Has Social Media Killed the Mall? Part 2
2. Create a welcoming environment. A recent study conducted by the Wi-Fi Alliance showed that offering in-store Wi-Fi can have a big impact on sales. The study's respondents stated that if in-store Wi-Fi were offered, they would be more likely to stay longer (28 percent), return to the store more often (29 percent) and choose the store over one that doesn't provide Wi-Fi (27 percent). Consider offering free Wi-Fi to shoppers. Users may check their Facebook, and social sharing can increase exposure for you — and more time in your store means more time to catch their eye.
3. Get personal. Macy's and J.C. Penney were some of the first retailers to test in-store beacons that can push out offers to shoppers via the retailers’ apps. It's time to take that technology to the next level. The next generation of beacon technology will enable targeted in-store offers based on proximity to certain items, as well as the consumer's specific buyer profile. With the right data mining, you can push personalized discounts to shoppers’ phones that take into account what you know about their spending habits.
4. Always be closing (the loop). You've now used social media monitoring and data to get consumers into your store, and similar technology to send them targeted offers to help them pick the perfect purchase. Now it's time to close the loop and keep your data working for you. Be sure to put data on purchases back into your CRM and email marketing systems so you can continue to offer customers even more personalized offers and build relationships through loyalty programs.
Social media and the online shopping experience can help you learn new things about your customers and their preferences every day. However, no matter how tech savvy your store walls or how deep your text message discounts are, it's all about making sure you have the right product for the right customer. With savvy data mining and analytics, you can make online interaction work for your brick-and-mortar business and ensure you know what your customers want months before they head to the mall.
Greg Petro is founder and CEO of First Insight, a technology company transforming how leading retailers make product investment and pricing decisions.
Greg has a 25-year history in the retail industry with a career spanning merchandising, sales and management. But while at one of the world’s leading supply chain technology firms, he saw a need for retailers and brands to re-engage with consumers to determine which products would be top sellers well before costly investments are made to bring them to market. In 2007, Greg Petro founded First Insight Inc., a technology company that delivers what is now the world’s leading predictive analytics platform for consumer-testing new products. Through engaging consumers online and mining social data, the First Insight platform empowers retailers and brands to introduce the right products at the right price, and target them to the right customers. Today, he serves as its Chief Executive Officer and President. Greg is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as a frequent speaker at the graduate business schools of Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh. Greg also speaks and at a number of industry conferences, where he educates his listeners on how retailers can use technology to identify and deliver what their customers really want. Mr. Petro holds both MBA and Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.