same way IoT technology pushes personalized content to devices, it can also prompt relevant messages to appear on adaptive digital signs in the store. This type of personalization makes in-store marketing more persuasive – digital signs are 34% more effective than traditional signs for the same advertisement. For example, a beacon can identify a nearby customer and present an ad for something they’ve recently clicked on in the app. Additionally, shelf sensors can identify when something is picked up and trigger a relevant promotional video on an adjacent screen. One major furniture retailer placed digital screens in every department that reminded nearby customers of things on their wish list. Targeted customers purchased the suggested product 18% more often, and had a 25% larger average check than customers who didn’t see targeted content. With IoT-connected stores, you have more changes to engage customers with compelling offers.

Retain loyal customers

Finally, IoT technology helps you take your loyalty program to the next level. IoT-driven CRM not only provides loyalty members with VIP deals when they visit the store, but it senses how customers navigate the store IoT and CRM solutions as well. This additional data gives you a better idea of customer preferences – like the departments they spend the most time in or the days of the week they like to visit stores – which in turn improves personalized offers. For example, if your data shows a customer spent a significant amount of time in the luggage aisle but left empty-handed, you can use that insight to retarget them online or during their next store visit. Loyalty programs are key to cultivating lasting customer relationships, and IoT-based CRM gives you means to make your program stand out from the competition.

Enhancing retail personalization

Adding IoT on top of your CRM solution gives you the power to unify your personalization strategy across digital and real-world channels. The Retail Personalization solution from Plexure integrates IoT-enabled CRM from Microsoft to deliver seamless customer engagement in stores and online. The solution merges in-store data with other data sources like mobile, web, social to give you a truly 360-degree view of each customer and deliver consistent personalized content across channels. It also brings in external data sources like weather, traffic, and events to exploit changing conditions in real time. When you’re ready to get started, you can download check out Plexure’s solution on AppSource today.

If you’re ready to learn more about how Microsoft can help you transform your customers’ retail experience through personalization, demand forecasting and more, read our whitepaper on “Retail Insights: Harnessing the Power of Data”.

And for more information on how Microsoft IoT solutions can transform your business, visit www.InternetofYourThings.com

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