We’re back again! As you know, IDF this year was buzzing about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is all around us and how compute is reaching into more and more aspects of our daily lives. A great example of this is in Retail, where stores are adopting innovative and powerful new technologies like the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors to help them compete against online retailers and to provide new and valuable shopping experiences. I recently caught up with Dan Gutwein, Director of End User Marketing of the Retail Solutions Division at Intel. He shared his insights about omni-channel marketing, personalization, and the Intel® AIM suite… interesting stuff! Check out the following post from Dan and let us know what you think! ~ Valerie Scarsellato
Today, one of the biggest hurdles retailers face is providing a great customer experience. How do customers want to interact with brands? Personalization through intelligent systems in retail is helping to overcome this hurdle by offering retailers new ways to reach and engage with their omni-channel customers. Not only does it help create memorable experiences and ensure your brand’s relevancy, but personalized content delivery through intelligent systems can provide real-time data and insights into who your customers are and what they are most interested in.
Aiming for a Personalized Experience
As an example of what I mean by personalization through integrated intelligent systems, let’s observe a woman buying shoes and follow her engagements. A woman logs into her favorite department store’s website and browses shoes. She sees a pair she likes, puts them in her cart but then decides she wants to see it in the store so she doesn’t complete the purchase. The next day she checks the brand’s mobile app to find a store near her lunch meeting. At that point, the system should know she currently has the bag in her shopping cart and notify her of the closest store that has it in stock.
When she walks into the recommended store, she uses her app to join the WiFi. At this point, the store should begin personalizing the digital signage to react accordingly based on the collected data. In addition, the system should notify the appropriate department sales associates so they know her browsing history and are ready to answer any questions she may have. The woman finds her handbag and completes the checkout process, all while noting how seamless the process was as well as how knowledgeable the store associate was. She has no idea about all that went into serving up that personalized and tailored experience for her, but she knows she’s happier because of it and much more likely to do it again. Research is indicating that consumers WANT you to use their information if it makes their experience better.
Tuning Your Communications
This automated, machine-to-machine communication is what is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things – and it’s very much a reality. The question isn’t if you can deliver this experience. Instead, it’s how you should deliver this experience – and the answer will be different for each customer. In the example, due to the fact that the woman was a registered user, you have her preferred communication method based on her previous behaviors (email open rates, opt-ins, etc.). As a result, you know how to deliver the content in a way that suits her preferences such as app notifications, text messages, emails, etc. This is how you leverage the capabilities and insights from your intelligent systems to create engaging, personalized experiences with your customers – and that’s just the start.
Obviously, this is a perfect scenario. The customer had a registered account, used the app, and accessed the WiFi which, as most retailers know, doesn’t always happen. Intel® Audience Impression Metrics (AIM) Suite enables you to follow that trail through the Internet of Things even when your customers aren’t using your app, WiFi, or website without intruding on their shopping experience or invading their privacy. Simple sensors, working with incredibly sophisticated software, produce near real-time reporting and analysis around the general profiles of consumers, how they flow, and what they observe. Leveraging these analytics, retailers can get a much better understanding of different consumers’ experiences and further fine-tune their content delivery to better reach and engage those customers even if they aren’t at every touch point.
Setting Sights on the Future
And this is just the start. We’re always looking at ways to enhance and upgrade Intel AIM Suite technology as well as provide additional tools and solutions to assist with retail decisions. The new Intel® Retail Client Manager helps retailers take the next step with the learnings from AIM Suite data to better manage and implement those practices at each local store. Rather than run just a few dozen ads on the same schedule for each store, you can optimize and deliver the right content to the right store at the right time because you know that’s when the right customer is going to be there.
At the end of the day, we’re not reinventing the 4 Ps (product, price, place, person) that have become the staples of marketing. We’re simply making them more precise by coming up with solutions that enable retailers to fine-tune their customers’ experiences with enhanced personalization.