Retailers turn to state-of-the-art mapping technology to redefine customer experience

02 Oct 2015

Global players in the retail industry have adopted state-of-the-art smart mapping technology to optimise their business operations and Singapore retailers must do the same to remain competitive, says global retail expert Gary Johnson.

Mr Johnson says the technology assists retailers to maximise their return on investment, by uncovering valuable insights into customer behaviour within and around their stores’ locations.

“Understanding the geography of a store combined with customer interaction can deliver compelling insights into the type of shopping environments that trigger spending activity,” Mr Johnson said.

This technology is already being leveraged by some of the world’s leading retailers including Nike, Starbucks and PepsiCo.

“Singapore’s retailers have the opportunity to insightfully recognise the kind of shopping scenarios their customers respond best to – to ensure they can be more proactive in driving a positive customer experience and ultimately higher sales,” Mr Johnson said.

In a 2014 market report, the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) identified a rapid adoption of mobile devices for online shopping in Singapore, with the country having the highest smartphone penetration rate – at 92 per cent – across Asia.

In addition to the SRA report, Mr Johnson points to a global survey of CEOs operating within the retail space, as a clear indication of the value of new technologies to the sector.

The survey, which was conducted by PwC, found 89 per cent of CEOs believe adopting mobile technologies was essential for their organisations to remain competitive.

With a growing number of retail success stories around the use of smart mapping, commonly known as Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, Mr Johnson said Singapore’s retailers can no longer afford to delay using the technology.

“Leveraging smartphone sensors – GIS technology provides retailers with precise details of customers’ movements in and around their business,” Mr Johnson said.

“Understanding the exact amount of traffic in store, peak shopping times and the positioning of best-selling products, retailers can uncover opportunities to improve sales. 

“This insight also enables retailers to deliver targeted messages as part of an overall customer experience.

“By leveraging online-to-offline commerce, retailers can now capture customers’ interests in the digital space, connect with them via their smartphone and convert this into a personalised in-store engagement.”

A recent study by global logistics firm UPS revealed the Asia Pacific region’s e-commerce market is predicted to surpass the United States and Canadian market in 2015, with China expected to continue its market leadership. 

“Early adoption of smart mapping solutions offer Singapore’s most progressive retailers a clear advantage over rival brands, as well as prime position to make the most of the lucrative Chinese and tourist markets,” Mr Johnson said. 


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