5 ways smartphones will change your retail business forever – just look at Ted Baker

Fashion brand Ted Baker is just one company that understands proximity is no mere trend but here to stay. Using beacons in its Westfield London store, its app can now be ‘woken up’ when you are near or in-store.

On the simplest level, this engagement can be a voucher or other discount incentive to spend right away. But knowing exactly where a shopper is in-store opens up a wealth of other functions that will mean their favourite device, the smartphone, will almost certainly be the retail brand’s main communications channel going forward.

1. They want to pay, not queue

Very soon, the retail customer is going to expect to be able to pay for any item anywhere in-store. Mobile payments systems are not limited to just PayPal or WorldPay, and retailers can now deploy their own solution and link it to stock inventory control.

They could even use beacons as security devices – beacon ‘stickers’ are now small enough to be embedded in packaging – sending an alert when an item leaves the store that hasn’t been paid for. Unlike RFID tags, beacons can also be followed and tracked out of store, although there are complications.

Read more on how mobile is changing business:

2. They want to be inspired

A survey by leading ad agency McCann revealed that 66 per cent of consumers want to be inspired, whilst they are shopping. For a fashion brand like Ted Baker, the possibilities are almost endless: What’s trending in-store today, virtual catwalks, invitations to special events, all triggered by being in proximity to a particular dress or piece by a designer.

Proximity can also be a very powerful tool when combined with preferences. If you know a user has a preference for a particular designer or, moving away from fashion for wider examples, a type of cuisine in a food retailer, or film genre in a cinema, you can pull them towards an exact aisle or department.

In the cinema example, beacons and other proximity technology can be used in a shopping centre to inspire a film session at the optimum time during a shopping visit, once you know what the optimum time for delivering that message is, either on an individual user basis or generally.

Continue reading on page two to understand the data, relationship, and why you should think about the experience as though you’re Nike and not Sports Direct.

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