It is a widely known fact that the key to business success relies on a happy and satisfied end-user. For the retail sector, customers are key to business outcomes. A way to ensure retailers are meeting the needs of shoppers is by understanding them and their behaviour.
One way to be on the front foot is through in-store data analytics. Not only do data and analytics provide insight into the customers entering a store, smarter and more informed business decisions can also be made.
Analysing customer behaviour
In order to stand out from the crowd and attract customers, retailers must know and understand customer behaviour – determined by acknowledging and understanding: who the customers are, why do they visit a store, what do they purchase, where are they visiting from, what made them enter the store and how do they go about making a purchase.
In-store analytics can help retailers collect information to find out the answers to these key questions. Once store owners gather data and insights, they can leverage the information available to evolve in-store and business-wide strategies to better satisfy and attract customers.
Developing a better understanding of customer behaviour
One way retailers can gain a better understanding of the diverse types of customers visiting a store is by utilising technology and pre-existing infrastructures. BLE beacon networks, people counters, video sources, web and social platforms, for example, allow retailers to not only the analyse behaviour of anonymous shoppers, but also gain deeper insights about the audience and shopping behaviours of those who opt-in to free internet connectivity.
As consumers connect to guest Wi-Fi in store, retailers are able to gain insight into invaluable data, such as the age, gender, postcode, likes and dislikes of consumers. Similarly, social media analytics and online activity can also be gathered to provide retailers, with a correlation between in store visitation to social sentiment, offering retailers with powerful insight into the success businesses have in creating awareness, appeal and value to consumers.
Equally as important as the data that is gathered, is the way it is presented. Having a dashboard that is comprehensive and represents information in an intuitive way will help retailers identify any trends in the market, and keep a pulse on the industry. This way, they are able to proactively and positively react to customer habits and gain a competitive advantage.
Improving the customer experience
Once store owners have a technology solution in place that can capture and present data in a way that is easy to digest, the insights presented can help retailers implement a bespoke shopping experience, reflective of their customer behaviour. Not only will retailers be more in tune with their shoppers and their behaviour, major pain points associated with shopping in store can be improved. Extended wait times, long queues, differing prices or out of stock items can be a source of frustration that can lead consumers out of store and result in a loss of sale.
Now that retailers understand the shoppers entering their stores, they can create smarter, more intuitive and more forward thinking shopping spaces. Through in store data analytics, patterns can be identified when traffic data is gathered so retailers are able to optimise the layout of a store. Retailers can experiment with different displays, signs and campaigns and identify which strategies are the most effective in attracting potential customers.
This not only helps with their bottom line and business management, but it provides consumers with efficient, enjoyable and personal experiences.
Retailers can further extend their tailored offering, by delivering data driven campaigns based on customer behaviour through targeted promotional activity. Utilising a range of channels and media formats including email, SMS, mobile notifications, video interstitials, OOH and Wi-Fi, store owners can send customers relevant promotions based on real-time data of their shopping habits and dwell time.
Retailers of any size can benefit from in store data analytics. A shopping centre for example, has utilised data insights to identify what sections of the precinct receives the most foot traffic. After identifying that the food court was the most visited area, and had the largest number of dwell time, with most consumers entering the centre just to visit that particular zone, the centre decided to move the food court to a different location, so that retail stores could benefit from the number of consumers entering.
Similarly, on a smaller scale, if a fashion store within a shopping centre explores the gathered consumer data and identifies its store receives a large volume of consumers that form a demographic slightly older than their target market, they can look to adapt their product range to accommodate a wider range of tastes and preferences, and/or update their marketing and promotional strategy to realign and meet their intended audience.
Once retailers piece together a genuine understanding of their customers using in store analytics, and have a comprehensive understanding of those that are visiting their store, retailers will ultimately attract and retain customers as the in-store experience is specifically customised for them. By doing so, retailers will be able to predict, prepare and provide outstanding service to consumers, benefitting the bottom line and brand reputation.