In the aftermath of Thanksgiving, it’s easy to think the holiday season is about crazed crowds and Black Friday pricing. But retailers aren’t just competing on price. They know that it’s the in-store experience that brings customers back. And digital transformation is providing new ways for retailers to build customer loyalty and increase basket size.

The effective retailers are the ones that identify a customer experience that differentiates them from their competition and uses technology to support that experience.

Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences, or CMX, is the perfect technology to power this approach. Here’s how:

Guest Wi-Fi
Today’s consumer is a connected consumer. Guest wi-fi is becoming a must have as a whopping 84 percent of millennials use their smartphones for assistance while in the store. They want to be able to access product reviews. To request gift ideas from family. Or, to use social media to solicit input from friends. The retailers that have guest wi-fi access—either free or as part of a loyalty program—are the retailers that will attract more shoppers.

CMX Connect provides an easy-to-use tool for creating captive portals in as little as ten minutes. You can add customer imagery, customer offerings such as daily specials, and SMS authentication with a click of the mouse. So not only can you provide customers with the wi-fi they demand but you can use the sign-on process as a touch point for their in-store experience.

Omnichannel Support
Several studies have shown that 70 percent of shoppers research their purchases before entering a store. Through APIs, CMX can integrate with backend e-commerce, CRM, and customer loyalty programs to provide a more complete, 360-degree view of the customer’s interactions. If you know what a customer searched prior to entering the store, you can provide them directions, promotions, and relevant products that are pertinent to their intended purchase.

Relevant Content
Studies have shown that 34 percent of shoppers use their smartphones to research product details while in the store. Using the location capabilities of CMX, the retailer can build loyalty by proactively sending relevant content to the shopper. For instance, a shopper may be considering an HD action camera. Based on location and dwell time, the retailer can push content about the available action cameras while the customer is making a decision. Ninety-five percent of customers that receive such information find it valuable. And fifty percent of them act on it.

Pop-Up Promos
Using CMX and a loyalty application, retailers can provide pop-up promotions to customers at two moments—upon entering the store and based on a dwell time threshold. The “upon arrival” promotion can inform the customer of storewide specials. This type of promotion may be especially effective during the holiday buying season. The “dwell time” promotion can be sent when a customer has been in one location for a pre-determined amount of time that denotes a heightened level of interest for a specific type of product.

Let’s use our HD action camera example above. After the dwell time threshold, the loyalty app can inform the customer of special pop-up promotions for accessory packages for one or more of the action cameras. This added information can help spur the purchase and can increase the basket size at the same time.

Sales Assistance
For many retailers, personalized assistance is the key to an enhanced customer experience. Studies have shown a 20 percent increase in sales when a sales associate is engaged with the customer. CMX can help identify customers based on location, dwell time, and loyalty status and send the right sales associate—whether based on location or expertise—to assist the customer. And, if the customer has opted in, the associate can greet them by name.

Loyalty apps have grown in popularity for retailers. They provide a means to both engage and reward customers.  CMX can help improve these applications and provide a more engaging in-store experience. First, for high-value loyalty customers, the application can be used to alert sales assistants of the customer’s arrival and they can provide that customer with a higher level of service in alignment with their status. Second, the loyalty application can be used to authenticate free guest wi-fi access as one of the benefits of program participation. And, finally, CMX can detect the loyal customer’s presence and reward them for visiting even if they don’t purchase. The retailer can follow up with a thank you note offering a discount on the next visit.

Free wi-fi, better information, better service, and better offers—what better way to provide a better customer experience at any time of the year. And CMX powers them all.


Daryl Coon

CMO EMM Mobility Solutions Borderless Networks