How In-Store Beacons Are Driving Next-Generation Shopping Experiences [PSFK CONFERENCE SF]

VP of Client Services from shopkick shares how targeted communication in stores more strongly engages shoppers while driving revenue growth.

PSFK is pleased to welcome Margot Langsdorf, the VP of Client Services at shopkick as one of our speakers at the PSFK Retail Event event in San Francisco on October 30th. Margot has forged partnerships with retailers and marketers to drive revenue growth and shopper engagement through shopkick almost since its inception. At the conference, Margot will share her insight on bringing contextual shopping experiences to brick and mortar stores.

Shopkick started as a mobile app that rewarded shoppers with “kicks” for visiting the favorite stores. What inspired the creation of shopkick?

Since shoppers no longer need stores to be warehouses with shelves and items just to throw into a basket (they have Amazon for that), the role of the store has completely changed. Now, I can use the power of the smartphone to make that experience in the store a better one and that’s where shopkick comes in: through it retailers can use incentives to encourage shoppers to visit brick-and-mortar stores, lead them to products in the physical world and introduce them to brands they may have never heard of. Rewarding customers for actually walking into stores and interacting with products is a tremendous opportunity for marketers that couldn’t efficiently exist without mobile, and one that is easily implemented and scalable through shopkick. In-store shopping is a different and valuable experience, and we want to help brands and retailers provide an even better one to customers by adding a digital layer on top through mobile.

How has introducing this interactive element changed the shopping experience?

Conversation rates in sale through mobile engagements are huge. At shopkick we’ve partnered with major brands and retailers to help introduce new products to consumers, as well as increase interaction with existing ones. Studies have proven time and time again that getting the product in a shopper’s hand is half the battle of the sale – and with shopkick’s platform for rewarding users with points (called “kicks”), shoppers are incentivized to pick up the products to scan them for rewards.

Users are very clearly responding – shopkick was rated the number one real-world shopping app by Nielsen for the second time, with shoppers spending more time per a month in shopkick’s app than even the Wal-Mart app. Brands and retailers can now communicate with shoppers along the entire path to purchase, from the couch to the store, through the app and build a stronger relationship and brand loyalty than ever before.

Why do you think shopkick has proven so successful?

We’ve always believed that mobile will be the No. 1 marketing medium for physical retailers and brands and we use that to help personalize the shopping experience, to create additional incentives to shop in-store, provide customers with a personalized, rewarding, interactive experience and to make the shopping experience wonderful again.

What’s next for the platform?

shopBeacon technology is a big milestone in enhancing the future of shopping in the physical world because, by combining Apple’s iBeacon with shopkick’s ultrasound technology, retailers can ensure that they only send push notifications to opt-in users that are actually inside a store vs. in the parking lot or around the corner at a competitor’s store. BLE/iBeacon signals alone bleed through walls so they can’t verify someone is actually present in the store.

In addition, the hybrid we’ve created with shopBeacon reminds users of helpful information right when it’s most useful – once they enter a store. Shopkick takes what people love about online shopping (discovering new products, getting suggestions for what they may also like, etc.) and incorporates that into the app to create better, more personalized in-store experience. With shopBeacon technology, each shopper can be greeted by the app and be offered department-level, transforming everyone’s store into your personal store with products and offers specific to each consumer.

What do retailers have to keep in mind to enhance and not hamper the shopping experience?

Ultimately, all notifications sent should create value for the user. Beacon’s potential is endless – from retail to sports venues to airports, there are possibilities to connect with consumers or simplify everyday actions almost everywhere. In retail, we focus on providing only alerts that are helpful to shoppers when they’re most relevant, such as exclusive offers or reminders of previously liked products upon entry to a store that carries those items.

Can you share a few predictions for the retail in the next five years?

Retail is undergoing a major change as e-commerce and m-commerce continue to grow, but in-store shopping is still the main way consumers purchase. Brick-and-mortar stores are still the cornerstone of shopping for most consumers, and the in-store experience can be crucial in building brand loyalty.  Mobile will continue to impact the way consumers interact with retailers and brands and shop in-store. Companies must evolve and embrace it as a new way to help shoppers discover products, plan shopping trips and guide them along the journey. Interactions through mobile will become even more precise, personal and relevant.

To hear Margot speak to creating interactive in-store experiences as well as our line up of industry experts and highlights from PSFK’s 2015 Future of Retail report, join us next week on October 30th at PCH’s Innovation Hub in San Francisco. Tickets are available online.