Customers walking through Billa Corso, Vienna

Done right

23. May 2016, Editorial

Smartphones, tablets, technology in general: They guide one through the shop and directly to the right product. Constant data exchange under two-way observation.


big data
customer experience
customer satisfaction
guided experiences

No one leaves the house anymore without a smartphone. It knows all the answers, every appointment and can tell us telephone numbers that we no longer have memorised. Smartphones are guideposts without which we would be lost. And that is exactly what retail is exploiting – the Guided Experience. Increasingly more, and increasingly more directly. No matter what the industry, smartphones guide us – together with touch screens on the various devices and in various forms – through the shopping experience and to the right product. Prices change with the touch of a button, additional sales pop up on the display. Basically good for customers, but the in-store networking also harbours risks. Opaque data collection and storage, or even hacker attacks. And: One always needs to reckon with unsolicited advertising after a shopping spree.

Smartphones will signpost the way
through the shopping experience of the future.

In retail and sales, the smartphone has developed into a tool for improving the customer experience and satisfaction more than ever, including practical side effects, and for improving customer loyalty. Customers who are satisfied with the service return. But it’s not only the customers who benefit from the use of smartphones, gadgets or other technical toys. Such innovative shop solutions contribute to a good image: modern, pioneering, exciting, brilliant. Applications on smartphones or NFC (Near Field Communication), which are used for cashless payment, also bring something priceless to stores: Data. This allows companies to not only know what customers like. They know how they like it. Or whether they were satisfied with it. How many stars they give the product. Whether they would recommend it to a friend. Or have already recommended it. Future offers can be directly tailored to just one customer in this way. And increase the chances that he will come back again.

Thanks to apps, NFC and other such things, companies have something priceless from their customers: Data.

Which is fabulous when the target group is high-purchasing Millennials who belong to the generation of digital natives. But, when faced with an older public that do not use smartphones and tablets intuitively, alternative concepts are still needed. And solutions for the issue of security will also be increasingly needed in the future. Wherever data is transferred, it will also be stolen. Strong passwords, regular software updates with firewalls and antivirus programmes can work against this, but can never completely prevent hacker attacks. Secure networks are hugely important, especially when it has to do with cashless payment – in order to guarantee that the customer leaves the business not only with the right product but also with a reassured frame of mind.

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