Are you the type of shopper that walks aimlessly through a store looking for something to satiate your impulse buyers craving? Maybe you are the sequential shopper that spends hours researching a product on-line at home on your laptop or tablet before venturing into a store to pick up your tangible prize?
Whatever your approach, one aspect is often overlooked – in-location technology.
The presence of in-location technology is transforming the way consumers interact with retailers, brands and products. Contextual content is influencing how consumers browse, compare and, and ultimately purchase merchandise.
The list is long but let’s take a look at five strong reasons you should be leveraging in-location technology to build your brand.
Spark the Brand conversation
When consumers interact in-location they are in control of the dialogue. This naturally means that they dictate the context, topics, focus and tone of the conversation. These interactions take place on their own devices in their own social hangouts of choice; texting friends, sharing comments or “Insta-Pinni-Liking” items. The reality is that these conversations are taking place all the time, in-location, in real-time. Through the use of in-location technology, whether that is digital signage, interactive kiosks or iBeacons, you can invite yourself to the conversation or at the very least influence the subject matter. The goal here is to position yourself top-of-mind and get them talking.
Leverage in-location technology to build Brand Awareness
Just to be clear, this is not a positional argument for in-location deployments at the expense of all other marketing efforts, which would be plain ridiculous. This is more about using all channels at your disposal to complement one another. It’s not about omni-channel or multi-channel…it’s about engagement!
As clients become more evolved in their understanding of how one marketing channel can support and directly influence the other, message should (and has already started to) be consistent across all mediums. By creating a congruent brand experience in-location, you are extending the resonance of your Brand. In his book The Invisible Sale, Tom Martin talks about developing Brand propinquity (the tendency for people to form relationships with those whom they encounter often) to drive engagements and conversions. In-location technology is the perfect platform for this type of ubiquitous content delivery.
Engage with your audience
Let’s face it, there aren’t many opportunities for you to engage with your audience that far along in the cycle. Whether that is an inventory driven product locator, a quick survey application or promotional digital signage, this is the chance to grab their attention at the most critical stage of their interaction with your Brand.
Engaging with customers in-location is one of the few times that you actually get to engage with them at the pivotal point of their decision making purchase. When we envision these scenarios in our heads we often default to big brands and large purchases but it is easier to understand the buyer context when you use a necessary but relatively mundane household item. For the sake of argument let's use toothpaste. I for one do not research a variety of toothpaste manufacturers online before heading to the store. While I am sure some do, the point is that I don’t give much consideration to the purchase until I am standing, staring at the wall of dental hygiene options. At the moment, the brand that grabs my attention has the advantage.
Use Data to Build Relationships
While all of the previous points are compelling they inevitable roll up to the most powerful of them all – Data. By engaging with your customer base more frequently and in a variety of ways, you start to understand likes, dislikes and behaviors. Analyzing collected data can uncover product and style preferences, loyalty, return frequency and direct, honest feedback. These metrics provide invaluable data that you can then use to build stronger, lasting relationships.
By creating innovative and unique customer experiences through in-location technology you not only foster a two-way dialogue with potential customers but also expand your marketing reach and your ability to engage with your customer at the point of final decision-making - the last three feet.
Originally published Apr 8, 2014 3:58:41 AM, updated July 28 2017