SeamlessToday more and more people can be reached at any time and in any place via smartphone, which is reason enough to use this channel to communicate with the customers. But especially for multi-channel retailers the smartphone offers the chance to identify previously anonymous clients through their cross-channel behavior and get to know them that way.

For the first time it is possible to consider, evaluate and draw conclusions about the customer journey across all channels, making it a quite intriguing marketing tool.

Smartphones as bridge between online & offline

With a so-called browser fingerprint – sometimes as well called device or machine fingerprint - it is now technically possible to detect and locate a smartphone in the WLAN. In fact, fingerprints can be used to fully or partially identify individual users or devices even when cookies are turned off. Meanwhile such fingerprints have proven useful in the detection and prevention of online identity theft and credit card fraud. The interest in such a tool by the marketing industry is easy to understand. The effect of different types of advertising media can be measured across channels: For example, if a newsletter was opened from a smartphone, and then one and the same device is recognized in the stationary shop, it can then be used to pay via mobile payment. Whoever is in a position to evaluate this technical information is also able to identify the clients and to track them across multiple channels, making future correlations in the user's behavior clearly detectable.

More selling arguments at the POS through smartphones

But that's not all, as popular and highly influencing social commerce features like reviews, ratings, comments, product videos, etc. may now also be provided on the stationary POS thanks to mobile devices, offering additional useful information to the potential buyer. Such additional product information is available through detection of labels, barcodes or QR codes read via smartphone, for instance.

Mobile payment completes the Customer Journey

Mobile devices are used today more and more frequently for making payments, allowing the retailer to recognize the previously unknown customers at the counter. Identified by the app, the shopping cart can now be assigned to a specific customer and complete the customer journey.

The whole gathered information in turn is used to supplement user profiles and to improve the personalization, referral marketing receives new impulses and the relevance is increased.

Checklist for multi- channel retailers to get to know their customers better:

  • Offer your customers free internet access in your store;
  • Use the browser fingerprint to identify smartphones in your WLAN;
  • Animate your customers through references in the store to use social features from your online shop;
  • Equip your products with barcodes that lead the customer to the product information without detours and offer product alternatives online;
  • Take advantage of the new customer information to launch situational and individual promotional information through various channels;
  • Offer in your store mobile payment via smartphone, as that way you get the chance of a seamless Customer Journey.

By Daniela La Marca