How To Solve The Biggest Challenge Facing Retailers
The retail industry is currently undergoing unprecedented change.
Consumers once accepted that retailers dictated their shopping experience. But, technological advances have now ensured that customers expect their shopping experience to be both pleasant and easy, and anything that falls short of this can (and often will) be posted online for all to see, making it open to criticism.
This has made sure that the most important business challenge now facing retailers is to provide an engaging, personalised and exciting in-store experience for consumers. As the technology continues to drive consumer expectation, retailers must look towards new ways of enhancing these experiences.
So what is the most effective solution to this challenge?
The simple answer is Retail Analytics.
What is Retail Analytics?
Retail Analytics is the interpretation and analysis of data to help guide and dictate business decisions. This data comes in many forms (more on this later), and can measure a variety of unique customer behaviours.
While data for retail stores, particularly smaller stores, has been traditionally collected through customer surveys and user reviews, recent advances in analytic software have driven the price of hardware down, allowing for the capture of far larger quantities of data.
And this is allowing the potential of Analytics within the retail industry to be realised.
By providing an analysis of in-store behaviour, Retail Analytics can be used to guide and customise everything from a store layout, to specific marketing promotions.
This, in turn, is enabling retailers to understand their consumer’s needs and wants, thus allowing them to create more effective customer engagement and drastically enhance the in-store experience for their customers.
And when you consider the return on investment Retail Analytics offers, it becomes clear why so many retailers feel it is a must have tool.
What Solution Is Right For Your Business?
It is important to note, however, that Retail Analytics isn’t just a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
There are a number of different analytic hardware solutions available, spanning a wide range of price points (starting from roughly $500), with each solution providing unique data sets about particular customer behaviours.
The most common Retail Analytic solution is the People Counter. Perhaps unsurprisingly, People Counters count people.
While this is at the lower end of the price spectrum and may seem very simple, its effectiveness cannot be overlooked.
Through measuring the change in store visits over a particular period of time, including data such as how many people walked out of your store without purchasing any products, the data collected from People Counters provides unprecedented insights into the success of specific marketing efforts.
While sales data will enable you to measure success against previous campaigns, analytical data provided by people counters ensures store managers can pinpoint exactly what marketing methods were drawing the most traffic, and then adapt their future sales accordingly.
Equally as important, however, is that the data provided allows for significant improvements in staff efficiency.
Through providing retailers with data about the foot traffic into and out of the store, it allows for accurate staff scheduling, ensuring retailers can meet customer demand.
These insights are of unparalleled importance, as it not only helps to increase foot traffic coming through the door, it also provides data to increase conversion rates and provide a greater customer experience through more personalised service.
In contrast, at the other end of the price range, you can find something like the Stereo Vision Sensor. This hardware acts as a more complete solution than the People Counter, using “stereo vision” to (completely) anonymously track the movements of people around the store.
This provides even greater analysis of the customer, allowing an insight into what different demographics will be looking for, and where they will go to look for it in your store.
These are just two examples of Retail Analytic solutions and the benefits they can provide within the retail industry. By utilising the best solution for your business, you can provide the most engaging and personalised customer experience and ensure consumers will be returning to your store.