POS marketing: ideas for addressing customers in times of digital commerce
POS marketing must take into account the changed shopping habits and customer requirements in the age of digital commerce. Discover ideas for your shop here.
Multifaceted customer journey in digital commerce
For a long time now, shopping has no longer simply been about covering needs, it has become a popular leisure activity and customers want an experience. And one that is fun, enjoyable and comfortable. The amenities of the digital world, especially those of e-commerce, have made a significant contribution to the fact that shopping habits and customer requirements for stationary retail have changed in recent years.
This is not how the modern customer thinks in terms of sales channels. What's more: in the omnichannel understanding, the stationary shop is less a central sales place and more a marketing instrument, because the classic POS becomes one touchpoint among many, through which the customer is addressed and made aware of the brand or products. If the customers are in the store, a lot has already been gained - but not everything. The paths that lead him, for example, to his competitor online if he doesn't like it, are short.
For this it is essential that stationary shops are digitally overhauled and also align their POS marketing to the changed requirements. But: Digitization must not become an end in itself, it is about creating added value through POS marketing for customers who are at home in the digital world and open to innovations.
What is POS marketing?
POS marketing describes all of the measures at the point of sale that aim to promote product sales and/or strengthen customer loyalty. Classically, the POS refers to the stationary business, but in general any other point of sale, both online and offline, can also be included. Especially with connected commerce, the boundaries are blurring here.
Ideas for digital marketing at the POS
Retail goes social media
Digital advertising channels are increasingly influencing purchasing decisions, according to a study in which PwC surveyed almost 22,000 consumers worldwide, including 1,000 Germans. This is especially true for younger consumers. Almost half of Generation Z has already bought products that influencers have advertised on social media, and a full 76 percent became aware of at least one product in this way.
Digital retailers know how to use social networks for marketing purposes and turn their store into an attractive showroom: the design is chic, stands out from the crowd and, above all, wants to be shown - it has to be "instagrammable" in times of selfies and shares. An "intagrammable store" does not follow a patent recipe, but the implementation must be authentic and credible and of course fit the target group. In a shoe store, for example, the floor could be staged in such a way that it invites you to take a picture with the sneakers you have tried on. Furniture retailers create a home and make the products tangible, other shops are breathed life into, for example, through cooperation with local artists.
Today, digital formats are replacing the traditional analogue forms of advertising at the POS. For example, cardboard cut-outs are replaced by digital signage, i.e. screens that can display content dynamically and flexibly and thus contribute to the visual experience when visiting the shop. The screens are available in different sizes and for indoor and outdoor use. Digital signage, for example, transports brand messages as in-store TV, provides customers with real-time data about inventory, navigates them through the store or displays special product offers and event announcements. Retailers can add and control content via a central CMS. This allows campaigns to be played out flexibly and, for example, to react to spontaneous changes, such as the weather.
Data and personalization at the POS
Data is essential in connected commerce. This is the only way retailers can understand their customers and their customer journey and offer them what they really want at the right time — even in the store. According to a representative survey commissioned by the digital association Bitkom, 30 percent would like individual offers via smartphone app in the store.
On the one hand, this means that retailers should use the data already available from the online world to identify their customers in the store, for example via a personal discount code or an app on the smartphone. On the other hand, retailers can also collect data directly in the store. This can be done, for example, by integrating additional payment-related services, including loyalty programs, newsletters or a digital customer card.
Technologies such as RFID chips in clothing also provide data and can be used, for example, for cross-selling, something that is already commonplace in online shops — “matches” or “customers also bought” are useful tools to attract more customers to make products tasty. Such recommendations can be played out, for example, via smart mirrors in the changing room or digital signage. A combination with discount offers is also possible.
POS marketing for all the senses
Seduce your customers
With all the possibilities of digitization, don't forget people. A major advantage of brick-and-mortar retail is that customers are addressed through all five senses, so true experiences can actually be created through multi-sensual communication. The POS thus becomes a place where the customer experiences the brand or the products with all their senses.
In practice, the main focus is usually on visual and auditory stimuli. However, it can definitely be worth extending the brand communication at the POS to the other three senses and also to provide olfactory, haptic and, albeit rather limited in classic retail, gustatory stimuli.
Let's take a closer look at smells: Scent marketing has its own special field dedicated to them. Smells can be a very powerful tool because they create a direct connection to memories and thus reach a deep, emotional level. It is enough if the scents are perceived subconsciously. The possibilities here range from subtle room fragrances that can increase the length of time people stay in the store, to cafés integrated into shops that spread seductive aromas and thus lure customers into the store.