The always-on, all-channel retailing model has become a mission-critical strategy.
Today’s connected shoppers are the driving force behind the need for the digitally connected store and growing omnichannel experience. At the same time, the shift away from traditional retailing has added significant complexity and options to retailers hoping to stay in pace or ahead of consumer preferences.
Physical retail locations that integrate digital technologies will grow in importance as they seamlessly deliver the brand’s experience through an omnichannel retailing platform. To elevate the role of the physical store, you can deploy many of Cogents features to create more customer touch points that connect the e-commerce site and mobile devices to mobile point-of-sale systems and interactive signage while also integrating with social media channels.
Customers can choose to interact at any place – and thanks to mobile apps your brand can respond, engage and sell at any time as well.
The connected store must-have check-list
Here is our list of what we have identified as must-haves for connected stores.
1. Have a store-aware app
Create companion apps – embrace a in-store mode for an immersive experience.
Although online shopping is an important channel, many reports find that many consumers favor the physical store as their preferred shopping channel. As part of bringing a digital experience in store, you should have an mobile app with a strong in-store mode.
Cogent’s Apple iOS and Android apps have a special mode that the apps switch to when an store Beacon is detected. From the Cogent Control Panel you can create special in-store campaigns or just help users order items online quickly.
2. Make use of Tag Scanning and Image Search
Use the mobile camera to simplify finding the right product by enabling looking up products based on their tags as well as an image of a product the customer is looking for.
Consumers are now accustomed to using technology and digital devices to simplify their lives and are commanding more control of their shopping experience. They expect their favorite brands to keep pace with their connected lifestyle and offer innovative new retail approaches to maintain their loyalty.
By allowing customers to scan product tags from your app – you can help them order online, or see unstocked options.. With todays powerful smart phones it’s also easy to search with photos of garments, textiles and other products. Smart algorithms can easily detect if the photo is a top, dress or pants and search for similar products.
3. Deploy Digital Signs to engage
Automated at-store signage that takes location, time and stock into consideration drives consumers into stores
Digital signage, and proprietary retail mobile apps are now quickly becoming the norm – and with Cogent’s digital signage solution you can re-use images from the web and mobile clients for beautiful signs.
Our digital signage solution offers both fully automated and campaign driven displays. Thanks to our cost-efficient presence hardware you can turn any digital display into a data-collector and make content react to users watching the screen and not just passing by.
4. Run Push and e-mail Campaigns based on Store Preferences
Customers demand personalized messages from the brands they trust. By tracking what stores customers frequent you can target specific store customers with relevant messages.
Cogent includes full support for targeting individual users for push messages – making sure they are as individual as possible.
You can create both automated and triggered push messages based on a large set of parameters such as: what products they looked at, stores they have visited, how frequently they use the app and much more.
5. Deploy Beacons
With Beacons you can trigger events in your Cogent app when a user is near a location.
Not only can you trigger inventory checks against the users wishlist or basket, Cogent also switches the app into in-store mode to help the user navigate the closets store.
Using Beacons you can also measurement how many people went into the store and how many went to different locations in the sore. This data can then be used to create directed push and e-mail messages to these users based on when and what beacons they have been close to.
Cogent includes full support for managing beacon locations, creating automated campaigns based on users visits to the beacons and more.