How to Discover Location Based Customer Personas Using Proximity MX

4th Jul 2017

It’s not exactly a secret, but it is one principle that is overlooked too often: it’s generally a waste of time trying to sell something to “the market”. The market has no desires and no money to spend; only individual consumers possess these qualities.

How-to-Discover-Shopper-Profiles-Using-Proximity-MX

These individuals are usually grouped together based on easily measurable factors, such as age and gender, in order to direct marketing efforts more effectively, but relying on only these most basic data offers only limited benefits.

A group of 25 year old males is still a collection of individuals: each will have their own preferences, buying habits and interests. Targeting marketing only by headline demographic characteristics – say, a discount coupon based on someone’s age and where he lives – will result in better results than spreading it around even more thinly, but conversion rates will still be a long way from figure of 100%. This is not to say that customer segmentation is of no use: it’s just that the something extra which can really make it work has been missing until recently.

Big Data Gives You a Complete Picture

The commercial buzzword for this decade is “big data”, but few people really understand what this means and what its implications for marketing are. Most shopping malls will have some sort of CRM software installed that interfaces with a customer loyalty program, but the fact is that information only really becomes “big data” once several sources of information are meaningfully combined.

What the average mall owner doesn’t yet realize is that numerous such sources are well within his grasp, with minimal outlay required. One example of this is that website browsing behaviour can be tracked, giving an idea not only of what someone has bought in the past, but what he’s likely to purchase in the future. Another is called location analytics.

The Kind of Location Personas™ Proximity MX Provides

Precision targeting of promotional offers is obviously something to strive for. Relevant, context-aware messages are seen as helpful by the customer, rather than merely annoying as is the case with blanket advertising.

If there is a single technology that makes this possible, it’s location analytics. Proximity MX, a cloud based state-of-the art WiFi analytics platform provides the following capabilities:

  • Sense a customer’s device type – newer or older? Android or Apple? Depending on a visitor’s device type, Proximity MX can be configured to tag the user as an iPhone user or an Android user.
  • Identify customers uniquely – is it someone who’s visited before, or a new shopper? A customer who comes in once in a blue moon, or every weekend? The mall owner can configure Proximity MX to create shopper profiles such as – Frequent Shopper, Infrequent Shopper, Weekend Visitor or a Weekday visitor.
  • Measure dwell time and location – if someone in a shopping mall spends three hours around the cinemas, it’s a fair assumption that he’s interested in movies, suggesting an interest in many related products. Such visitors could be tagged as ‘Moviegoers.’If another person often spends weekday lunchtimes in restaurants (Business Lunch Visitor), this fact can inform the way his customer persona is constructed and what marketing would be most effective in his case.

Using an app developed for your shopping mall or department store allows information such as the above to be seamlessly integrated with a customer’s loyalty program information. Sales staff can now tailor their approaches to specific persona segments, such as twenty-something visitors who’ve recently purchased baby products, visit the mall on most weekends and spend time in electronics stores.

Customer Profiles Evolve Over Time

Every nugget of information yielded by Proximity MX goes towards building an ever more detailed customer persona. For instance, the first time a customer visits your mall and connects to your mall’s WiFi network, some kind of onboarding process might take place, including gathering basic demographic data and contact details. Next, the captive portal displayed at the beginning of the session can be used to display special offers, the reaction to which can be remembered for future use.

Next, Proximity MX might see that her dwell time in the food court exceeds 30 minutes, which is also the case on her second and third visits. Without her ever having interacted with a salesperson or filling out a customer satisfaction survey, she can be identified as a regular visitor who’s likely to respond to restaurant discounts, with interests reflected by the offers she browsed on the mall’s website, living nearby (determined from her phone number, for instance) – all of which is valuable information to base targeted marketing on.

How Shopper Profiles Help Mall Management

  • Retargeting – Understanding shopper behaviour at an individual level allows you to maximize their visit frequency and spending. Formerly frequent visitors who are no longer seen as often can be targeted for retention efforts over multiple channels. Relevant marketing, customer recognition and increased engagement allow numerous opportunities for cross-selling and keep shoppers returning.
  • Granular View of the Customer Base – Spend your marketing budget more effectively by separating high-value customers from the rest, motivate loyal visitors differently from occasional shoppers, and find new marketing opportunities by identifying the common characteristics of repeat business.
  • Integrated Digital Marketing – Whether by email, SMS, push notifications, coupons or messages: it is now possible to verify which individual campaigns cause people to enter a mall, wallet in hand. These marketing efforts can be setup to run automatically when certain criteria are met by some individual, and their performance later analysed in order to make future promotions even more effective.

Market segmentation is like cardiac surgery or computer repair: knowing a little is usually a good thing, but learning all there is to know bears much greater fruit. Traditional ways of gathering information about your customers have severe limitations, which can easily be overcome using location analytics.


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