Prepare For The Future Of Retail Analytics
Consumers are spoiled by choice these days, with the opportunity to comparison shop in-store and online at the same time, thanks to mobile apps that make online shopping easier. New research from ING showed that in Europe, more than 66% of shoppers have bought online instead of going to a local store in the last 12 months. For retailers, this shift is worrying: As consumers shop more readily online, they buy less in stores. Now is the time to lay groundwork to combat online shopping. While hardly new, retail analytics can help stores understand customer habits, improve the in-store experience and increase their return on investment. Read on to learn how.
Why stores need retail analytics
Online retailers capture a wealth of data about their shoppers, which they use to entice and reward regular shoppers.
Traditionally, it has been challenging for brick and mortar stores to do the same. Their data has been limited to POS transaction data, door counters, and infrequent and expensive in-store and consumer behavior studies. None of this information provides brick-and-mortar retailers with comprehensive, relevant, and timely information they can use to personalize the shopping experience or meet customer needs in real time.
With the introduction of in-store Wi-Fi, brick and mortar retailers have the opportunity to capture more data from shoppers and improve their performance with realtime, targeted analytics.
In-store Wi-Fi providers deliver wireless analytics that capture data sent on customer smartphones and tablets and present this information in a dashboard. Information captured by the system sensor includes numbers of visitors (both repeat and first-time), time of day, week, and month, visitor browsing and sales, activity and length of stay. The system protects visitor privacy through built-in security mechanisms that prevent unique customer information from being captured in the system.
Personnel can access the cloud-based dashboard to examine both real-time and historic trend data or send data to business intelligence systems. When stores capture and act on data collected, they can realise a full range of benefits to retailers from the low-cost investment in retail analytics.
Benefits of using retail analytics and Wi-Fi
The mere presence of free in-store Wi-Fi can draw shoppers into the store, which pays off in a number of ways. Increased foot traffic makes the store look desirable to other shoppers, increasing traffic even more; those who enter the store just to use Wi-Fi could make an impulse buy, increasing the ROI of retail analytics; and, critically, free in-store Wi-Fi, with retail analytics enabled, can track both registered and non-registered user movement and behaviour, delivering fresh information that can improve retailer performance.
For example, this information can be used to target customers with more appropriate advertisements or entice a purchase with special in-store coupons that lower the purchase price of an item to match online offerings. Demographics information gleaned can also help retailers make more informed inventory, sales, and trend choices.
Retailers will also receive a wealth of information that accurately shows how consumers operate in the store environment. Compared with outdated information from consumer behaviour studies, this provides actionable information that can help retailers improve in areas where they are weak and capture more business vis-a-vis online retailers.
When used effectively, retail analytics can help increase in-store conversion rates while making consumers more happy. A shopper who visits the store and decides to buy online to save a few dollars must wait for the item to arrive. When that customer can purchase the item in-store for the same price and take it home with them, it’s a win for everybody.
For more information on Acurix Networks retail analytics system, or our managed in-store free wi-fi networks, please contact us today.