Mobiles drive luxury instore traffic

Jun 25

Mobiles drive luxury instore traffic

David and I addressed the ADMA Digital Council on Thursday to speak about what’s happening in the mobile shopping space overseas. (We concentrated on the US because retailers are trailblaizing the use of smartphones there).

One thing that is apparent is that its not just high street stores making use of all the technologies available to them (QR Codes, NFC, Location Based Services), but the top end of town as well.

For all retailers, creating footfall is massively important – esp. when you consider the conversion instore that retailers achieve. Shopkick’s CEO quotes: “The number-one challenge facing every retailer in America is getting people through the door,” Roeding says. “Conversion rates in the physical world are so much better than online–between 0.5 percent to 3 percent in the virtual world, and between 20 percent to 95 percent in the real world. So if foot traffic is so important, then why hasn’t anyone rewarded people for visiting stores? The answer is simple: It’s because nobody knows you came through the door.” (Shopkick is a company in the US that drives footfall and instore actions via incentives called kickbucks.)

For the top end of town footfall is even more important because luxury shoppers prefer to buy instore, than online. And of course these shoppers have smartphones, and are savvy with their use of them.

In New York Barneys has joined the ranks of luxury department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus to use QR codes to engage consumers and drive instore traffic.

Barney’s used QR codes on their traditional media (like print ads in the NY Times) to advertise an instore event: IT girl Daphne Guinness getting ready for the Met Gala.

Once instore, QR codes are being used instore to create more customer touchpoints (customer contact is harder to achieve in department stores because of their size compared to smaller luxury boutiques) to connect with customers and make them feel special.

So for these department stores and other luxury brands, it is less about deals and more about seeing the product in a more engaging way – like video, extra images, or even calling to make an appointment.

All of these department stores seem to be using QR codes to make their usually static, traditional 2D media (print ads, outdoor advertising, catalogues and direct mail pieces) spring to digital life. And that’s increasing response rates (exciting for an old world direct marketer like me!).

Of course there’s other opportunities for using barcodes instore as well – cross selling other items in store, having customers sign up to store loyalty progams and more.

I think there is a renaisance for instore buying on the horizon as more and more retailers start using the technolgoies available to them to drive instore traffic and loyalty.

QR codes are beginning to hit our shores here at home in Oz. Can’t wait to hear about the results.









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