The use of retail technology to engage with customers is a great way to evoke customer loyalty, but only if it's used the right way. Retailers can't rely on the same retail technology strategies and techniques they've used for the past decade because shoppers have become numb to the effects. How can retailers hope to keep customers coming back in a world where technology is ever-changing? They must learn to make shopping personal once again.
Some Fads Aren't Working Anymore
Retailers can't rely on the same tricks and techniques to impress their customers, partly because there's a sense that they've been seen one too many times before. Flash sales and daily deals are a good example of this. An email in the inbox isn't as compelling when it shows up week after week.
While sales are still useful, the over-used implementation of "special deals" that occur too frequently can have the opposite effect. Customers who know that they can likely get the same, or better, deals in a week or a month's time will simply avoid buying until they feel compelled to.
Creativity Is Key to Loyalty
Retail technology can make or break a retailer's relationship with a customer. If the technology is useful and personal, customers are more likely to remain loyal to the retailer. A good example of this is seen in many customer loyalty programs. When they were first introduced, the novelty of such programs spurred their popularity. Now, unless a loyalty program meets each consumer's specific needs, those customers are likely to shop elsewhere.
On the other hand, retailers who use creativity and personalisation to engage with their customers elicit an organically higher level of loyalty than those who simply engage in a "one size fits all" plan. Personalised shopping experiences both in-store and online allow retailers to engage with their customers more closely to evoke loyalty and build the relationship between consumer and retailer.
Social Media and Retail Technology
Social media is a useful tool for retailers and shoppers alike. It offers a platform for retailers to advertise to their customers and provides a community experience for shoppers who want to feel appreciated by the retailers they support. Social media also allows retailer to use an omni-channel approach to engaging with their customers.
Consumer loyalty spikes when a brand is accessible in many different ways, from a subtle presence on social media platforms to personalized emails, topped off with a healthy dose of consumer-centered retail technology inside the stores. Location-based technology that allows retailers to push special offers to customers when they are nearby, in-store beacon technology that allows customers to further personalize their shopping experience, and augmented reality applications are all compelling tools that encourage shoppers to spend money in stores rather than browsing online.
Smart retailers must keep up with smart shoppers, so implementing retail technology and smarter advertising strategies is a must if they want business to boom. Engaging with the connected customer isn't always easy, but if it's done right, it can mean the difference between success and failure for any retailer.
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