Technology has helped play a big role for both consumer and retailer in the evolving retail market.The growing expectations of consumers have pushed retailers to embrace retail analytics in a big way.
Salesforce presented a report reinforcing the consumer-centric retail environment that reveals that while customers interacted with their retailers through different online channels, 87% of shoppers had visited a retail store within the past month.
A healthy, progressive growth in retail across the world should give retailers the incentive to take a closer look at their operations. This bears mentioning, as businesses have been busy shining the spotlight on bettering their e-commerce capabilities through better technology, the numbers show that physical retail still holds a majority of the pie.
Showrooming is often seen as a means for the savvy shopper to get a better idea of products before leaving without making a purchase, to hunt for the best deals online. However, big retail companies have gradually learned to change their approach, employing strategies to convert customers who would showroom into repeat customers for their physical outlets.
It is through the various touch points that physical retail can play to its strengths. When physical stores are equipped with the right data analytics capabilities, these multiple touch points provide a treasure trove of reliable, and actionable offline data.
To take advantage of physical retail spaces, systems can be set in place to capture the following data to better educate their owners.
1) Measure customer traffic
For store owners, having a tally of people going in and out of the store, finding out how many window shoppers enter, and how many become customers gives numbers that can be tracked and measured. Marketing material placed outside and inside the store can be compared, creating an intuitive trail to draw customers in.
2) In-store heat mapping
Heat mapping has been touted as an equaliser for stores, giving owners a glance at where the action is at. By seeing where customers tend to gravitate to, store owners can better position sales staff, products, or relevant promotions to capitalise on this information.
3) Customer profiling
Knowing the customer is half the battle, but the detail of that knowledge makes all the difference. Being able to understand the demographics of those who enter the store, and what they buy can give an added layer of focus to any marketing promotions and sales efforts.
The details will allow store owners to form better synergies to the products offered, and possible cross-promotions with other relatable businesses.
4) Customer dwell time
Where and how long the customer chooses to dwell, browse and spend time in the store is where the fine details. The customer journey is literal here. Having the right sales staff at the right place serving the right customer can result in a journey that spells the start of a repeat customer or the departure of a slightly more interested window shopper.
5) Smart customer loyalty
Analytics that help log new customers, and identify repeat customers will give stores an edge in enhancing and building upon the individual customer journey. New customers can be given perks and discounts that encourage their return. Repeat customers with their previous purchase habits and data gathered from their dwell time can experience a personalised shopping experience.
The data business owners can get from how customers interact with their stores will help them stay one step ahead in their journey.
However, in this day and age, no one channel is a silo. Armed with the information from the physical space, retailers will be ever prepared to make sure that the business strategies they adopt are always relevant, online or offline.