Why Brick and Mortar Businesses Must Embrace Technology

Brick and Mortar merchants embrace technology

The traditional brick and mortar merchant might be required to spend hours to gather insights around their customers and competition. With different tools and systems, all with their own analytics and reporting, it would seem a business would require a small army of analysts and spreadsheets to make sense of it all. But who has time? Today, with technology and the resulting data and insights becoming way more accessible, brick and mortar businesses are transforming their tech stacks and the way they grow and operate.

Technology enables merchants to capture useful data about their customers and get to know them and how they behave like never before. In this post, we’ll explore six different reasons why brick and mortar businesses must embrace technology now.

Discover who your best customers are

Not every customer is created equally — customers who visit your business the most and spend the most on average, are your best customers — they are the ones who impact your revenue. Capturing data around customer behavior will show you who they are, what they need, what they care about the most, and how they feel about your business. Focus on the 20% of customers who drive 80% of revenue.

A customer engagement platform will provide data including each customer’s visit frequency, average spend, favorite menu item, lifetime value, and more. This data enables you to go from unknown customers to known customers, to building personal relationships. You can even get granular and measure SKU level data, which will tell you exactly what your customers purchase down to the item level enabling you to personalize and target the messages and offers you send them based on what they buy. That used to only be an option for the big brand behemoths. Not anymore.

Send personalized and targeted marketing campaigns

The more you know about your customers’ behavior, the better you will be able to send them personalized offers that will bring them back through the door. For example, if you know that Max visits your coffee shop every morning during the weekdays but never comes in on a weekend, you can send him an offer for a free muffin with a Saturday purchase. This will encourage him to visit more and spend more than he already does at your business. It also incentivizes him to change his behavior and visit on a day he doesn’t usually, increasing your foot traffic during what might be a slow time.

Measure your marketing campaigns in revenue

Sending campaigns through a customer engagement platform will also enable you to measure the results in metrics that matter to your bottom line. Opens and clicks don’t drive same-store-sales but you know what does? Revenue. Your customer engagement and marketing automation platform should provide reporting for each campaign you send that includes how many customers received the campaign, opened it, redeemed an award, and how much revenue the campaign generated. That’s a powerful revenue growth driver for your business.

Respond to customer feedback

Engaging customers is much easier when you can respond to feedback in real-time. A customer engagement platform with built-in marketing automation will prompt customers to rate their experiences using the gold standard of customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS). It will also enable them to provide genuine feedback, privately. Once a customer leaves feedback, you can respond personally, and privately to alleviate any negative experiences a customer may have had. Responding to feedback increases customer loyalty and makes customers feel heard and appreciated. For example, if a customer left feedback that their meal was undercooked and they were unhappy, you can respond privately and send them a personalized offer for their next visit.

One of the most important reasons why you should respond to feedback is that it dissuades a customer from writing a negative review about your business on a third-party site like Yelp and even more important is that by replying to feedback you can grow sales by 22 percent! Keep happy customers coming back and nip unhappy customers in the bud so they come back, too.

Win back customers quickly

As we’ve discussed, understanding your customers’ behavioral patterns and inform you which of your customers visit and spend the most at your brick and mortar business. If one of your best customers stop visiting or begins spending less than usual, your customer engagement and marketing automation platform can alert you and automatically send them a personalized offer to bring them back through the door.

You don’t need to memorize who your customers are or worry about losing your best ones. Technology can automate personalization and engage your customers at exactly the right time to improve customer satisfaction. Winning back your customers can have a huge impact on your revenue. Pacific Catch uses this approach and has been able to win back over 2,000 customers to the tune of $180,000.

Make mobile payments easy

As technology advances, customers expect things to be easy. The easier it is to make a purchase, the more seamless and positive the experience can be. By linking their payment methods in an app (like you do when you take a Lyft or an Uber or when you use a third-party food delivery app) it makes it super easy to capture customer purchases when they pay with any card they’ve linked. Plus, it’s secure. It’s super easy for customers and easy for your staff, too. No phone numbers to enter, no cards to forget, carry or scan.

Wrap up

Technology is changing the landscape when it comes to running a brick and mortar business. You can use technology to get to know who your customers are and build authentic relationships with them, which will, in turn, increase your ROI and revenue.