How shopper data shapes the in-store experience
Q: What is a common misconception about the use of interior analytics in a retail operation?
A: Historically, there have been questions of viability and reliability of certain location-based technologies and retailers have struggled to determine a significant ROI. I think one big misconception regarding interior analytics is that a retailer can implement a solution and immediately drive results. In reality, retailers must first analyze their organization, outline their needs and challenges and determine what success will look like.
From there, a retailer can best determine what metrics to track and improve. Once equipped with clear goals and objectives, a retailer should select a solution provider who offers the following: accurate data, analytical insights, actionable recommendations to improve performance, and, most importantly, justification for the return on investment.
Q: How can in-store analytics inform product displays and placement within the store?
A: Retailers spend a significant amount of time perfecting window displays, entryway signs and fixtures, as well as end caps and item locations – and it’s not to simply create a visually appealing store. Marketing and merchandising teams strive to draw shoppers in to the store (typically through windows, signage and initial products a shopper sees when passing by) and to strategically motivate purchases throughout the shopping journey.
In-store analytics can optimize product placement through a better understanding of shopper behavior and patterns. Key metrics to track include draw rate, dwell time and engagement – whether that’s on an individual item, display or zone level. From there, a retailer can pinpoint which areas and item types draw the most traffic on a consistent basis and test the effectiveness of different display visuals and tactics. Further, a retailer can understand how a customer is engaging with a product to better determine root cause of a category’s success or lack thereof. Finally, a retailer can test how placement of displays can influence traffic flows around the store to encourage as much interaction and exposure to the full assortment as possible.
Q: What relationship exists between interior analytics and store layouts?
A: In-store analytics allow a retailer to understand and investigate what happens once a shopper enters their store. Analyses such as heat mapping and path tracking, permit a retailer to clearly view the ebb and flow of traffic in their store and devise layout strategies that capitalize on these patterns. For example, a retailer can place new merchandise in a highly traveled area to adequately promote the offering and increase sales. Another example is to test different impulse buys at the POS area. Retailers who understand typical shopping pathways in their store can build displays featuring items that a shopper is likely to grab with low consideration to drive incremental sales. Additionally, retailers can leverage interior analytics in order to discover any bottleneck areas and address congestion.
Q: In what other ways can retailers leverage shopper data to facilitate an enhanced shopping experience?
A: Shopper data is vital for retailers to offer the seamless, personalized experience that today’s shoppers crave. For example, a retailer can utilize perimeter analytics to accurately determine peak hours and ensure sufficient staffing levels in order to meet and exceed customer service expectations and increase conversion rates. Aggregated demographic and visitation data can help a retailer customize the look, feel and mood of their store for their target groups. Opt-in personalized shopper data can enable a retailer to provide timely, relevant in-store offers directly to a shopper and reward the shopper for loyalty. In any case, data coupled with a supported, action-oriented analytics tool is a powerful way to understand shoppers, identify opportunities and drive sales.
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A version of this article originally appeared in Retail Info Systems News.