Beyond ROI: How Mobile Presence Helps Marketers See More Than Just Receipts

While online and in-store purchase data provides retailers with valuable insight into the performance of marketing and merchandising programs, this data alone does not paint a full picture of what’s happening with shoppers. Thankfully, the rapid proliferation of digital location signals like GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth beacons, has unlocked access to an entirely new set of shopper behavioral data that can help retailers make more informed decisions.

With the deployment of location signals in stores, retail marketers are now able to better understand the full path to purchase of their shoppers. While purchases are clearly important, understanding what happened prior to a purchase—or what happened prior to a shopper leaving the store without making a purchase—is also crucial information for retailers. The ability to measure key indicators such as store and department dwell time, in-store mobile engagement rates and repeat visitor rates is now possible with the help of in-store location signals. And this data provides powerful insight that can help guide retailers’ strategic decisions. On a tactical level, beacon-powered online-to-offline attribution reporting can reveal, with certainty, whether specific online advertising campaigns drive uplift in store and even department-level traffic. This information can be used to guide more informed media buys. While brick-and-mortar marketers previously lagged behind their ecommerce counterparts in terms of the level of shopper data they had access to, these digital location signals are helping to level the playing field.

By coupling digital location signals with unique smartphone identifiers, retailers are able to gather shopper behavioral data both at the aggregate level and at the individual shopper level. Through analyzing this data and developing strategies to react to these trends, in-store proximity marketing efforts allow marketers to understand and address a variety of key performance indicators, including:

  • Foot Traffic & Dwell Time: Not only can digital location signals measure the quantity of people in a retail store, the consumers’ in-store navigation path, and how long they spend in a specific department, but they can also identify the media channels and campaigns that drove them there.
  • Conversion & Basket Size: While POS systems have long utilized credit cards and loyalty cards to track purchase behavior at an individual consumer level, location signals are helping retailers generate additional behavioral information in real time to drive important business metrics like basket size. These location signals, coupled with unique smartphone identifiers, make it easy for retailers to personalize offers delivered to specific shoppers to incent larger basket sizes.
  • Repeat Visitor Rates: Having access to smartphone unique identifiers allows retailers to measure how often consumers come back to stores, regardless of whether or not those shoppers make a purchase. In concert with purchase data, this repeat visitation data can be used to guide post-visit mobile messaging or even offline to online retargeting campaigns.

Digital location signals enable retail marketers to connect the digital and physical worlds, revealing actionable data at both the store and individual shopper level to guide future marketing strategy and spend. As this technology evolves and retailers build more robust shopper profiles, it will become even easier to optimize marketing strategies and investments. In addition to generating greater ROI on marketing investments, these new capabilities are simultaneously enhancing the in-store experience for shoppers.

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