Retail marketing, brand experiences and consumer engagement specialist CircleSquare has launched a new digital tool to help brands reach the consumer at all points of the customer journey.

The Connected Shopper Platform is targeted at travel retail and aims to create an immersive digital brand world which engages shoppers through social media, exclusive content and rewards. Sparked by an initial online connection, shoppers are driven to physical retail touch points or making pre-travel purchases which can be collected at the airport.

Driving store footfall with digital campaigns

The platform has been developed in partnership with comtogether, the Swiss digital marketing agency in which CircleSquare recently acquired a stake, and Neoma, an expert in AI-based location services.

The partners combine data-driven digital marketing experience and travel retail-specific experience to avoid conventional media planning methodologies developed with a domestic focus.

The aim of the platform is for communication with the consumer to go beyond a standard brand e-commerce page or a ‘virtual’ version of a flagship store.


Traffic is driven, via the Connected Shopper Platform, to physical touch points by methods which include digital media advertisements targeted at shoppers who are set to travel through airports. These ad campaigns link to a personalised brand world where customers discover the products and are engaged through, for example, gamification and rewards.

This could be a QR code or a geo-targeting enabled wallet pass that drives footfall to the physical activation at the airport where shoppers can claim their reward. The product experience is completed in the airport retail environment, where customers can interact with the brand and brand ambassadors.

CircleSquare cites research from Salesforce which shows that 81% of shoppers still turn to bricks-and-mortar locations to discover and evaluate new products, making a first-time purchase in a physical store 2.4x more likely than online.

According to CircleSquare, The Connected Shopper Platform is therefore suited to new product discovery, allowing brands to target customers before they arrive at the airport, control the brand experience online and drive footfall to an HPP, activation or store, to drive purchases.




The Connected Shopper Platform also leverages the existing ‘Click & Collect’ infrastructures of retailers to offer a pre-travel shopping option to travellers that can be picked up at the airport.

“The new normal in travel retail is bound to include social distancing, queues and limited in-store engagement,” explained CircleSquare Managing Partner Stephane Zermatten. “Airport shopping will likely not be as fun as it used to be, so we need to find new creative ways of converting shoppers.”

He continued: “The footfall in travel retail is going to be limited for a long time so brands and retailers can’t just be waiting for customers to come to them. The Connected Shopper Platform is a smart way of engaging with passengers before they travel and convert them into shoppers. Higher conversion rates are the key to prosperity in the current travel retail environment and this platform is a major step towards achieving that.”

CircleSquare Executive Creative Director Philip Handley added: “The Connected Shopper Platform is all about ‘one brand, one voice’, allowing you to engage with your customers before they travel in a personalised way. A successful campaign is defined by a consistent storytelling delivered across all touch points of the shopper journey, digital and physical, and the Connected Shopper Platform is the ideal way to achieve that.”

Importantly, the Connected Shopper Platform allows central campaign management, enabling the client brand or retailer to manage global campaigns in real time across all airports.

Zermatten concluded: “Through our integrated platform, brands can use the same budgets but drive more sales by redistributing the activation spend across digital and physical touch points.

“Additionally, the success of campaigns is measurable as the digital methods used leave a trace. So, for example, you can see how many times your ad has been displayed, how many clicks have been made on the ad, how many people have been on the platform to browse, how many people have inputted a QR code or visited an airport activation etc.

“These are just a few ways in which the Connected Shopper Platform can bring measurable results for our brand and retailer clients.”


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