How Mobile Devices Close the Gap Between Physical and Digital Shops
Chief Revenue and Operating Officer
Marketing technology isn’t magic—even the most powerful tools are only as effective as the data they are fed, and when it comes to targeting consumers in physical stores, data is limited. Alexis Rask, chief revenue and operating officer at shopkick, a shopping-companion app that drives customers to stores through personalized offers and rewards, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about the challenges that physical locations present.
eMarketer: Shopkick occupies a unique position in facilitating the relationship between retailers, brands and consumers. Where does the company fit in the marketing stack?
Alexis Rask: Shopkick transforms shopping for consumers by adding a digital, interactive layer to the physical world. From a retailer’s perspective, we’re influential in directing our users to particular stores, so they win new audiences. And when it comes to brands, they’ve never been able to have a one-to-one dialogue with consumers inside stores. Shopkick changes that by opening up the path to purchase through a mobile platform that’s in the store with consumers.
“If consumers use the shopkick app inside a store, we have their location, we know their shopping histories and we know their browsing behavior.”
eMarketer: What are the CRM challenges associated with matching someone’s digital identity to the identity of a customer who just walks into a store, and how can marketers solve this problem?
eMarketer: What about the idea of a universal identifier? Can that be leveraged for more targeted in-store marketing?
Rask: A lot of data companies claim that consumers can create a universal identifier on a person, but that is extrapolated attribution at best, not explicit attribution. Marketers who don’t have deep technical chops may think they’re getting that 360-degree view, but that’s not accurate because data companies usually don’t own any first-party data. The platforms that have a direct relationship with the consumer, such as Facebook, Google and shopkick, are much better at doing that because we have a first-party relationship with a consumer.
eMarketer: In what ways is mobile marketing technology helping combat showrooming?
Rask: Mobile marketing technology can drive consumers into stores more often and push them to buy more because the mobile layer provides digital tools in the physical space. That’s where the big opportunity is.
“Of the $3.2 trillion spent in physical stores last year, $1.5 trillion of that was influenced by technology.”
Six years ago, everyone thought showrooming was going to put everybody out of business, but now there’s more digital- and mobile-influenced commerce than there is showrooming. Of the $3.2 trillion spent in physical stores last year, $1.5 trillion of that was influenced by technology.
eMarketer: Is omnichannel marketing still a pipe dream, especially when it comes to merging digital and physical realms?
Rask: The omnichannel promise rallies around delivering content in the right context to drive commerce. Marketers are attuned to think about the four Ps: product, price, place, promotion. We think they should be thinking about the three Cs: content delivered in the right context to drive commerce. Every marketer has to think about their strategy in this way, because it’s going to help them connect online and offline behaviors.