I am not a big mall shopper. I don’t like the crowds, the mobs of half-naked pre-teens or the shrieking small children running amok. I do, however, no matter how hard I try, find myself frantically running around at least two malls during the month of February. All three of the bridesmaids at my wedding have February birthdays. Crazy, huh?
After finally securing gifts for them, I walked back to the parking lot through a part of the mall I don’t usually frequent. As if by fate, I saw a Finish Line store up ahead, reminding me that my brother’s birthday was the next day! Remembering that my brother had not-so-subtlety gone on and on about the new pair of Jordan’s that were all the rage at his high school, this was the perfect place for his gift. I opened the Finish Line app on my smartphone to see if it could make my trip faster, more convenient, or even just more engaging and entertaining.
As I walked through the doors of Finish Line I was instantly impressed by the thought and attention to detail that had been put into the in-store experience. The sales people were attentive and friendly but not overbearing. The layout of the store made it easy to find what I was looking for but also enticed me to browse the rest of their selection even after I picked up the shoes for my brother. I ended up buying a pair of Nike’s for my husband (Valentine’s day was around the corner after all). Even the check-out experience was easy; Finish Line has a mobile POS system and I was able to skip the line and get out of the mall even more quickly!
As I checked out, the salesperson asked if I would like to join Winners Circle, Finish Line’s loyalty program. After hearing that any purchase over $200 earns you a $20 gift certificate towards your next purchase (and shoes are not cheap these days so that is an easy threshold to break), coupled with the fact that my experience there was so efficient, I knew I would be shopping there in the future (if not for myself at least for my brother and husband) so of course I said absolutely.
As I left the store, thinking how lucky it was I ran into it, it occurred to me what a great opportunity Finish Line missed by not investing in location-based marketing. What if, instead of me happening to pass by the store, Finish Line detected when I entered the parking lot of the mall and sent me a message via their app letting me know they had the newest and hottest gear? When I entered the store, an associate could have been notified if I was a Winners Circle member or I could have received a 10% off coupon, thanking me for my visit. This would not only drive more traffic into the store, but would allow loyal customers to take advantage of specials or new items that the general public may not be privy to, thus enhancing customer loyalty as well as up-sells and cross-sells. In addition to simply driving additional foot traffic, Finish Line could learn more about their customers and mobile app users’ interests, behaviors, etc with location-based analytics.
I’m still not a big mall shopper. But with the experience I had at Finish Line, I will be bee-lining it straight to that store instead of possibly giving my time and money to one of its competitors. And if they enhanced their digital experience with location-based marketing, they might even get me to visit their stores even when I’m not in full-on panic mode when I realize (again) that I forgot to pick up gifts for my loved ones.