Flip on the nightly news and you’ll likely catch a story about the latest retail giant closing stores.
Nine retailers, including Wet Seal and Limited Stores, have already declared bankruptcy in the first three months of this year. And mall darlings, such as Macy’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Payless ShoeSource are closing stores at an alarming pace.
The challenges to brick-and-mortar retailers in an increasingly digital business world are undeniable. Just look at the stratospheric growth of Amazon—between 2010 and 2016, Amazon’s sales in North America have grown from $16 billion to $80 billion.
But smart brick-and-mortar stores are using wi-fi technologies, such as heat maps, to convert customers and increase profits. By implementing new strategies, traditional stores can regain traction and successfully compete against the e-commerce juggernaut.
Don’t Count Out Brick-and-Mortar
There’s still potential for growth—even for classic retailers. It’s all about creating the best user experience for customers. Retailers can figure out what customers want by using information collected from something nearly everyone has tucked in their pocket or purse when they enter a store—their smartphone. Read: How to Win Shopper Loyalty and Influence Buying Behavior
Customers are constantly gathering and sharing information on their phones while wandering through store aisles. Retailers can collect this data through Wi-Fi and then use it for consumer engagement.
Smartphone technology can help retailers pump up customer loyalty and brand recognition by using personalization and real-time customization. Retailers can use wi-fi location-based services to target specific areas with promotions and sales, use push notifications and offer app downloads and targeted search results.
How Retailers Can Use Heat Maps
Another way retailers can use Wi-Fi is to generate heat maps, which can help improve customers’ overall experience and entice shoppers to make purchases. Benefits include:
- In-store marketing improvements. Are customers breezing past displays and lingering at others? By seeing how long shoppers spend in certain areas of your stores, you can improve in-store marketing.
- Space optimization.Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your signage and product descriptions. By seeing what areas of the store are neglected by patrons, you don’t waste precious space on unwanted merchandise.
- Product suggestions and incentives. Heat maps can help retailers anticipate what customers are looking for. Why not send a coupon directly to their phone?
- Smarter staffing. Maybe it’s time to open another register, or perhaps an employee should be stationed near the sports equipment aisle where customers are congregating.
- More accurate targeting. Do most customers come from around the corner or an adjacent city? You can use this information to offer customers location-based deals.
- Store comparisons. Use collected data to run A/B testing about store performance. This data can help you tweak the placement of merchandise, or ditch a product altogether.
Advantages of the Fortinet Solution
Smartphones are always scanning for wireless access points — emitting all kinds of information. Fortinet’s wi-fi, location-based services can help retailers collect this valuable data to increase shopper loyalty and influence purchasing behavior.
FortiPresence is a cloud-based product that offers retailers social wi-fi and valuable analytics, with high-performance security. You’ll find out things like real-time location trends, conversion and bounce rates, the number of visitors, the time they’ve spent in the store, contact information and comparisons across stores.
Fortinet processes this information and displays it in a dashboard, making it easy for you to readily see total visitor traffic, track marketing campaign success and generate real-time animated heat maps for increased customer engagement and business performance.
As a partner of Fortinet and a provider of Fortinet’s FortiPresence, Xiologix can help brick-and-mortar retailers use best-of-breed wi-fi location services technology to convert customers and increase revenue. Contact us to learn more.