E-commerce has come a long way since its early days when Amazon was just an online bookstore. With customers ordering everything from detergent powders to air conditioners online, it is no surprise that the industry has grown into a $2.3 trillion goliath. Naysayers have already spelled doom for physical stores. Legacy companies like JC Penney, GAP, and Walmart shutting down hundreds of stores in just a last few months further bolsters this notion. However, most customers are still closing their purchase in a physical store. We believe offline retail is just seeing a bit of slow business. It is far from dead. Location intelligence is playing a pivotal role in its revival, simply by levelling the playing field for online and offline retailers.
The next era of retail will focus less on the store and more on the consumer. Here’s how we see the future of omnichannel retail evolving over the next 2 years.
The future of retail is omni-channel – in more ways than one
Brick and mortar stores have what e-commerce does not. They deliver the ability to touch and feel and have earned the trust of generations of customers. They offer an opportunity to turn shopping into a family event. This is why despite the stiff competition from e-commerce and consequently, store shutdowns, physical retail is far from dead.
Location Intelligence can ensure that brands keep up personalization and customer centricity within and outside the store
What brick and mortar retailers need now is to chart new paths in order to compete with online shopping. They need to start mirroring the convenience, choice, and deep personalization of e-commerce. This is exactly where location intelligence proves to be a goldmine of opportunities. Location intelligence ensures that the omni-channel future of retail translates to more than just online stores or marketplaces. It ensures that brands keep up personalization and customer centricity within and outside the store. With location intelligence, retailers have access to new data points and insights that will help them achieve this.
Targeting the right consumer at the right time
An optimal omni-channel marketing strategy will require brands to vie for the consumer’s attention across channels. To do this, brands first need to understand who their consumers are, what their purchase journey looks like, what they do, and where they go before and after walking into a store. Location intelligence is already empowering hundreds of retailers with insights about the true personas, interests, hobbies, lifestyles, demographics, and life stages of their target audience. Consequently, retailers who are in on location intelligence are finding new ways to identify customers with the highest probability of purchase in the near- to mid-term. They are then creating touch-points that are unique, heavily ROI-centric, and deeply contextual for each customer.
Brand touchpoints based on location-rich insights are driving more footfalls to stores from individuals with the highest purchase intent. At the same time, location intelligence is allowing e-commerce brands to understand their customers’ buying needs. This allows brands to tailor their promotions based on real-world insights on a customer’s persona. Beyond discounts and consumer insights, location intelligence is helping both e-commerce and brick and mortar marketers manage ads and programmatic, OOH, and experiential strategies much better.
Location intelligence puts the customer at the center of the shopping experience, not the store. This is the new holy grail of omni-channel retail
What this means is that location intelligence is levelling the playing field for all retail brands, irrespective of whether they are online or offline. Omni-channel retail success will come from competitive offerings and unique touchpoints from both brick and mortar retailers and e-commerce brands alike. Brands that have already adopted omni-channel strategies will now have the ability to ensure that customers buy from them, whether online or in the store.
The customer wins – every single time
One thing is certain. The omni-channel future of retail will see brands vying for customers’ attention. They will use location strategies to make themselves more contextual and competitive. This will present a win-win scenario for the customer.
Location intelligence has the power to create a marketing utopia with fewer blocked pop-ups, casually dismissed promotional SMS, and skipped YouTube ads. It will help retail brands deliver true value to customers, not just in stores but across all brand touch points.
This is why so many retail brands across Asia are placing their trust in Lifesight’s location based Audiences and Insights platforms and in Placesense data solutions. We are helping these brands navigate the complexities of the industry’s omni-channel future while staying true to their customer-centric culture.
To join us on our quest to help brands drive omni-channel retail success,, request a demo.