Thursday, June 11, 2015

Some Thoughts On Incentiving Shoppers To Enter Stores

Foot traffic is something key in retailing. If customers don't come to your stores, no sales. This is clear generating store visits is key to maintain your sales. This is the reason why new mobile technologies enable new marketing tools to trigger foot traffic: Ibeacons, or applications like Foursquare...

But so far, despite quite some efforts, some of them that I have discussed previously on this blog, none of those techniques have emerged clearly. French retail magazine LSA wrote an article not so long ago on this topic. It discusses about the French start up Step In  which has created an application giving some rewards to customers entering a store.

Here are key data of Step In:
  • 30 retail partners including Orange, Celio or Kase
  • 80 000 downloads
  • 50 000 active accounts

Step In use the beacon technology to send signals to the application holders. Step In hence incentive the visit of one store. If the shopper does not enter the store, he may give some insights on why he has not entered the store (price, choice, the boutique concept...).

To me, one of the most deceiving fact about the whole concept of incentiving the visit to stores is Foursquare. I thought the company had all the tools to master this technique and to show new usage in those terms. The main issue is that a customer is not going to enter if he does not have any clear ideas of what he wants. 

Secondly, the issue is about the return on investment. Obviously, a store visit has a real value for retailers. And a retailer able to convert the store visit into sales should try to get as much traffic as he can. But I wonder if in overall the whole concept bring enough value to customers for the retailer to invest in the service and in the customer reward. Because for such a concept to work, I believe that the shopper reward must be clear and really appealing.

Lastly, if by any chance the concept is successful, I believe there is a high risk of seeing some users abusing of the service in stepping in stores just for the reward, without buying anything.

What you think about it?