Moss Bros using proximity marketing tech to drive store traffic
Published 12 June 2018 | Ben Sillitoe
Suits and formalwear retailer Moss Bros is working with technology company jisp to improve local marketing and to try and bridge the gap between online and in-store experiences.
The UK business’s store managers are encouraged to engage with companies on a local basis to boost marketing success, according to retail store manager Muddy Javed, and it led to Moss Bros and j teaming up in Surrey town Staines.
jisp offers an array of solutions for the retail industry, working with companies such as Hotel Chocolat and JD Sports with the aim of boosting customers’ bricks and mortar retail experiences. Moss Bros Staines is being used as a test bed for several deployments.
Putting proximity marketing into action
There are distinct seasons in the retail calendar for a formalwear business, including prom period at the end of the school year, and Moss Bros is one of multiple businesses offering suits, ties and related items for such events.
Competition is strong, and Javed says he is using proximity marketing in Staines as a way of helping his business stand out locally.
“We’ve been using jisp for proximity marketing, promoting offers based on the consumer’s interests,” he says.
“It helps localise offers for us – if you were to walk past my store, you’d get a notification on [your] phone showing current promotions. It helps me target customers at specific time periods of the year.”
Customers will receive the messages if they have downloaded and signed up to the jisp app and ‘liked’ Moss Bros. Staff at the Staines store, including Javed, encourage their customers to follow that process, with the promise it will result in relevant app alerts.
Javed says it’s a technology that appeals to his typically young, digitally-savvy shopper base, and can help drive store visits which, in his words, can be moe beneficial for converting sales. Although its initial engagement was at store level, jisp receives marketing information from Moss Bros head office to feed into the app.
jisp was an exhibitor at this year’s RBTE in London, and CEO Julian Fisher says that it was a “stupendously successful” event for showcasing the company’s technology.
Among the range of new solutions set to be released is ‘Tap & Go’, which enables shoppers to use their mobile phones to tap a sticker on the shelf as they select a product. Using near-field communication (NFC), details of the products tapped will appear on a shopper’s phone screen, and they can then pay for their completed basket within the app.
Fisher says the technology has been trialled in non-working hours at Javed’s Moss Bros store, “purely to see how the tech worked for the staff first” and ensure “the tech didn’t get in the way of the operations staff had to contend with day to day”. Retailers in other sectors are interested in the technology too, he adds.
More from Moss Bros
Moss Bros Staines will be introducing Tap & Go in July, tagging suits and other bestselling items, so that in-store customers with the app can use their phones to pull up more information about the product range on display.
The major aim is to blend online and physical retail experiences as much as possible. Javed explains there are various benefits of deploying such technology.
“We have a lot of customers who shop online but we’re a gentleman’s suit outfitter and buying a suit is hard to buy online because you can be guessing the size – we had people coming into store and returning online orders before shopping online again,” he notes
Describing the app, he says it gives customers all the information they would receive online, “but with the advantage of a member of staff being there to answer questions and help with fitting”.
“You have a similar experience as online, but you have the benefit of an informed experience in the shop.”
jisp’s approach is to launch its app region-by-region first, rather than try to roll out with one retailer. As Fisher says, the company needed multiple retailers to be included on the app in order to attract customers to download it.
“The battle is on the high street – that’s where people like Muddy are facing difficulties of trying to convince the public to buy in their stores,” explains Fisher.
“Our feeling was we were better off taking the technology into stores straight away, getting the retailers, shop assistants and managers on board, and really understanding their pain points and get a solution that solves their problems.”
Javed adds: “We are encouraged to market locally as much as we can.
“Every local client base is different so we are encouraged to find local businesses that can help us market. That’s what I did with Julian, and it’s something that has helped.”
Total jisp app download numbers to date haven’t been revealed and Javed doesn’t share conversion figures, but the Moss Bros-jisp partnership is set to continue in the months ahead. Both parties are confident about future success.
Credit: Essential Retailing