Things started becoming difficult gradually for brick-and-mortar stores since late 90’s, thanks to the evolution of ecommerce websites. For general shoppers, the ecommerce sites offer bounty of opportunity, starting from – checking products, receiving notifications of relevant and related purchases, facility for price comparison and enjoy the best offers. Web analytics surely provided ecommerce with a superior edge over physical retail stores. Brick-and-mortar retailers, on the other hand, closely observed the possibilities of growth. Alongside, the increasing usage of smart mobile devices in-store has convinced them about the possibility of bringing web analytics to physical by combining the principles of online algorithm, mobile tech and in-store proximity sensors.
The combination of mobile tech and online algorithm is surely opening up multitude of untold possibilities for brick-and-mortar retailers. However, without proximity sensors, this groundbreaking combination would have remained as stagnant as any theory,for it cannot be channelized for execution.
What is a Proximity Sensor?
A proximity sensor, at the fundamental level, can be described at a detecting or measuring device that traces presence of objects within a determined proximity without any direct contact. The emission of electromagnetic signal from the device has the key role to play in the process of such determination.
The new-age proximity sensors are manufactured in accordance to the advanced mobile technology that customers are using at an increasing rate. Of late, the producers have found Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) empowered sensors as the most convenient instrument to solve issues concerning operational and customer engagement. Why BLE sensors are more advanced than their predecessors? They deliver brick-and-mortar retailers with the capacity to implement intelligent shopping experience (web-alike) to a physical environment, with capacity for advanced targeting, customizability and customer tracing in-store.
Naturally, customers enjoy real-time and entirely automated assistance in terms of,
- Locating desired products
- Receiving relevant information about ongoing offers and deals
- Advanced and quicker decision making
- Quicker deployment of store associates for personalized, in-store customer support (in case of brick-and-mortar store owners)
Apart from these benefits, brick-and-mortar retailers can gather valuable data and relevant insight about customer behavior and preference. This, in turn, will help them solving two fundamental challenges, namely:
- Disambiguation in setting up the best strategic approach to handle the rate of lost or disengaged customers
- Trying out different, yet relevant means in expanding average cart-size of shoppers
Breathing New Life:
Of course, the efforts to solve these issues will require a lot of creativity but such creative risks can only be taken when you have a strong, information-rich foundation. With data, the foundations are built and experimental efforts should commence through marketers. Proximity sensors, thus, are not simply instruments for introducing web analytics to retail environment. These are the constructive channels, helping with materialization of this revolutionary technology on hard-core physical environment. Clearly, the proximity sensors are breathing new life into brick-and-mortar businesses for sustaining the challenge from ecommerce websites.