The ever-evolving world of technology is not only visible when it comes to electronics such as your smartphones, tablets, and computers, but is taking place in what areas that were traditionally devoid of technology such as brick and mortar stores and your favorite restaurants. The emergence of artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the growing significance of location data, and online to offline marketing, bring about an interesting time where the marriage of technology with brick and mortar retail needs some reevaluating. And not only is this technology affecting the retail industry, but restaurants including fast-casual dining and quick service restaurants are using this to their advantage to target customers and geomarket their locations and products.

The options that brick and mortar retailers have going forward are endless. As Twice.com puts it, “merchants now face a fresh challenge that once again calls the future of storefront retail into question.” In that piece titled, Brick and Mortar’s Next Big Challenge, it describes how technology may further disrupt the traditional retail industry, but also highlights some of the ways that it can transform the in-store experience and boost sales.

A survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 81 percent of millennials use their mobile device as their main purchasing channel. Beyond that, the 51 percent of consumers who do not use mobile devices for shopping plan to in the future. If you’ve purchased anything in the last couple of years, these statistics should not come as a surprise. And while these statistics may sound intimidating, retailers don’t need to feel afraid. Consumers still need brick-and-mortar stores. In the age of mobile, however, retailers must clearly articulate the value of in-person experiences using digital data and technology to their advantage. Technology such as beacons can already detect mobile devices and trigger offers, call-to-actions and welcome messages directly onto in-store displays and signage. But by combining artificial intelligence with data collected about the customer from the current and previous shopping experiences, retailers can use signals and entice digital signage to deliver personalized recommendations about products and services consumers might not otherwise consider or find on their own.

In an age when technology is king, it’s no surprise that four out of five customers believe technology improves their restaurant experience, according to research from restaurant software provider Toast. All but gone are the days when an app simply showcased menus and locations and a loyalty program was just a fancy way to offer discounts. Now it’s all about using deep-dive analytics to make the experience as personalized as possible.

In order to create the best possible customer experience, the inclusion of mobile technology in the QSR space is vital. It allows you to engage customers with custom content and special offers while collecting valuable data using location-based services. Many of these restaurants are now using technology which incorporates GPS, geofencing, and Bluetooth technologies, which in turn allows brands to target nearby customers. Geofencing a specified area, can provide the restaurant with the ability to send personalized messages to attract customers to the store, and continue that communication once they’re inside. Incorporating things such as a new item on the menu, off-hour deals, and event triggers, are effective ways of using this technology to improve business as your restaurant. Additionally, geofencing can be used to target incremental business from consumers by asking them whether they want the same order as the last time they visited, or by suggesting an appropriate add-on item for their go-to order.

ShopAdvisor’s end-to-end service has worked with retailers and restaurants nationwide to deliver campaigns which incorporate these technologies such as mobile proximity marketing, geofencing, flash sales, sales lift analysis, and more. By targeting customers on their mobile devices, laptops, and tablets, there is no shortage of methods to reach potential consumers and market your product or restaurant to them just about anywhere. One example is a campaign we ran with Extreme Pita in which we drove online customers to restaurants using location-aware rich media.

Finally, most retailers haven’t even scratched the surface with respect to how much proximity data can help. After all, location data can allow stores to measure:

  • When a person enters or exits a store
  • How much time they spent inside
  • What products they picked up
  • How long they held them for

This information is practically invaluable for retailers. Proximity data enables retailers to learn more about each of their customers, which can then be used to target ads accordingly, which products to discontinue, which products may need price adjustments, and so forth. This technology is more significant today than ever and is the best method to gain a leg up on the competition.

To learn more about ShopAdvisor’s mobile proximity marketing solutions, click here

And to learn more about how ShopAdvisor provides proximity marketing solutions for fast-casual dining and quick service restaurants, click here

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