How Artificial Intelligence can aid retailers

pete loop-2

Pete O’Mara Kane, VP Sales at LoopMe

90% of retailers reported a drop in foot traffic in the last 5 years

This week LoopMe launched our Retail Foot Traffic Research. We were looking to see the impact of declining foot traffic to stores, using a working hypothesis developed from insights from the British Retail Council who found that there was a 1% drop in foot traffic registered across the UK.

Almost 90% of the 250 retail decision makers in UK reported a drop in foot traffic over the last 5 years and 93% reported a loss in store revenue. Meanwhile, a record £133bn was spent online in 2016, a growth of 16% in one year.

It’s not as simple to say that consumers now prefer to only shop online, as the in-store experience is still an important part of the purchase journey. It gives consumers access to in-store support and the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’. Research from PWC found that while consumers were more likely to buy electronics and household appliances online, jewellery, clothing and furniture were all preferred to be bought in-store.

Can technology help?

Retailers are investing more in digital in store – from self-service units to selfie mirrors (not that I’ve used one personally) to beacon technology, understanding the need to innovate and make shopping an interactive experience.

Identifying the customer and delivering a personalized experience is one of the top priorities for 70% of retailers according to research by BRP Consulting. With the wealth of data available for technology providers and first party data from retailers, surely we can use this to rethink how we drive retail marketing strategy. As well as driving traffic to websites, why not drive feet to stores?

Interestingly, when we posed this solution to retailers, over 98% were interested.

Take consumers from screen to store

Using Artificial Intelligence, it’s now possible to take consumers from mobile screen to store.

Utilising all of data available, including first party data from retailers and our own data (including app usage, past campaign interaction history, historical locations), AI can be used to build a predictive model.

Using retail locations identified by ourselves and independent location providers, users with comparable profiles to those visiting the store are targeted. An ad is then served at the opportune moment to drive them into store.

Previously we’ve used AI to drive brand metrics like purchase intent and brand affinity, but our data science team has worked to create new models so we can offer this brand new solution. Leveraging data and applying Artificial Intelligence is the biggest opportunity that marketers have to bring consumers back to the high street.

If you’re looking to put stores at the heart of your marketing then look to AI to drive tangible results.

Download LoopMe’s US and UK Retail Foot Traffic Report.

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