Phillip Blundell talks about digital innovation in retail

BLOG: The key to loyalty in an era of shopper promiscuity

Phillip Blundell, CEO of Eagle Eye, discusses how merchants should embrace digital innovation to secure customer loyalty.

In the past consumers relied on local shops. It was easy for businesses to develop strong relationships – to learn preferences and to understand their customers. Today, smart consumers shop around to find the best deals. Arguably this is a buyer’s market.

Today consumers are confident. Recent research by Google shows 67 per cent of consumers believe that having access to multiple devices makes it easier to shop. There are those that argue that consumers today are promiscuous.

Thanks to digital technology the modern consumer is always connected – there are now more than one billion smartphones in use around the world. Smart retailers have adapted. For them the currency of the digital store space is an opportunity, not a threat. How are these retailers harnessing the virtual high street?

Technology enables retailers to better engage with and understand their customers. By creating apps, optimising their websites for tablet and smartphones they are creating opportunities to target, engage and understand their audience. The true key to customer loyalty is understanding what value means to your customers.

Value isn’t always financial. For example, some merchants request customer feedback before adding any new features to their smartphone app. Innovations such as barcode scanners have been introduced to allow customers to scan items before disposing of the empty containers which then generates a shopping list, which saves customers time when in store.

At Eagle Eye we are fortunate to have worked with some of the most successful and innovative companies in the UK to create unique customer loyalty schemes. We have partnered with the Tesco Clubcard Boost programme switching the traditional and unreliable paper based vouchers to digital in August 2012. The restaurants using this programme saw a return on investment within three months as customers opted to receive their vouchers through the digital channel.

Loyalty is still possible for merchants – but the world has changed. Where there was once cash, now there is a mobile wallet. Where there was only a shop window, now there are more than a billion screens.

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