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Digging Our Way Out of the Digital Black Hole

By: Tim Mason, chief executive officer, Eagle Eye Solutions Ltd.

We live in a digital world where most retailers make it easy for consumers to locate their nearest store using their mobile device. Google Maps can direct you seamlessly to it. Yet, often, the only incentive that retailers give consumers to get that device out once they arrive in the store is to price compare at the shelf-edge.

This is why I like to describe today's typical store as a digital ‘black hole'.

Brands and retailers have become used to tracking every click online to improve their ecommerce sales and marketing, and are quite prepared to target and engage their customers directly via email. The problem is – they rarely do anything with all this insight to tie back to, and shine light on, what customers want from their physical stores – or how they interact when they're inside them. Instead, retailers spend the majority of their time reacting to a competitive juggernaut, driven by Amazon.

Escaping the black hole

Growing expectations and demands hyped by the immediate availability of technology make it imperative for retailers to establish a digital connection with their consumers that informs and enriches every aspect of the shopping journey, including the physical store. Eagle Eye established its partnership with Aptos with the primary goal of facilitating this connection by addressing the challenges posed by heightened customer expectations inside the store, which are most often driven by three key motives:

  • Speed
  • Convenience
  • Choices available online

So how can retailers facilitate the digital connection and make their way out of this black hole? It starts with two things: how you market, and the data you collect. Providing pre-integrated access between your singular commerce and digital marketing platforms helps meet the expectations of digitally-enabled customers consistently, regardless of sales channel. Linking sales back to marketing execution in this way enables a truly holistic customer view.

When targeted digital offers and rewards are offered both in store and online, digital marketing and singular commerce integration allows retailers to establish relevant digital connections with customers at the till. Empowering retailers with this connection enables personalised customer engagement based on "next-best" type offers or incentive triggers.

This interaction, whether online, via mobile instore, or wherever the customer may be, can then be used to power activation and conversion, as well as boost loyalty alongside store footfall - thus pulling retailers out of the infamous digital black hole.

Digitising the customer connection instore

For example, a retailer can use Eagle Eye AIR platform to send a unique offer to a customer via mobile that requires they redeem it instore. The offer, which can take the form of any sort of incentive or promotion, is tracked by the digital marketing platform to eliminate fraud. It's also tied via the singular commerce platform, at the till, back to the following customer data points:

  • Time
  • Location
  • Basket
  • Customer ID (if known)
  • Last-click attribution in real time

A secure integration between the two platforms allows retailers to establish truly omni-channel digital connections with their customers, personalise the experience, and establish brand connection and loyalty.

About the Aptos and Eagle Eye Partnership

In March 2018, Aptos signed a global partnership agreement with Eagle Eye to help retailers realize the benefits of engaging their customers digitally instore. Tim Mason, former Tesco deputy CEO and now Eagle Eye CEO, recently said the partnership will "help retailers drag customer engagement into the 21st century and address what he describes as the "digital imperative" they face today.

Aptos' Singular Commerce platform helps its clients to meet the expectations of their digitally-enabled customers any place, any time. Eagle Eye does the same for digital marketing and promotions, tying sales directly back to marketing execution. The partnership between the two companies will provide pre-integrated access from Aptos to the Eagle Eye AIR digital marketing platform for the secure issuance and redemption of targeted digital offers and rewards, both instore and online.