We all know our high streets are changing. Stores are closing and jobs disappearing, footfall is declining and shopping patterns are changing. Whatever the reasons behind this dramatic shift in the retail landscape, if bricks-and-mortar retailers are to survive, they need to do all they can to adapt to changing consumer habits, keep shoppers coming back and ultimately increase sales. And this means using all the tools at their disposal.
It’s easy for retailers to identify their shoppers online and match products, placement, pricing and promotions to their needs. For omni-channel retailers, it is much harder to distinguish customers in the physical store, particularly if they don’t have a loyalty scheme. This is where the true value of the point of sale (POS), a hugely valuable asset for bricks-and-mortar retailers, is often overlooked. As well as a channel to process payments, the POS presents a significant opportunity for retailers to generate valuable insights, engage with customers and deliver a more personalised experience.
Driving the top line
Data captured at The POS can help retailers increase footfall and boost sales. Each and every transaction creates a wealth of insights that can be used to deliver highly personalised communications at scale. However, in order to use the POS to its full advantage, and maximise the effectiveness of campaigns, retailers need to ensure they follow the following five key principles:
#1 Work with quality data
Quality results require quality data. By capturing data from each and every transaction, retailers can use those insights to deliver highly targeted promotions, messages and rewards based on shoppers’ purchase history. These can take the form of coupons or messages on physical and digital receipts and could include spend stretch offers, money-off vouchers or value-added information such as product care instructions.
#2 Process data in real-time
Historical data plays an important role in shaping campaigns and refining offerings, but using real-time data captured at the POS can provide retailers with a true competitive advantage. Not only can it help them to provide customers with relevant and timely offers, but it can also be used to further influence marketing campaigns and drive engagement.
#3 Supplement real-time data with automation
The secret to the success of a campaign often comes down to how quickly it is up and running. Unfortunately, there is often a time lapse between customer segmentation and campaign execution, so what was relevant last month is perhaps no longer so, which impacts the campaign effectiveness. Combining real-time data with automation can help retailers strengthen their marketing efforts, especially around trigger-based campaigns and promotions.
#4 Measure, measure, measure
Measurement is critical to monitoring the success of any campaign. Real-time data can be analysed and fed back to a retailer’s marketing/CRM team to provide an accurate picture of how a campaign is performing. So, if it isn’t delivering the results expected, it can be stopped or amended as soon as possible. And if it’s performing well, it can be extended or enhanced.
#5 Be targeted and personal
Having the ability to connect with every in-store customer and engage with them in a targeted and personal way is a real differentiator for retailers. By demonstrating that they know and understand their customers, retailers can build loyalty and increase engagement. So, when retailers focus on data to deliver a targeted promotions strategy, it’s possible to measure the effect on sales revenue and see the impact on the top line.
These challenging times aren’t going to disappear any time soon. In an era when increasing, or simply maintaining, footfall is a huge focus, retailers need to do all they can to keep customers coming back. Real-time data has a vital role to play, enabling retailers to provide personalised offers that customers actually value, encouraging retention.
To find out more, download our latest whitepaper: Turning the point of sale into a point of differentiation.