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The digital revolution is here. It’s already happened. Online shopping has taken over physical stores and, high streets around the country are becoming ghost towns, so it’s time to make a decision: Move forward and adopt digital into your stores or get left behind. Here are five ways to boost loyalty even through the digital age.
RFID (Radio Frequency ID) Tagging
How often do you have a customer ask for something that you know you have in stock but can’t find? RFID tagging allows staff to easily locate a specific item within the store, reducing customer waiting time and saving staff hours searching for a wrongly placed item. This can also improve stock management and inventory taking, giving 95% real-time inventory accuracy according to manufacturer OCS – without spending hours of time checking each individual item.
RFID Tags also help speed up the checkout time, reducing queues and staffing requirements. No-one likes queuing, not even the British if we’re honest – and we’re world leaders at it! Computers are able to tell exactly what’s in the basket, removing the need to scan every item. Making the checkout process more streamlined will improve the customer experience and increase overall satisfaction, driving loyalty.
Boost loyalty through iBeacons
When a customer logs onto an online store they’re greeted with a personalised message and suggestions which are personalised to them. In the digital age, why does a physical store need to be different? iBeacons uses Bluetooth Low Energy to send notifications to a customer’s mobile App. This has the potential to create a hugely personalised in-store experience and has been used in a number of locations.
Macy’s used iBeacons in just this way; greeting customers with a personalised notification when they walked into the store and then notifying them of offers as they browse different departments. This technology also reminds customers of items they’ve seen and liked online, to seamless connect their online and in store environments.
Virgin Atlantic used iBeacons at Heathrow Airport to trigger cutomers’ phones to bring up boarding cards when a passenger approached security or the gate, alert passengers to gate announcements or delays, and receive notifications when they were passing partner stores where they may receive a discount. This made sure that the customers got the most out of their experience at the airport, and boosted engagement.
Smart Mirrors use RFID Tagging to identify the clothes in the fitting room and suggest items to complete an outfit – boosting customer experience and increasing sales. A study by Paragon found that 62% of customers purchase more items when presented with a personalised service. Smart mirrors also allow customers to change the lighting, thus improving their fitting room experience.
Smart mirrors can also offer a wealth of data about stock management and conversion rates from the floor to changing rooms to sales. Polo Ralph Lauren has incorporated smart mirrors into a number of its stores, helping customers to choose matching outfits. Manufacturer, Oak Labs, reported a 90% engagement rate with the mirrors as well as helping Polo connect both digitally and emotionally with customers.
Boost loyalty through Location-based Marketing
This uses the phone’s GPS location to trigger notifications when a customer is within a geofenced area, rather than a physical beacon. This has the advantage of reaching customers who are close to the store and may not have been planning to visit. Entering the specified area can then trigger a notification, informing customers of offers in store and can load digital loyalty cards on the home screen, making them easy to open. Geotargeting is enormously successful, performing twice as well as targeted e-mail campaigns (see our post Top 5 strategies to drive customer loyalty in 2018 for more information).
This has been implemented by brands such as Starbucks and McDonalds, who use app notifications to guide customers to their nearest store and send notifications about promotions on a customer’s favourite drink or meal choice. This personalisation engenders brand loyalty and allows businesses to provide highly profitable campaigns.
Customers want to be connected all the time. More than 80% of purchases are influenced by digital information, according to Forbes Media and, Retail Dive’s customer survey found that many customers will want to read reviews and look at alternatives (58%), and compare prices before they purchase (54%). If they can’t do that in store, where mobile signal is notoriously low, they’ll leave and do it elsewhere, and you risk them not returning and buying online instead.
Offering Wi-Fi won’t make customers less likely to buy in store. 90% of customers will pay more if they receive good customer service says Harris Interactive and, Time trade found that 85% of customers prefer physical locations. This also found that customers are more willing to pay a bit more for the instant sale; 34% of customers hate waiting for items to be delivered.
Wi-Fi also allows customers to share their experience. Whether it’s photos of new garments to get a second opinion or, discussing a purchase with the family or a partner on WhatsApp, having a connected store can help boost customer experience and sales.
The digital revolution has happened, and it’s opened up a wealth of opportunities that you can take advantage of.. Embrace the possibilities that it presents and become an early adopter of new technology. Use the data that digital can gather to boost sales, increase customer loyalty and drive growth in the future.