In-store shopping is seeing a renaissance of sorts as the pandemic fades a bit into the rearview mirror.
“Even within the digital realm, we’ve seen a transition from online to mobile,” she told PYMNTS — and now, in the brick-and-mortar store setting, we’re increasingly shopping-on-the-go with the smartphone in hand.
That means merchants need to engage with consumers across their devices — linking that hardware to the ability to drive push notifications to consumers. Those notifications, in turn, will spur individuals to move from browsing to buying — with one click to finalize it all.
Ideally, she said, consumers appreciate merchants’ knowing who they are and extending unique offers based on buying patterns across a single brand — or even several brands.
Seamless Commerce Becomes Reality
That seamless commerce, Guerra said, has “always been imagined, but has not always been delivered as effectively as has been desired.”
It may all sound a bit like that Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report,” but truly visual, digital commerce that stretches across online and brick-and-mortar interactions is drawing nigh.
Guerra said that with a new engagement platform, ACI Smart Engage, announced Tuesday (June 7) by ACI, merchants can feed relevant offers and alerts via any manner of interaction — spanning voice, video and even scannable media (think menus, print ads and even window displays).
Integrating those features into the company’s payment processing platform is part of ACI’s strategy to help merchant customers sell more and increase conversions, she continued, even as more transactions shift from in-store to digital in-store activity.
Smart Engage, she said, ties in with merchants’ desire to have direct relationships with their customers while burnishing brand perception along the way. Among those triggers: geofenced offers, print ads, and even audio cues via video or radio channels that send out a call to action.
That’s setting the stage for deeper opportunities in contextual commerce. Consider the fact that we’re engage with our devices more than ever — and that we’re becoming more and more comfortable downloading apps for the brands that have become staples of everyday life.
“In the past, a lot of the offers in marketing were around things like email triggers or some click-throughs in ads,” Guerra said.
But now, the most effective direct marketing is built around the application, which serves up mobile notifications and alerts consumers to inventory that’s available right there on shelves — all within a relevant, personalized context.
“The merchant has the flexibility to choose the trigger and link it to their marketing programs,” she said. As for the merchants, they can integrate the technology through their existing mobile application and add the platform through Smart Engage application programming interfaces (APIs).
Guerra told PYMNTS that there’s “quite a bit of analytics” going on behind the scenes with the platform, which is intuitive enough to help marketers glean digital leads on customers and fine-tune promotions on the fly — even with one-time offers.
Additionally, Smart Engage leverages the fraud prevention tools already embedded in ACI Omni-Commerce.
Looking ahead, she said, as digital adoption and younger consumers become ever-more used to shopping across mobile devices, “Commerce anytime, anywhere, with the right triggers and right engagement will continue to evolve.”