Using Bluetooth, beacons and NFC to personalize in-store shopping
At a time when brick-and-mortar retail stores are facing significant challenges, contributor Justin Freid suggests ways they could deploy new technologies to shore up their businesses.
Many large retail chains — such as Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney — have been struggling. Just this week, children’s clothing retailer Gymboree declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to close hundreds of its stores. Why is this happening? One factor fueling this retail trend is the rise in online shopping.
While the ease of making a few clicks on your mouse or swipes on your phone compared to traveling to a physical location is a large part of the equation, there is another marketing technology practice supporting the shift: personalization.
When shopping online, whether browsing on your mobile, going through emails or checking out your favorite blog on your laptop, the experience you have with ads and products is often dictated by your prior behavior. It is essentially a unique experience customized to you. But when you walk into a retail store, that is usually not the case.
But that doesn’t mean real-world retail stores are doomed. This situation has the potential to change. If beacons and other close-up digital communications technologies, such as Near Field Communications (NFC) and Bluetooth, are more widely adopted within retail, the same level of customization that customers feel online can be delivered in store.
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