I saw a few interesting studies this past week on in-store shopping experiences, but one in particular peaked my interest. Samsung commissioned a report with Future Stores to study the in-store shopping habits of 16–24 year olds. The bottom-line? Retailers need to understand how to best engage with the next generation of shoppers.
We currently track numerous startups in the retail online to offline scan that can help merchants enhance the in-store experience; here are five of my favorite up-and-coming companies.
Swirl is an in-store mobile marketing platform that targets shoppers based on proximity via beacons (Bluetooth low energy devices). The company is exciting because of its Swirl Ad Exchange (SWx for short), which is touted as one of the first programmatic ad exchanges for proximity-based in-store marketing. The company also recently announced that it is integrating with ~5 DPSs and agency trading desks, although Swirl declined to state which ones (source).
Fiverun is a cloud based retail platform that ties into a merchant’s existing software system to provide sales associates with digital product catalogues, customer relationship management tools, and mobile point of sale functionality. The company enables retailers to easily create a high-touch shopping environment and seamlessly integrate omni-channel management (e.g. inventory).
ByteLight is a location-based marketing platform that delivers targeted content to a shopper’s smart phone. Unlike most location-based platforms, ByteLight is unique for its ability to integrate into a store’s existing lighting hardware to deliver content. The company uses a combination of Visible Light Communication (VLC) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to detect very granular location data, which it then uses to serve hyper-targeted ads.
Alluring Logic is an omni-channel customer relationship management tool that can leverage inventory and social data to help sales associates personalize communication and experiences at scale. The technology can automatically generate customer insights and tasks for associates, as well as provide management with a real-time snapshot of key sales statistics.
Asile411 is an indoor location and marketing platform that uses patent pending technology to map floor plans, track shoppers, deliver offers, and analyze data in brick and mortar stores. This company has a comprehensive solution and is currently used in over 12,000 stores with brands such as Home Depot, Walgreens, and Shop’n Save.
Here are some of the highlights from the study:
- “The findings reveal that 71% of the 16–24 year olds surveyed said they visit large retail environments at least once a fortnight with two-thirds visiting to look for a specific item. However, they were found to frequently make their final purchase online, and increasingly through their mobile phones.”
- “…44% will be searching for a better price online through their mobile device while they are in-store.” (Though it should be noted that some studies show that showrooming is actually on the decline source.)
- “While 16–24 year olds see the value of using tablets and in-store technology to check stock or browse catalogues, few use technology designed to enhance their experience. The study found that less than 20% of young shoppers scan QR codes, while more than 90% ignore Augmented Reality apps.”