Technology can 'boost' Christmas shopping

Cape Town - Retailers should exploit a range of technologies to boost sales and engage customers, an industry insider has asserted.

As the festive season gets into full swing, many retailers are looking to inject energy into sales, but they should look to technology, particularly as shoppers become more tech savvy.

"We use our mobile phones as GPS devices when in our cars. Why not use them in-store to direct consumers to items that are on promotion?" David Ross, director at PVision told News24.

The company specialises in display technology and Ross said that retailers could use a combination of technologies to personalise the purchasing experience.

Mobile phones

He said that retailers could use their existing technological infrastructure to drive additional sales as consumers are in a buying mood.

"Some retailers are already using apps to provide digital coupons for discounts; a clothing store could, for example, offer a consumer a discount when they buy a certain number of items from a predefined list of items that are in an overstocked situation."

According to a survey conducted by the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council, 79% of shoppers can be classified as "mobile shoppers".

Around 62% of those shoppers use their mobile phones at least once a month to assist with shopping and 17% use their phones at least once on the week.

The report highlights the observation that 82% of shoppers use smartphones to find information on products while in store, resulting in an increased spend.

Retail creativity

Ross urged creativity in retail stores, arguing that it might result in an increase in sales.

"Every item in a store has a barcode so, when an item is scanned at the till point the Point of Sale system could display related items on a screen. Based on the items the consumer has already purchased a selection of other items that complement them be offered at a special price.

"For example, if a consumer purchases a pair of shoes they could be offered a 10% discount on a matching handbag."

He said that the use of digital displays combined with an effective marketing strategy could make the difference to the bottom line.

"Digital marketing strategies can be made more effective by incorporating digital displays in stores which can display content that ties into existing in-store print campaigns or decor."


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