Sponge, which works with brands including adidas, Barclays and Coca-Cola, created the solution to enable retailers to harness the power of mobile in real-time within the shopping experience allowing a more personalised approach to customer interaction. It ultimately gives retailers the ability to track behaviour across channels and provide contextually relevant offers.
Several retailers are due to use the system, which is being launched at key retail industry events during March.
The solution follows a simple process. If a retailer has free wi-fi instore, signs will encourage shoppers to log on. An offer, such as ‘choose a free gift when you spend £25 or more’ will appear, and ask the shopper to choose their gender to receive an appropriate gift. The shopper gives their mobile number and email address, following which a verification text is sent. Clicking on the link sends a QR code voucher to their smartphone, which allows them to redeem the offer at the till.
Retailers can also start the process using a simple SMS interaction, where shoppers are encouraged to text a free SMS code. A promotion such as ‘10% off purchases made instore today’ is then sent to handsets.
“Our Shopper Marketing solution is aimed at helping retailers to recognise the key role mobile plays within the omni-channel world,” said Dan Parker, CEO of Sponge. “It’s about being able to track customers as they move between channels and sending them contextually relevant information. High Street stores need to work harder for retailers – they need to bring their brand proposition to life, capture data and increase engagement. This helps link the physical to the digital in a way that gives insight into how an individual shopper is interacting with a retail brand.”
Data captured, such as store visited, items bought and email address will enable retailers to contact the customer at a later date with information about individual stores, newsletters and offers.
Over time, retailers can link what they discover about their customers with information they already have, in terms of loyalty schemes, online shopping behaviour and other activity. Retailers can use this information, plus the new communication channel, to start making contextually relevant offers based on what the customer has done in the past and what’s available and of interest in the present.
“One shopping trip opens up a huge opportunity for retailers to get to know their customers and promote their brand across all channels,” continued Dan Parker. “We’re focused on helping retailers to drive awareness, interest, desire and action whereby rather than making a blanket offer to customers, they can personalise. For example, if they know a customer likes Jamie Oliver products and has been into the central London store, they can let the customer know that Jamie Oliver’s new book will soon be in stock and send an offer.”
A one minute demonstration can be found here