What would happen if a retailer could pinpoint a shopper with whom it had connected previously via mobile?
Ideally, the retailer could target such a shopper for a better in-store experience. Because — think about it — what’s the point of spending on mobile to attract customers but not having anything special to reward them for making the investment of time and effort to visit the store?
However, though many merchants say they want to engage with their in-store customers, too few have the ability.
While most (95 percent) retailers list customer engagement as one of their top three initiatives, a mere 3 percent of them have the ability to identify the customer when she walks in the door, according to recent research by Boston Retail Partners.
But, based on a survey of 500 retailers, the Commerce Benchmark Survey also confirms that a majority (75 percent) of retailers plan to implement technology to identify customers when they walk in the door within the next five years.
Engagement may be the defining moment — for both company and consumer. Without the ability to identify and acknowledge their loyal and best customers, businesses have no way to distinguish pre-marketed consumers. And therefore — and this is a problem for mobile marketers — targeted prospects cannot be identified from the pool of ordinary drop-ins.
If there’s any good news on the horizon, it is that retailers are getting a clue. About 63 percent are planning real-time retail from POS, 62 percent are planning to conduct mobile marketing, and 61 percent are planning for real-time analytics that will inform their analysis of the effects.
All of these developments — which retailers say they hope to see fully implemented within five years — could make spotting the mobile-marketed consumer much easier, and potentially more remunerative.