To operate as an offline retail store in 2017 is a tough proposition when you consider the ever-growing influence of E-commerce. Right now, potential customers are physically visiting retail stores which are 15% less than they used to 10 years ago. Only 60% of all new retail SMEs manages to keep their doors open in the past 1 year mark. Despite big discounts, small and medium scale retailers have never found it so tough to hold customer’s attention. This has pushed offline stores into a corner and forced them to be more creative so as to make shopping experiences more memorable for customers.
Fortunately, retailers have been granted a gift from heaven in the form of mobile devices as well as their ubiquity in emerging countries like China and India. This development has opened up the exciting possibility of making personalized and immediate channel: a customer’s smartphone. Location data is not radically different concept for retailers as they have been paying close attention to potential store locations and demographic data for ages.
But the smartphone offers so much more in terms of location analytics. Retailers can now understand customer preferences on an individual basis. Thanks to mobile location analytics and mapping software, precise knowledge like the real-time location of a customer as well as having the ability to send them targeted messages is now at the disposal of offline stores. Here, special emphasis has to be laid on the concept of real-time. Location based apps like; Foursquare have already tied up with various partners to provide customers with incentives like coupons in exchange of information regarding their latest visit to a retail store. The real game changer here is that Foursquare is offering this information to business on a daily basis by breaking things down according to location.
In other words, mobile devices coupled with location mapping software have led to the digitization of retail stores. Offline stores have begun to function more like web sites with retailers interacting with customers on a wide range of levels. Big data analytics can be used to draw relevant conclusions from these interactions and the appropriate tools can be placed. In this manner, small or medium scale retailers can create personalized shopping experiences from their local neighborhood customers.
The Geospatial World Forum 2017 summit, being held at Hyderabad on January 24th & 25th
, is set to tackle the numerous ways in which location can be used to shape and influence society as well as business decisions. Representatives of well-reputed companies from around the world are set to put forth their ideas and philosophies as how the evolving field of location intelligence will progress in the future. Chaitanya Kumar, the CEO of IndustryARC, will address the distinguished gathering on how retail SMEs and offline stores in emerging countries can utilize location intelligence to revolutionize their workflow.
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IndustryARC is a research and consulting firm that publishes more than 500 reports annually in various industries, such as Agriculture, Automotive, Automation & Instrumentation, Chemicals and Materials, Energy and Power, Electronics, Food & Beverages, Information Technology, Life sciences & Healthcare.
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