By Sean Tarry
As people and communities all over the world slowly and collectively pull themselves from the clutches of the pandemic that has gripped the planet over recent months, there are now signs that a return to normal, or at least a new normal, is on the horizon. Soon, these communities will open up again. Groups, gatherings and events will recommence in full swing. And retailers everywhere will welcome customers looking to once again shop unhindered at their favourite stores. But when they do, they’ll be faced with the challenge of incenting traffic to the stores, converting a greater percentage of sales per visit and cultivating a deeper understanding of the customer’s purchase decisions in order to succeed and continue growing in the face of mounting online competition.
These are retail challenges recognized by Jim Bark and Stefan Rettig, founders and developers of KYSSMET – a game-based mobile app that’s been designed to help provide solutions to modern retail challenges.
“Small and mid-sized retailers are under significant pressure from their ecommerce competitors,” says Jim. “They have been losing a lot of their business to online players in the market, and many are finding it difficult to compete.”
According to eMarketer, retail ecommerce in Canada accounted for just over $64 billion in 2019, up 21.1% from 2018, representing fully 10% of all retail sales in the country. It’s a trend that’s helping to bolster the industry as a whole. But it’s also one that is presenting massive challenges to brick and mortar retailers who need to attract visitors to their stores to stand a fighting chance. And that challenge has only been exacerbated by the recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the associated precautionary health measures which have largely prohibited in-store visits.
THIS IS WHERE KYSSMET COMES IN
In the months ahead, the KYSSMET app could serve as a crucial piece to the retail puzzle in helping to generate foot traffic to stores. Easy for consumers to download and play, it provides them with the chance to win personalized discounts on retail items. And because the game can only be played in-store after scanning an item, it is a fun and exciting catalyst to push consumers to visit brick and mortar stores. By getting consumers offline and in the physical retail space, retailers have a fighting chance to claw back some of the share that’s been lost to online competitors.
As the use of mobile devices has become ubiquitous within Canadian society (the Consumer Technology Association reports an astounding 86% of Canadians own and use a smartphone daily), the idea to leverage mobile technology as the vehicle to provide these solutions was an obvious one.
“There’s a lot of great technology already in the stores,” says Stefan. “But consumers are holding the most powerful technology in their hands all the time. We decided to take advantage of that to engage the customer with the retailer in a meaningful way and provide the retailer with an opportunity to convert a sale.”
Another benefit to engaging the customer while they shop with a mobile app is the fact that it presents a compelling dissuasion from showrooming. According to Canada’s Internet Factbook, a report published by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority in 2018, 55% of Canadian consumers regularly visit physical retail stores to touch, test and feel products before purchasing from an online competitor. Because the discounts won by interacting with the product on the KYSSMET app cannot be redeemed anywhere else but that physical location, the incentive to make the purchase right then and there becomes a powerful one.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Beyond the ability to generate foot traffic, prevent showrooming, and convert sales, however, the real game-changer is the customer insights that the KYSSMET app captures. By leveraging the technology to engage consumers, data is generated with each item scanned, each game played, and each discount redeemed, providing the retailer with critical information concerning the customer’s browsing and purchasing behaviour – a goldmine for small to mid-sized retailers.
“Without knowledge about each individual customer, the retailer is competing with one arm tied behind their back,” says Jim. “Ecommerce businesses know everything about the customer from the moment they log on to their computer or device. The KYSSMET app will help address this data imbalance for brick and mortar retailers. They’ll now have a much better understanding of what it is that the customer is looking for when they’re in their store and what kind of incentive is enough to tip them over the line, closing the gap in that last mile of purchase conversion.”
As Stefan points out, the app accomplishes this by offering that ‘little bit more’ clarity into the consumer’s path to purchase. Something most other retail data technologies currently being used are unable to do.
“Most of the tools in stores right now do a decent job of monitoring and tracking traffic, allowing the retailer to know which part of the store customers are visiting and spending time at most,” he says. “But because KYSSMET has put the technology in the hands of the consumer, the retailer can now transform from being an outside, reactive observer to being the inside driver, leveraging a deeper understanding and knowledge of the customer they are serving.”
In this new retail era when knowledge is more powerful than ever before and the need to evolve the shopping experience is paramount, retailers must position themselves with the digital tools to help them meet some of their toughest challenges. Given its simplicity and range of benefits to the user, the KYSSMET app may be just what brick and mortar retailers need in order to compete and succeed against their online competitors.
HOW KYSSMET APP WORKS
Pick & Scan: Consumers scan products in participating stores and discover items that are eligible for a discount.
Play & Win: Consumers then play a simple game in the app for a chance to win a discount with every store visit.
Buy & Share: Consumers buy the items they want with the discounts they’ve won and can share their discounts with their friends.
LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD
For retailers interested in integrating the KYSSMET app into their store operations, Jim and Stefan have made it easy. The onboarding process is simple and painless. And because the technology behind the KYSSMET app plugs into the backend of Shopify – the platform KYSSMET currently leverages – there is no need for costly investment in hardware tech infrastructure.
“The KYSSMET app and all of the benefits that come with it can really help level the playing field for smaller, independent Main Street retailers,” says Jim. “It’s one of the reasons we developed the app. In addition to helping them compete against ecommerce players, we want to equip them with the tech and data they need to compete against larger retailers. We understand that independent retailers are challenged with respect to investing in traditional retail tech, putting them at a disadvantage against their larger competitors. KYSSMET is a software-based solution, so there are no significant upfront hardware installation costs, making it cost-effective for independent retailers. And, because retailers only pay fees to KYSSMET when sales are generated by the app, a win-win scenario is created, aligning the focus and objectives of KYSSMET with the retailer.”
To learn more about the KYSSMET app and how it can help your business increase traffic to your store, grow sales and develop a deeper understanding of your customers’ purchase decision-making, visit kyssmet.com, or contact email@example.com
*The KYSSMET app/platform currently leverages Shopify, with plans to soon integrate with other major ecommerce platforms.
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