Enterprise mobility specialist Aerohive Networks is launching a 'Personalized Engagement Platform' designed to help brick-and-mortar retailers deploy new apps for increasing
loyalty and customer engagement. Aerohive says the new platform provides a secure, scalable mobility infrastructure that connects all wireless devices in the retail store in a way that can easily evolve as new retail trends emerge.
We’re talking here about retail personalization tools, customer behavior analytics, loyalty apps, checkout, custom coupons, and other tech tools that traditional retailers can use to increase in-store and repeat business.
Tailoring the Customer Experience
Aerohive explains that as e-commerce and online shopping sites have become more sophisticated over the past decade and a half, customer expectations have increased as well. At the same time, traditional retail stores have seen a downturn in sales, as customers have been lost to Amazon.com and other online retailers.
To regain a competitive edge, many physical retailers are now turning to technology to help customize the customer experience and build customer loyalty. In fact, Aerohive points out, with today’s mobile technologies, retailers now have a wealth of new tools at their disposal to attract and engage customers.
For example, retailers can create personalized offers using digital coupons for returning customers and use location-aware loyalty apps that leverage customers’ mobile devices. Offering opt-in log-ins for Wi-Fi access, retailers can even leverage in-store connectivity to interact with customers. And, by weaving social media promotions into customer engagement, retailers can encourage happy customers to share feedback with their friends, attracting new customers to the brand.
Analytics and Mobile Device Management
Aerohive is currently working with a number of strategic partners to provide retailers with additional capabilities for personalized customer engagement.
Euclid is providing retail analytics functionality, while AirWatch supplies the mobile device management (MDM) component. Aerohive says their features integrate seamlessly with its own customer engagement platform to help store-owners optimize operations and increase sales.
As the platform matures, Aerohive plans to announce additional partnerships that extend its functionality later this year.
For now, Aerohive says its latest software release includes three key enhancements for the retail market: Payment Card Industry (PCI) 3.0 compliance and security; a social log-in solution which can be used to leverage consumers’ social media accounts for improved customer experience and personalization; plus, an integrated LTE “Branch on Demand” solution that enables retailers to quickly deploy a complete and secure network within hours.
A Nuanced, Non-Creepy Approach
For retailers anxious to jump on the bandwagon for personalized customer engagement, Aerohive’s chief officer David Greene makes an interesting point: Executed incorrectly, personalization can border on seeming too invasive, if retailers aren’t cautious.
“What consumers want is a more nuanced engagement with brands they care about,” Greene explains. “However, this type of elegant, opt-in customer engagement isn’t possible without connectivity that can easily evolve and adapt to these needs.
Greene maintains that Aerohive’s Personalized Engagement Platform gives retailers a solid, low-risk connectivity foundation "to weave personalization into their business strategies and turn customers into loyal brand advocates.”
In-Store Connectivity Is Key
Senior analyst Bob Laliberte with Enterprise Strategy Group emphasizes the importance of having flexible and robust wi-fi connectivity in-store to support sophisticated customer engagement technology. “By leveraging mobile retail technologies and analytics,” Laliberte says, “retailers have the potential to deliver an authentic, personalized engagement.”
Laliberte believes Aerohive’s platform can help retailers create the necessary foundation and “take the customer experience to the next level.”
The Sunnyvale, California company, which was founded in 2006, says it has already deployed its cloud-based mobility platforms and networking equipment in more than 13,000 enterprises worldwide. Specific products in those deployments include enterprise-class wi-fi access points, network routers and gigabit switches.