Connected technology has changed business – particularly the retail space – in a major way.
Amazon disrupted the market by taking retail purchases online, and it has kept customers coming back with its personalized recommendations, quick delivery, and simple return process.
According to a PwC study, 56 percent of the 24,000 people it surveyed said they shop at Amazon.com (News - Alert). PwC adds that, “Consumers around the world love Amazon, a fact that’s fundamentally changing their shopping behaviors.” Now, Amazon is moving into the brick-and-mortar space, having just purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Twelve-month e-commerce sales at Amazon totaled $82.8 billion, eMarketer (News - Alert) reported last year. That dwarfed all other retailers in the marketplace, with the next in line being Walmart with just $12.5 billion in online sales.
Walmart last month announced plans to team with Google (News - Alert) in an effort to better compete with Amazon. Meanwhile, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, like JCPenney, Macy’s, and Sears have been struggling mightily.
So what can retailers and other customer-facing businesses do to better compete in this challenging marketplace?
According to MetTel (News - Alert), they can make better use of connected technologies themselves, to understand, target, and build relationships with their customers. Specifically, MetTel says, businesses can supplement existing or new in-house Wi-Fi networks with Wi-Fi analytics.
That can arm businesses with such data as:
- Who visits their locations and how often;
- What, if anything, they are buying;
- What they look at while they’re there, and;
- Whether and when they’re in the area of your locations.
That information can also be used to build loyalty programs, push ads based on Wi-Fi users’ locations and in-store interests, and target customer with incentives.
Of course, the ability to do all that is not exclusive to retailers. Food and beverage companies, salons and spas, stadiums, or even hospitals could benefit from this kind of thing as well.
In a Sept. 26 webinar Gary Gluzman, executive director of product development at MetTel, will provide more details. To register for “Revenue Generating Wi-Fi – Amazon-like Advantages at Your Brick & Mortar,” click here.
Edited by Erik Linask