Reaching and Retaining Consumers – How IoT is Enabling Target marketing and Personalisation

By: Megan Davis

28, February, 2020


Connected Industry - Connected Living - Connectivity - consumer - Event info - Global - IoT - News - Payments - Retail - Telecoms -


The Internet of Things (IoT) has tremendously transformed the way we live our lives. In today’s connected world, devices and smart gadgets that are used as staple are actually circulating and inconspicuously sharing data about our whereabouts, preferences, and almost everything related to us. This is the very same data that helps companies to achieve their targets, conversions, higher ROI and profit.

IoT creates new customer opportunities for digital marketers and advertisers, as the technology possess tremendous potential to provide data and insights into new and untapped markets and demographics, along with helping businesses analyse their target markets, the ways they reach them and how they study and evaluate their efforts.

IoT enables tracking and accessing more and more data about individuals. And the use of this humungous amount of actionable data coming from numerous IoT devices has endless use for advertisers, who know how to put it to good use. This accumulated data helps digital marketers and advertisers know who purchased a particular product, the place the product is bought from and etc. Furthermore, the same data can be utilised for customer relationship management, informing about new product development, optimising advertising marketing messages and delivering them via newer channels.

IoT and personalisation

A study conducted in 2017 by real-time personalisation and customer data platform, Evergage, revealed personalisation to be an integral part to the customer journey. It stated that personalisation is a key driver of brand loyalty, and 96% of marketers believe that personalisation helps to advance customer relationships [1].

Every marketer knows that today’s consumer wants a customised experience and as today’s highly personalised gadget an individual carries with him or her is a smartphone, these marketers, with availability of ample of data and highly targeted insights, reach the right consumer in the right place at the right time owing to the omnipresent use of location-based services and data.

Location intelligence or spatial intelligence which allows online-to-offline link to be more visible, allows advertisers to monitor the ROI for personalised, location-based targeting. Data gathered by showed that location-based mobile targeting solutions drove an average 391 per cent increase in incremental physical site visits for clients from target areas as reported by Geo-Conversion Lift in 2018 [2].

Location-based advertising along with the use of mobile is at the centre of a significant industry-wide transformation in the distribution of targeted advertisements by marketers. Location-based purpose data plays an important role by helping advertisers go beyond targeting items, such as cookies and search data, and reach the right customer based on how the individual communicates within digital as well as physical domain.

Enhancing consumer experience

A study from customer experience consulting firm Walker predicted that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. In order to attract customers and win their trust, companies must consider a customer’s journey as an important factor and hence should align their messaging, goals, objectives and design across various channels and devices to deliver seamlessness and consistency.

In short, even a small holdup in a customer’s experience means a huge loss. To avoid this, many companies map journey of their customers so that they get a clear understanding of how people use their products or services and what is their experience. With further developments and advancements in the IoT market, mapping a customer/s journey through multiple channels will be extremely important in the near future.

Let us go through a few examples of how IoT applications in retail have played a key role in enhancing customer experience.

Personalised discounts: IoT has allowed retailers to retain and frequent the visit of certain customers by providing them with loyalty discounts. Offering regular customers with such discounts maximises conversion rates.

Robot employees: Retailer like Lowe’s has employed its robot employee called the OSHbot across its stores in the US. OSHbot assists customers in finding certain products and provides them the information on promotions and inventory. Interestingly, these robots are bilingual and can answer questions in both English as well as Spanish.

Another American retailer Target uses robots to roam around the store and take notes of misplaced items or products that are running out of stock. Human employees at Target have plenty of time to focus and provide the best service to their customers, thanks to the company’s robot assistants that have taken over managing simple inventory tasks.

Beacons: Beacons are tiny Bluetooth devices that send alerts to smartphones based on location proximity. Macy’s has been using these small devices since 2014. Customers who have downloaded Macy’s app are alerted to promotions and discounts as soon as they open the application inside a Macy’s store. The app recognises which area of the store a customer is in. For instance, if a customer has entered the personal care section, the app will remind the individual of the brands he/she liked online.

Moreover, these beacons also send alerts to passersby. This helps to effectively advertise promotions or in-store events. Other retailers like Urban Outfitters, CVS, Lord & Taylor, and Timberland also use the beacon technology.

If you would like to learn more about this, why not join us for the IoT Tech Expo Global in London, 17-18th March. Find out more about the event and ticket types here: