To date, says Popimedia co-founder and CTO Gil Sperling, retailers have had the ability to evaluate the success of their ad spend on social and digital channels in a limited way. This in no way utilises the immense volume of data at their disposal, nor does it give them the ability to track and influence the customer journey. Furthermore, says Sperling, retailers need to find a way to meld online and instore consumer behaviour if they wish to futureproof their businesses.
To achieve this, Popimedia has developed RetailSMART, a single solution that allows retailers to remain connected to consumers from the discovery phase, all the way through to the purchase, then retain the consumer’s loyalty, allowing for upsell, cross-sell, and resell.
“RetailSMART,” says Sperling, “connects to business data in real time, providing the retailer with opportunities to create hundreds of audiences for relevant ad-spend, through an end-to-end automated process.
“We realised early on that creating true personalisation is simply not possible with the number of hours a marketing department has in a day. Through smart data, client information and automation, we believe we have created the pinnacle of personalised marketing, which will undoubtedly further revolutionise the retail game,” he says.
As revealed in Popimedia’s Digital Influence survey, the way consumers shop has changed. South Africans spent over eight hours daily on the internet, and close to three hours on social media. Additionally, the research showed that discovery starts on mobile, with 72% beginning their shopper journey on the mobile device, as opposed to other platforms. But while the journey begins online – this is not, for the majority of cases, where it ends – and retailers need to ringfence the entire ride.
In his Forbes op-ed, The Future of Retailing: The Technology Revolution is Now, Walter Loeb states “For both groups [Millennials and Gen Z] social media is vital. However, I find it notable that 58% of Gen Z say they want to shop in stores.”
As Generation Z, typically born between the mid-’90s and mid-’00s, is becoming independent (both financially and personally), retailers need to be aware of not only their spending preferences, but more importantly, their consumer behaviour. We already know that tech has changed how we shop – and those changes will continue to come at the industry, says Sperling. “It is critical that retailers carefully investigate the technology at their disposal should they wish to survive the sea-change we’ve seen in recent years.”
Says Loeb: “In my opinion there are many retailers operating today that will not be around in the future.”