Online stores have set a precedent for smarter, more curated shopping experiences. Now 81% of shoppers are already at a mid to late buying stage when they enter a store.

How can brick-and-mortar brands and retailers respond with experiences that are relevant to shoppers’ unique interests?

Hint: Mobile Isn’t the Answer

Mobile technology has been positioned as the go-to tool for engaging shoppers, but this tactic is far from promising for two reasons: 1) mobile ignores unknown shoppers who are the majority, and 2) mobile personalization often crosses a line that shoppers deem as “creepy”.

See all the stats and findings on mobile personalization in our last article here:
Why In-Store Personalization is Failing

So, how can retailers deliver curated experiences without mobile, and without being creepy?

Creating Tailored Experiences in Real-Time (Without Mobile)

You wouldn’t know it, but—right now—a popular beverage brand is delivering tailored promotions in real-time to females based on age group. Likewise, a large beauty brand just launched a fully immersive pop-up store in Tokyo that makes curated product recommendations based on the shopper’s previous behavior in the store, age, and skin type.

These are applications of responsive technology, and none of them rely on mobile. Instead, they use anonymized facial detection and advanced IoT sensors, and leverage digital screens to deliver relevant promotions, product information, and recommendations based on real-time shopper analytics. Light and sound can also be leveraged to tailor the experience even further or attract shoppers’ attention. But, the beauty of these options is that not only do they run on anonymized real-time analytics technology, such that no data can be linked to any unique shopper, this data can still be used in real-time to tailor the experience for shoppers.

Here are 5 Ways to Tailor the In-Store Experience (Without Mobile):


    1. Based on Traffic Demographics or Groupings
      Often, the factors most important in purchasing decisions vary across different shopper segments or groups. What drives a family to purchase an item could be far different from what compels a single shopper to buy. Demographics can therefore determine the messaging that you leverage to attract shoppers. Sensing two adults and a child walking closely, for instance, could instantly trigger a family-oriented message, whereas other unique positioning could also be delivered to appeal to a specific gender or age groups, like Millennials or Baby Boomers.Another interesting strategy to consider here is priority. In times or areas of higher traffic, where the audience might be mixed, priority can also be given to targeting specific demographics that have been identified as higher value shoppers.
    2. Based on Proximity
      Nowadays, retailers must proactively draw shoppers in and respond to them uniquely. Digital signage with a video loop slapped on a wall simply isn’t enough and has made shoppers disinterested.Engaging shoppers uniquely based on proximity is one of the simplest ways to dip your toes in the water with responsive technology. With this approach, content can be triggered once shoppers enter a certain area to draw attention, then as they approach a promotion or product recommendation can be triggered to point them to a certain product, display, or merchandiser to help drive engagement, and ultimately, sales. According to a Path to Purchase study, higher engagement increases purchase likelihood.
    3. Based on Shoppers’ Moods
      Anonymous analytics collected from shoppers can detect mood, which can be then be used to trigger specific messages or promotions. Some brands have taken this one step further, trading smiles for free merchandise. This form of experiential retail is a powerful way to excite consumers (especially younger generations). If your goal is to engage families or millennial shoppers – or to simply create fun brand awareness centered on a specific product – this option is one way to start.
    4. Based on Unique Shopper Behaviors & Interests
      The moment shoppers engage or interact with products presents one of the biggest opportunities for brands and retailers to act. To drive the purchase decision, product information and recommendations can be tailored in real-time based on product interaction. Interaction also doesn’t have to be limited to the shopper picking-up a specific product, either; also consider when a shopper tests beds or couches in a furniture store. This same principle could also be applied when a shopper opens a cooler door in a grocery store by lighting up certain products to draw their attention.Or, perhaps the shopper hasn’t engaged physically with something at all, but has been looking at a product for a certain amount of time. Take advantage of this key moment by:

      • instantly delivering relevant promotions or product information and recommendations;
      • automatically alerting sales associates to offer help, while also arming them with insights into which products the shopper considered and their journey through the store, along with product or inventory information, to help them become more knowledgeable and effective
    5.  Based on Shopper Personas
      Retailers and brands can even use a mix of the above variables (proximity, mood, demographics, behaviors, interests, etc.) to identify and build high-value personas for whom even more targeted messages are created. For example, some basic ideas of what these personas could be the Female Researcher, Impulse Buyer, or perhaps, Man on a Mission.

Additionally, POS data can be correlated to help identify higher value shoppers by looking at which demographics generated the highest basket per category or product to help build the personas.

Getting Started is Easy

Are you ready to learn more about how to tailor the in-store experience for each shopper without mobile? InReality offers a 3-month pilot to let you try our responsive technology solutions, which can be up and running within a matter of weeks.