With about 1,200 people attending Adobe’s 2015 Digital Marketing Symposium, I’m excited to say that I was a part of the largest marketing conference in Southeast Asia. Besides the hype of big brand names and key marketing leaders sharing their journey and advancements in digital marketing and the cool tech to take away (of course the freebies), I was very excited about the ‘Sneaks’ component because of its significance to Adobe’s innovations in keeping up with the demands of today’s marketing and technology.
But what really caught my eye and got me excited was the Mobile Reality Sneak in which Adobe’s engineers showcased beacon technology. They showed the Bluetooth-powered beacons working in a physical store, providing an enhanced shopping experience for consumers. It encompasses store mapping, personalisation marketing, connectivity to its digital store etc… Opening a world of better in-store analysis of customers, which is basically the future of retailing.
This got me thinking about why there hasn’t been such a technology or infrastructure in place until this point in time?
The future today.
We live in a world that is largely immersed in technology. Whether or not we are in with the move, it is undeniably changing how we think, what we do and the way we consume. Today’s tech allows for businesses like Uber, the world’s largest taxi company to own no vehicles, and Alibaba, the most valuable retailer to be inventory-less and of course, Airbnb, the largest accommodation provider to own no real estate, and be successful.
And with the ‘Internet of Things’ comes globalisation. Markets have become more accessible from around the globe and information is quickly and readily available. If they want to survive businesses have to adapt. This means moving onto a space that thrives on customer experiences and personalisation. It’s a space that’s uniquely millennial, so consumer and service provider benefit programs appeal to them through rewards for using the platforms and for their contributions through inbound marketing.
Here are the 2 technologies most talked about at the Symposium, which I believe are not to be overlooked:
1. Trending mobile technology
Unless you’ve not been out for a while, you’d be aware that the entire world is adopting smart devices. Rapidly. Statistics show the growth in mobile use now out does desktop users. And with even bolder predictions of the desktop computer being obsolete in 2 years, the mobile market is definitely not a sector you would want to leave out of your marketing radar. What’s more, with the emerging mobile tech and wearables being introduced and especially the push from heavyweight market influencer, Apple, we’re only going to have an influx of digital connectivity in this area.
2. Beacon technology
There is already a mature and developed Beacon technology on the market. With Roximity hardware costing as low as $10USD per unit, powering battery life of up 15 months to 5 years, and most importantly, providing a range of up to 60 meters or 200 feet, it can be easily deployed and setup inspires in less than a week.
And even if there’s a deterrent to invest in beacon hardware, a used or unused Apple iOS device can instantly be transformed into a beacon by installing an app to start broadcasting.
Putting everything together
The trick to this madness is to not reinvent the wheel. But to embrace what technology brings and incorporate it into the processes or gaps that help streamline today’s modern consumer. With the decline of the brick and mortar revenue, it’s only inevitable to run an arms race, in this case, capitalising on what the digital space and tech have to offer.
Starwood hotel is a perfect example of a physical real estate space that not only streamlined the whole customer experience, from online bookings to the direct keyless room access through as app, it can only progress from here.
And it only seems natural that the progression of things in the physical retail industry would be to introduce digital reality by incorporating the web space and physical space with the mobile tech space. But the question is ‘who’s willing to be the first to market leader in Australia?‘ And unfortunately, it seems the Australian retail industry is lagging behind.
We have the technology, we have the analytic and because of that businesses like Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba have identified that gap that consumers are wanting, so are retailers missing out on the full creative potential of what technology can bring? We’re living in exciting times!