As August comes to a close, the biggest yearly spending events in retail have officially kicked off, with students finalizing their purchases of clothes and supplies in preparation for a new school year. But while consumers battle with their checkbooks, retailers are batting for consumers. You’ve likely noticed that the news is scattered with stories about big box stores closing while online retail giants, such as Amazon, continue to grow. In fact, consumers spent a whopping $126 billion online in the 2018 holiday shopping season.
An NPR poll brings insight to the online versus brick-and-mortar war that has ensued, featuring the top motivating factor to shopping online: speed (quickly followed by convenience). When you think about physically going to a store to shop, these factors are often diminished by one major element: parking. But what if retailers could leverage technology to both decrease the time shoppers spend searching for a space and provide a better customer experience? Could this help push customers to return to in-store shopping?
Our customers think so, based on the following benefits:
Research shows that finding a parking spot at a shopping center can take up to 12 minutes. Cleverciti’s smart parking technology can change that. Through a combination of real-time detection of available parking spaces and digital signage guiding drivers to open spots, the time required to park can be reduced by 30% or more. In a shopping mall with 1,000 parking spaces, this improvement can result in annual revenue gains of more than $4 million.
A Positive Impression
As the first and last memory of a shopping experience, streamlined parking is key to creating a satisfied customer. Take it from us: In July, Cleverciti finished installing its smart parking technology at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Ruhr Park, Germany’s largest open-air shopping center with more than 2,600 parking spots. Known for their devotion to innovation and service, Ruhr Park’s executive team wanted to deliver extraordinary service, convenience, and a hassle-free parking experience for its clients.
In addition to streamlining parking, Cleverciti’s newest technology, the ClevercitiCard, can be used to reserve parking spots in specified areas. Imagine VIP customers being able to reserve a space in advance, which not only maximizes their time spent shopping, but also provides additional data to the retailer regarding the most loyal and top-spending customers, allowing salespeople to know in advance of the arrival of their best customers. For years, brands have created loyalty programs with rewards, bonuses and discounts, and now parking can become part of these efforts.
Cleverciti’s solution is more than just sensors. Using edge-computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), the technology creates a unified and intelligent platform that provides customer and behavior data to retailers — something retailers are always craving. From the location of each parked car, to parking violations, to how long each shopper spends in the store, this information can help retailers learn about customer behavior, measure effects of marketing campaigns and plan more effective traffic patterns.
Consumers are starting to use purchasing power to get their messages and opinions across to businesses and brands, and we’re seeing this prominently when it comes to reducing emissions and global warming. A report by Nielsen found that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, so it is likely that they will also pick a shopping center that has actively chosen to reduce its carbon footprint.
Smart parking technology directly relates to this effort: when shoppers spend less time searching for an open space, they’re releasing fewer emissions into the air and therefore cutting down on pollution. Cleverciti’s mission to creating a sustainable environment can be key to showing consumers that retailers care about more than just the bottomline.
Brick-and-mortar retailers are at a tipping point when it comes to winning back the hearts of consumers, but this effort is all about providing a better experience for the consumer than their digital counterparts. Cleverciti’s smart parking technology can create a more efficient, rewarding and sustainable experience for shoppers while also providing mission-critical information to retailers to continually improve the guest experience.
To learn more about how Cleverciti’s technology can help your business, connect with our teams here.