More Footfall Thanks to Location Strategy; Mobile Network as Loyalty Scheme

RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: More Footfall Thanks to Location Strategy; From Loyalty Scheme to Mobile Network; and Sales up in May.

More Footfall Thanks to Location Strategy

Analysing the digital-to-physical strategies of more than 100 retail professionals, a study by Blis, WBR Insights, and Future Stores finds that retailers using a location strategy report more retail footfall that can convert into sales, thanks exposing customers to customised content.

The majority of retailers rely on retargeting strategies, marketing automation, proximity tools like geofencing and beacon technology, and in-market consumer targeting. Nearly half of retailers reported using location-based insights for real-time contextual targeting. Gil Larsen, VP Americas, Blis, comments: “Impactful brand marketing is no longer just about reaching the right person at the right time; the content of the message also needs to be tailored for the right place. Location information allows retailers to go beyond generalised understandings of consumer behaviour and develop quality, right-time and place personalised experiences.”

According to the report, most retailers leverage location data and integration for location-based advertising (71%); emails and notification (63%); video, images, and photography (52%); and ‘right-time’ engagement (52%). Most retailers (79%) receive their data from third-party providers, and collaborate with vendors on the integration of first- and third-party data integration (53%) or the support of geographical data visualisation (45%). Most retailers provide location-based resources for customers, including local product or inventory search (60%); interactive maps (65%); localised social media accounts (60%); and localised online customer service (51%).

From Loyalty Scheme to Mobile Network

British drugstore chain Superdrug is branching into telecoms. The health & beauty retailer is launching a mobile virtual network operator as a reward aimed at customers who are part of their loyalty scheme.

The service will be available to loyalty members who own a Healthy & Beauty Card. Instead of signing contracts, customers pay £10 per month and receive discounted mobile usage bundle. The offer consists of unlimited calls and texts as well as 4GB of data.

Superdrug is partnering for the mobile network with telecom provider and sister company Three – both the drugstore chain and the mobile network operator are owned by CK Hutchison Holdings.

“We are always looking at ways that we can give our members something different, useful, and of great value; and we are delighted to offer this new mobile phone network”, says Bhavik Davada, head of Health & Beauty card, Superdrug. The SIM-only plan is slated to be launched on 20 June.

Sales up in May

BRC Retail Sales Monitor, May 2018

Good weather, bank holidays, and crowd-drawing events have boosted retail sales in May, the BRC says. According to the monthly retail sales monitor, total sales increased 4.1%, compared to May 2017, while like-for-like sales rose 2.8% year-on-year. In May 2017, total sales had garnered a 0.2% increase. Like-for-like sales in May 2017 had amounted to a decrease of 0.2%. The January to May average of 1.3% remained unchanged year-on-year.

“Grocery sales once again continued to be strong, boosted by added enthusiasm for picnics and barbecues”, comments Paul Martin, head of retail, KPMG. “Elsewhere, appetite for non-food categories, including fashion, also experienced a welcome uplift. That said, the picture was less favourable in the larger discretionary categories such as home improvement and furniture.”

Despite increases, there is no room for complacency, Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC, warns: “The retail environment remains extremely challenging, with trend growth still very low by historical standards. Retailers remain focused on investing in new and exciting shopping experiences for the future, as margins remain tight and the competition fierce.”