Retailers' in-store mobile pitches may backfire, survey

Summary:According to ISACA, 67 percent of U.S. consumers think personalized pitches are invasive when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

To retailers, the utopia of multichannel shopping occurs when a consumer is in a store, gets hit with a coupon via text at just the right time and buys something she wouldn't have otherwise.

This nirvana is increasingly possible, but retailers have to walk the line between blending physical and virtual shopping and just being creepy.

That's a takeaway from a survey by ISACA, an IT leadership group, in its 2013 Risk/Reward Barometer. The survey largely focused on the Internet of things, but veered off into personalized promotions.

According to ISACA, 67 percent of U.S. consumers think personalized pitches are invasive when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. Fifty five percent of consumers thought these personalized promotions were invasive when shopping online. In recent interviews with Target CIO Beth Jacob and Gamestop CMO Ashley Sheetz we touched on multichannel promotions and the importance of mobile. 

Some of the promotional vehicles that would people up the most were texts about specials in store. Forty six percent of respondents said texts would be invasive if sent while they walked by a product. Another creepy move would be having a store clerk greet them by name. Thirty five percent said they find it invasive when a Web site knows their city and zip code.

This level of targeted marketing is possible in theory, but retailers are just working through the systems. For instance, I'd be impressed if a clerk knew when I walked in a store. Yes, the clerk would creep me out a bit, but then I'd realize that the retailer figured out its CRM systems, mined its data and used facial recognition and mobile technology to recognize me. In other words, I'd be put off but would have to tip the IT hat to the retailer.

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Topics: CXO, E-Commerce

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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