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Proximity marketing - boost your online retail sales

by  David Dwyer on  31/10/2017

Proximity marketing helps to boost conversion rates

Using IP addresses allows online retailers to tailor offers and content to you, based on your locationPicking up on our evolution of the web theme, "Proximity Marketing" is quickly gaining traction. (Also known as "Location Based Digital Marketing" or "IP Geolocation Marketing", take your pick.)

This was highlighted by Gareth Rees-John, the global digital director for Topman, when he spoke to online retailers at  Shoptalk Europe, highlighting what’s achievable even without huge budgets.

His team tailors content by location, to personalise the e-commerce experience for shoppers, and use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to increase conversion rates.

The first technique he highlighted is probably the most extensively used online, in Topman’s case facilitated by SaaS company, Qubit. With a straightforward toggle option on the footer of the site landing page, users can choose to browse all products showing student prices – offering a 10% discount if they qualify. This single change has seen the spend from students increase from 38% of site spend to 50%.

Using IP addresses also allows the site to tailor content geographically, to promote the most relevant or the most popular items based on the current physical location of visitors. This is incredibly powerful. For example, Topman find that overcoats are still less popular in the North East of England – as anyone who has enjoyed a night out in Newcastle over the years can testify.

Using AI, Topman also serve different messages to shoppers who they think are at risk of leaving the site. Using machine learning, the site’s interaction can promote targeted messages, such as letting a visitor know that the stock level of an item they are looking at is getting low.

This is interesting, because although a ‘personal’ message like this might annoy or alert some people, scarcity was one of four key tactics that Qubit found actually drove sales appreciably, in a study audited by PwC. (Never underestimate the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) as a sales driver!). Just look at the Online Travel Agents (OTA's) for great usage of this for last room available (actually it is most likely the last room that the OTA has in stock rather than the last room left in the hotel). The others were social proof messaging, product recommendations and abandonment messages. The latter are also used by platforms such as Shopify and Tesco, if a visitor goes to leave a site with items saved to their shopping cart.

I believe the examples Gareth outlined illustrate how tailored content is becoming increasingly powerful and pervasive. This is a benefit to users, as well as retailers, certainly with IP geolocation, as the information required can still maintain individuals’ anonymity. This is particularly important in light of upcoming changes to data legislation, and the site’s UI can be planned to reassure consumers who are potentially sensitive to what can be seen as invasive data-collection techniques.

For example, the most accurate technology solutions can already triangulate geolocation, connection speed, and other characteristics associated with an IP address; collectively referred to as IP Intelligence. This can deliver highly specific promotions, but without requiring any personal details. It’s now possible to create highly sophisticated targeting, that can be accurate at a city-level in more than 97% of cases.

As more online traffic moves to mobile devices, that is also creating a challenge for retailers with extensive ranges, which are potentially off-putting to browse through on a mobile. For example, one recent study found that an Instagram post, using the new shopping tag, delivered just 10 people to the retailer’s site from 4,000 likes. That’s a pretty poor conversion, so the next target is to make the transition from discovery to shopping much easier. (The example above had only 100 of those who liked the Instagram post click through for further product details, and just 10 who went through to the retailer’s site.) AI providers are already looking at solutions that can deliver results based on what’s popular with other browsers now, or what’s about to sell out.

What’s undoubtedly true is that it will pay to keep track of what the big online retailers are testing now, because the successful results will be on offer through SaaS providers for all online retailers in next to no-time.

Your site will need to keep up, so keep reading our blog to help you stay up-to-date. We can help at every stage of your online journey, so if you have questions get in touch through our web enquiry form

Alternatively, call us on 01738 700 006, for a conversation about how we can help enhance your site.

CRM, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, Disruptive not Disrupting Tech, e-commerce, e-Marketing, Inspire Web Development, Internet of Things, IP Geolocation Marketing, Location Based Digital Marketing, m-commerce, Mobile Commerce, Proximity Marketing, Server, The Evolving Web, Web Consultancy, Website Support
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