As ecommerce figures continue to rise in the UK, GE's new start up company Current explains how the combination of LED lighting and mcommerce's increasing share of this growth is a potential goldmine for retail marketers.
With the latest figures from eMarketers retail forecast showing that ecommerce sales are set to exceed £67 billion in 2016 in the UK and £25.2 billion of which coming from mcommerce (a 25 per cent increase on last year). Current highlights a window of opportunity for marketing professionals to hijack the growing mobile trend and directly impact sales and customer service.
The UK is a world leader when it comes to ecommerce and its consumers have always been quick to embrace new technologies. Hungry for content, product information, reviews, quick service and price comparisons, shoppers just like to click. The penetration of smart devices has played right into this trend but instead of exacerbating the challenge for in-store retailers, it presents a game changing opportunity to engage millennial shoppers through offline communication. Thanks to new technology such as indoor positioning systems (IPS) incorporated into store lights and the Industrial Internet this opportunity is now ready to be taken advantage of in an exciting new shift towards in-store real-time communication.
IPS can act as the bridge between the ecommerce and high street retail worlds, offering much of what tech savvy shoppers look for online while they are in-store. IPS uses Bluetooth beacons, cameras or Visible Light Communication (VLC) within LED lighting fixtures to communicate with customers' smart phones in real time to offer a whole host of benefits that can have a direct impact on retailers' profitability.
For retail marketers, technology like this is expanding the traditional tool set for reaching and engaging their customers. When LEDs with IPS technology embedded are combined with Industrial Internet platforms such as Predix, a whole new world of data is opened up that can revolutionise marketing programmes. Some of the immediate behaviours that can be measured are things like: dwell time, historical paths in-store, staff coverage and user engagement triggers to name but a few.
The ability to influence people's movements through mobile devices is clear to see with the recent release of Pokemon GO and IPS could be the in-store retailers equivalent in directing customers to key areas of its stores. The level of insight into the customer journey it affords has never before been possible but it will take marketers that are not afraid to embrace new technology to fully exploit everything it has to offer.
As eMarketers' forecast shows, mcommerce is set for significant sustained growth accounting for more than £45.2 billion in sales by 2020. High street retailers can mirror this growth by bridging the physical with the digital. Who would have thought that retailers' next marketing campaign would be powered by LEDs?"
Current has recently grown its Intelligent Environments App catalog with five new partners joining its digital ecosystem. In particular, partnerships with Celect, VideoMining and Motionloft offer new opportunities for retailers. New data streams that have been opened up by these partnerships include analytics on product placement, in-depth shopper behaviour and pedestrian traffic.