In-Store Apps Help Drive Customer Personalization
Get the right product to the right customer at the right time: That’s the retailer’s credo. Every new technology implementation, every piece of marketing is launched with that sentiment in mind. Today, mobile technology is helping retailers attain that trifecta.
It’s not only the relatively new, small, specialty retailer that “gets” how to reach today’s customers. Older, much more established players have also seen how mobile technology can boost customer activity. Walmart is a great example of a well known, long established retailer that has successfully embraced technology to increase revenue.
Customers that have Walmart’s mobile app spend significantly more and shop in-store two times more than the average shopper, according to the Arkansas retail giant. Part of the reason for that is Walmart has taken the app one step further than other retailers by incorporating a payment system. Walmart Pay requires the cashier to scan a QR code on the phone screen to charge a credit, debit or Walmart gift card that’s linked to the account. That’s significantly different than competing payment platforms such as Apple Pay, which use Near Frequency Communication (NFC) technology.
The advantage for Walmart is that it retains control over the information it gleans from its customer base; it gathers and stores shoppers’ information directly. All the data from the app — including that which would typically go to the credit card company — stays with Walmart to can be used to improve the shopping experience.
Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services at Walmart U.S., told the Detroit News that data from the app will be used to improve the shopping experience, with the customer’s permission. Past shopping behavior can be analyzed, for example, in order to build a personalized shopping list. The customer can then delete or add items manually or by scanning in-store barcodes. In addition, geo-location alerts shoppers to in-store specials and new items.
The retailer has reported that more than half of its shoppers come into the store with a smartphone, which paves the way for allowing Walmart to communicate with consumers in-store. By taking advantage of devices that customers are already comfortable using, Walmart can provide a more personalized shopping experience. And that is resulting in rising revenue.
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