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Retailers Executives Are Killing Sales

Retailers Need Social WiFi

August 1, 2017

The Wrong Data Won't Achieve The Right Result

Local Small Businesses Have A Razor Sharp Edge

Personal, relevant messaging creates two-way communication between brands and customers. Leveraging customer information to find similar people makes it possible to reach both with timed, creative promotions.

I mentioned in last week’s post that there’s a huge disconnect between what retail execs believe is their biggest challenge, and what’s driving sales down. They think the problem is price. Customers don’t.

The more you learn about customers, the more opportunities come from matching what you know to your business objective: to BE the Point Of Sale (POS).

The “journey” is not as important as Point Of Purchase (POP).

Retail executives don’t get it. In my opinion, the "ivory tower" types don’t shop in their own stores (or, if they do, they’re not treated like regular customers).

In a recent article, Venture Beat wrote that "some of the largest, most practical advancements in AI are happening in... retail”. They (more likely, the retail executives they interviewed) think Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s Siri are "making real differences in the online shopping experience," and “Amazon Go concept store appears destined to be a disruptive force in... brick-and-mortar.”

The irony is that neither the article title, nor the opinions just quoted, have actually reached retail executives' "stream of consciousness". They think an algorithm... classifying birds, ships, cats, etc., into the correct categories more accurately than humans…” is what matters. They’re taking aim at both feet.

Local small businesses have an opportunity here.

Here’s where that "disconnect" I mentioned last week comes into clearer focus. According to the 2017 Cool or Creepy survey, 85% of customers think AI technology choosing and ordering their products is "creepy." But retail executives – caught up in the excitement of "AI... destined to be a disruptive force," don’t know that. They don’t know (perhaps because their priority is something other than customer satisfaction), that 85% of customers are also "creeped out" by chatbot customer service. Even a “brilliantly creative” ad-man thinks “chatbots are a neat tool in the communications toolbox”.

One day, "AI and the retail store of the future" will likely be true. Today's "Gen Z" might welcome it. But by then, what retail executives see now as "destined to be a disruptive force..." will be THE "...force in the brick-and-mortar realm."

"Social WiFi"  is a less "invasive" way to leverage customer data.

They call it "deep learning". Customers see it more as "stalking". The "AI approach utiliz[es] neural networks which nearly everyone uses... Google Translate and Snapchat... technology [that] underpins health care diagnoses, self-driving cars, and even the financial markets where your 401(k) and other retirement savings are nestled."

"Social WiFi", on the other hand, doesn't rely solely "the AI approach". The local small business owner gets to "Know Customers Like Family", reaching customers and similar people with timed, personal, and relevant messaging.

For what it’s worth, customers’ top 3 complaints are long lines (more than 75% identified this as a reason to leave), interaction with salespeople (almost 50%), and sales pressure (more than 50%). Price wasn’t the customer challenge. Those are things local small businesses already excel at.
See you on social WiFi

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