Instore Technology, Creepy or Cool?

The concept of using consumers' mobile devices to do hyper-targeted marketing has been around for a while, but is instore technology a good thing? Do customers really want it?

Retailers have traditionally been slow to adopt instore technology as part of their overall marketing strategy, but in recent months have begun to recognise the power of personal devices. Not only are they beginning to target devices for advertising, but also to deliver added convenience and unique retail experiences for the loyal customer.

The Omnichannel approach to retail is still in its infancy, and there is a race to see who will develop the first all-encompassing Omnichannel strategy which streamlines and connects the online and in-store environments.

Redbox has already been making waves with the development of interactive changing room kiosks at the Dubai based Sun and Sands Sports, but to create fully encompassing instore technology solution, we need to consider the needs and desires of the consumer at large.

The most important aspect of developing instore technology strategy is to toe the line between convenience and invasiveness. People want the extra information and single step payment options that iBeacons afford, however, they do not want to be bombarded with push notifications, tracked like criminals or guided like cattle. The goal is to maximise customer experience without impeding on freedom of choice.

Market researchers ‘Rich Relevance’ recently approached 1000 US customers in the course of their ‘Creepy or Cool’ survey. Which gauged opinions of a ‘Store of the future’, and the Omnichannel marketing strategies that could be in use there.

Cool concepts included the ready availability of product specific information via apps or mobile scan/iBeacon, whilst creepy concepts included facial recognition tech and the delivery of personal information to shop attendants.

Most of the ‘creepy’ concepts seemed to be those which imparted some form of information about the customer to the store, many of the neutral concepts involved customer motion or behaviour tracking whilst the ‘Cool’ concepts revolved around choice and the delivery of information from the store to the customer, in a manner involving personal choice and decision making.

The conclusion we can draw from this study is that customers can be drawn to a store by personalised offers, but once in a store and enjoying the customer experience, wish to be left to their own devices. The delivery of suggestions and advanced information about a product is welcome to a customer, but the choice to access that information must lie with them, forcing information upon a customer could even dissuade them from a purchase.

It’s a delicate balance to strike, and Redbox has experience in delivering effective in-store technology in a manner which is both welcoming to the consumer, and essentially, non-intrusive.

Contact us today to see how we can develop your instore technology strategy.