The year may be drawing to a close, but it was full steam ahead at this year’s MAPIC (an International retail property conference). I returned with some interesting food for thought that will no doubt develop into real advancements into 2016 and beyond.
Here are some of my take-aways from the conference:
- We will continue to see a major focus on Location Awareness. Within this space, two big issues were highlighted:
- We are currently relying on inaccurate Bluetooth or expensive Wifi to locate devices. Both of these technologies require the user to have their Bluetooth or Wifi turned on, and in some cases have an app running continuously. The good news is that “blue sky” new technology that allows for +-1m accuracy that does not rely on iBeacons or Wifi is no longer a dream, it’s here. Get in contact if you’re interested to hear more.
- In terms of security, we find ourselves in a very interesting space with regards to privacy, especially across different regions and countries. While the idea of giving your fingerprints to a big corporate might make some balk, most of us are happy to save them on our Apple device. This is largely down to trust in a brand, as well as clever marketing that entices retail customers to engage with apps and loyalty programmes for their own benefit. Other companies need to take advantage of this tactic.
- Client engagement is key to realising value from any location system. Implementing the technology is one thing, but knowing how to use it properly is another. It’s no surprise that there are new companies (like Coniq) focussing specifically on developing holistic powerful data-driven loyalty program.
- There is a continued focus on omni channels. The ultimate goal of the new shopper tracking technology is to have a single view of the customer across all platforms, social, web, physical.
- We need to be mindful of the context in which you’re working… it is very clear that not all models work across regions.
MAPIC highlighted the importance of leveraging value from your data:
- Your approach is important. Start with the questions you want answered, not with the data. Data is the enabler not the answer.
- You need the right people to implement a data strategy. In fact there is a new role developing in the industry… introducing the Data Scientist.
- Business won’t automatically make sense of the data. Companies are starting to hire dedicated people to manage data – it needs to be presented in a way that will assist personnel, making their jobs easier.
- Data projects should have clear marketing objectives.
- Data analysis should not be treated as a once off project. It’s an ongoing process that will make your company more efficient. Then you only need to react when necessary.
A sneak peek at one great tech-driven marketing campaign
Nothing has your customers rushing to the tills quite like a discount that reduces with every second you delay. Using GPS tracking technology, a trendy Guatemalan shoe store ‘Meat Pack’ recognised when its customers entered the store and sent them a message announcing a 99% discount, which decreased with each second that went by. The faster they bought, the better the deal they got.
Companies are also starting to see the power and benefit of working with vendors, as well as the importance of embracing open communication. And finally, the message came through loud and clear that you can’t replace customer service with technology. It’s going to be interesting to see how these ideas develop into next year.