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More retailers are using IoT technologies to manage customer data

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A Tata Consultancy Services Global Trend study on the Internet of Things (IoT) shows that 50 percent of retailers are using IoT technologies to monitor customer data via mobile apps and 27.9 percent are using it to track data via sensors in physical locations such as stores.

This is because to deliver the most appropriate offers or opportunities to consumers – at the right time and place – retailers require unique, data-driven representations of real customers instead of less accurate segment based marketing.

Seeta Hariharan, General Manager and Group Head, TCS Digital Software & Solutions, said IoT is further blurring the line between traditional and online retailing, forcing marketers to reconstruct the customer’s journey with their brands across both physical and virtual worlds.

“Retailers are moving from hit-or-miss marketing to highly relevant, timely interactions delivered in the right context. Their goal is creating binding emotional connections at every touch point with consumers to withstand the lure of discounting,” Hariharan explained.

A new software released recently by TCS enables brick-and-mortar retailers to use data from in-store sensors and other IoT devices to create more personalized marketing strategies.

The ‘TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail’ is designed to counter the bombardment of  consumers with random, irrelevant and untimely offers, which occur when retailers lack granular insights about individual customer preferences or can’t capitalize on real life situations, such as in-store shopping.

For example, a running enthusiast who’s been reading reviews of fitness trackers on a retailer’s website and app enters a store and is immediately greeted by a salesperson who shows her a display of wearable devices.

While examining them, she receives a smart phone alert offering her an opportunity to connect with a local community of runners who can demonstrate the products.

After making a purchase, her relationship with the retailer continues with invitations to running events, opportunities for discounted race entry fees and targeted offers for running shoes, supplements, etc.

“Consumers buy through multiple channels, but online shopping has made them expect all retailers to understand them better,” said Leslie Hand, VP, IDC Retail Insights. “This puts pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers to transform how they market to consumers across their converging physical and digital worlds.

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