The Digital Retail Imperative

Today’s shoppers are more digitally connected than ever before. And they expect their shopping experience to be connected as well – no matter when, where, or how they choose to interact. Leading retailers are harnessing the power of mobile location in and around their stores to build richer customer profiles and enable more engaging interactions across all touchpoints. Data-driven personalization and omnichannel experiences will separate the winners and the losers in the race for retail relevance. Mobile Presence is the fuel that will make it happen. Are you ready?

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The power of mobile presence

Every day, millions of consumer smartphones scan the airwaves in search of digital connections and signals. And each time an interaction takes place, valuable data is generated. Collectively, the who, when and where associated with each of these interactions provides rich insight into the needs and interests of that individual consumer. These interactions also provide a powerful opportunity for marketers to engage with consumers “in the moment.”

Whether she’s walking through the neighborhood, shopping in the mall, entering the store, or browsing in a particular aisle, marketers who are able to take advantage of these fleeting moments (with her permission, of course) stand to forge meaningful relationships that create a lasting competitive advantage.

Retailer-controlled location signals

In order for retailers to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by mobile presence, they first need to identify and enable the specific physical world locations that are most valuable to their mobile marketing efforts. Using a variety of location “signals” including GPS and geofences for marking outdoor locations such as store neighborhoods or parking lots, malls and even competitors’ stores, or more precise indoor location signals including WiFi or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for marking store entrances, aisles or merchandising areas, retailers are able to create a unique digital map of the physical shopper journey. Mobile presence management software allows retailers to efficiently manage their signal network across thousands of locations and multiple signal types. An added security layer enables them to control access to this valuable digital asset.

Location-enabled consumer audiences

Retailer location signals can be “recognized” by consumer smartphones in a variety of ways. Signal-sensing SDKs can be easily added to any retailer-owned mobile app in order to trigger delivery of mobile messages when a shopper enters an outdoor geofence, or auto-launch mobile content and functionality based on a shopper’s proximity to a particular indoor location signal. In order to reach larger audiences of in-store shoppers, retailers can permission brand-appropriate third party mobile apps to listen for their in-store digital location signals. And for maximum reach, retailers can register their beacons with Google Nearby Notifications, a service that allows them to connect with over 100 million location-enabled Android device users. For shoppers who haven’t enabled Bluetooth on their smartphone, geofences or in-store WiFi signals can be used to trigger delivery of timely digital content and services. Of course, none of these interactions take place without the consumer’s express opt-in permission.

First party location intelligence

Each time an enabled smartphone interacts with a retailer-owned location signal, a valuable data point is created. The collection of these data points over time can be assembled to create powerful and unique physical world behavioral profiles of individual shoppers. By combining these in-store behavioral profiles with existing CRM data, retailers can create a true omnichannel understanding of their customers that can be used to drive even more personalized interactions at every touchpoint.

Mobile presence marketing capabilities

Highly specialized marketing tools allow retailers to take advantage of mobile presence in entirely new ways. Whether it’s enabling new mobile app services based on a user’s in-store location or facilitating the delivery of relevant in-store digital content and offers powered by brand partners, mobile presence marketing software is creating valuable opportunities for shopper engagement. This software is also providing retailers with powerful new attribution and retargeting capabilities that allow them to connect physical world behaviors to online media campaigns.

A comparison of location signals

Signal Source
GPS Satellites (Public) Wifi Access Points (Private)
  • Beacons (Private)
  • Wifi Access Points (Private)
  • LED Light Fixtures (Private)
  • Payment Terminals (Private)
Precision & Use
Outdoor (Neighborhood) Indoor (Store) Indoor (Aisle)
Marketing Applications
Deliver mobile messages to drive nearby foot traffic into store and/or generate behavioral/competitive insights Deliver general mobile content (w/out app) or personalized mobile experiences (w/ app) in the store Deliver personalized mobile content and experiences in a specific aisle/department within the store
Measurement Capability
Neighborhood foot traffic and mobile engagement Verified store visit frequency, duration and mobile engagement, content interactions Verified aisle/dept shopping frequency, duration and mobile engagement, content interactions
Mobile App Required?
Yes No
  • Yes – For some location-enabled audiences
  • No – For Android devices via Google Nearby Notifications
Connection Required?
No No Yes
Consumer Trigger
  • Automatic push notification
  • Consumer opens app
  • Consumer opens app
  • Consumer opens web browser
  • Automatic push notification
  • Consumer opens app
Audience Reach
  • Retailer apps
  • Retailer apps
  • Third party apps
  • Mobile web browser
  • Retailer apps
  • Third party apps
  • Any Android phone via Google Nearby

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