Connecting with customers in 2018

November 2017—

It’s no secret that retail is embracing many cutting-edge technologies that use mobility to enrich the customer’s in-store shopping experience. A new wave of customer analytics provides plenty of data, but furniture store retailers must use this treasure trove of data in a meaningful way for in-store shoppers if they want to gain those shoppers’ loyalty.

Next-gen mobile payment and real-time incentives are two examples of mobility offers that provide shoppers value, but there are plenty of other high-tech ways for shoppers to connect and engage with retailers in the store.

Offering a convenient and seamless mobility experience in your store comes with challenges.

Jason Zhang, product manager for technology solutions provider Advantech, says in-store mobility technologies such as “shopper profiling” or “beacon” apps are instrumental in enhancing the customer’s experience by helping understand shopper behavior and location. Virtual reality is another trending solution, where customers can position the sofa in your showroom in their den back home since furniture can be “virtually” displayed with an interactive touch screen mirror.

“With the in influx of technology comes a new wave of analytics,” says Zhang. “Apps and software can now enhance the customer’s experience by simply understanding their behavior and demographics.”

To drive shopper loyalty, Zhang says, furniture retailers can provide real-time coupons depending on the customer’s location or shopping interests in the store. “Retailers can also measure metrics of a customer to determine their age range, gender, or if they are simply a first-time customer, to create a more customized experience,” says Zhang.

Obstacles? There are a few, most notably, says Zhang are what you might expect, store infrastructure, setups, mobile app readiness and staff training on new technologies. “For the most part,” says Zhang, “retailers simply need their in-store mobility options to be ready to use for all age groups. While in a few decades, every age group will be more adaptable to technology, not everyone has converted to using a smartphone yet.”