CloudTags are dedicated to creating the perfect omni-channel experience for customers in retail. They're passionate about omni-channel optimisation, data intelligence, social business, mobile everything, and dream of a seamlessly connected future that's there to help people – not make lives more complicated.
We got the chance to sit down and talk with Co-founder and UK Operations manager Ollie Bath ahead of CloudTags appearance at this year's Europe’s Customer Festival in September.
Total Customer: What solutions will you showcase at Europe's Customer Festival this September?
Ollie Bath: We want to show how retailers can leverage technology to provide a vastly more engaging and interesting shopping experience in their brick and mortar stores. While our proprietary backend technology is universal, our solutions are highly customised depending on who we're working with, so we'll be showcasing an example of live client implementation.
One particular thing we've been working on with brands is to test hypotheses around consumer behaviour. One recent iteration of this is offering customers tablets in stores and giving them the ability to tap products in store – providing a clear value exchange when they do so. We aim to use these experiences to decrease the impact of showrooming while influencing purchasing and sharing behaviour with a brands in-store experience.
TC: What differentiates your offering from others in the omni-channel space?
OB: CloudTags is an in-store customer experience innovation startup. We're platform agnostic, but have our own development team that means we can build custom solutions using an array of technology and legacy retail systems. We're online veterans who aim to bring the best of online to the brick and mortar store.
TC: What challenges do you think your clients are face in the next 1 – 2 years?
OB: Reports show that 75 per cent of consumers use smartphones in store and, we know from our own research that, 1 – 3 per cent of customers are using a brand's native app while in store. It's not hard to work out what the majority of people are doing on their phone. Customers are all but demanding an omni-channel shopping experience, even if they know to call it that.
Showrooming is an ongoing challenge that's related to the failure of traditional loyalty programmes. The response to this is to meet it with more creative engagement and value exchange within the four walls of the store.
TC: If you had to give a tip to your customer to help them overcome these challenges, what would it be?
OB: Personalisation through data that has been offered up voluntarily by customers (i.e. not tracking customer data through hidden cameras or tracking their every move through "free" WiFi) is the way to go. When everything consumers do online is "my-this" and "that.me," brick and mortar retail shopping feels very impersonal in comparison.
Retailers who can make the in-store experience more personal without doubting the size of their staff, or making the customer feel like they're in Minority Report stand to make a strong impression on the disillusioned shopper and ear their loyalty.
TC: Based on that, what opportunities are there for them in the industry?
OB: Big data and the rapid development of faster, smarter, smaller personal devices means that it's finally possible to look at everything – and I mean literally everything – a customer does as a way to know how best to incentivise them.
Traditional loyalty rewards activities don within the brand. Loyalty that leverages big data can reward lifestyle and the true behaviour of customers who are your brand advocates. Just because they aren't at John Lewis buying something doesn't make them any less valuable in advocating John Lewis to friends.
Brands need to be smart with data as, if used correctly, it allows us to connect new inputs into the loyalty calculation – such as social media data and influence, helping them really know their customer.
TC: Finally, what are the three main things you're looking forward to most at Europe's Customer Festival in September?
- Sharing our ideas with retailers interested in innovative technology
- Observing the advance industry stance on loyalty
- Speaking with like-minded people
You'll be able to meet Ollie Bath and CloudTags at this year's Europe's Customer Festival so you can find out more about what they're all about.