Brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep up with savvy shopper and online retail. However, they have a lot of value when it comes to branding as physical presence solidifies a brands dominion.
So, brick-and-mortar stores must transform the power of data into actionable insights in order to better understand their customers and keep up with their changing needs.
There are many ways retailers can gather data and create a seamless experience for consumers.
Let’s explore the top 4:
Modern foot traffic software can track shoppers throughout their in-store journey, automating data collection and presenting it in simple numbers and graphs. They can provide information such as number of people entering and exiting, average time spent, heat maps of popular areas etc.
This basic data helps retailers understand consumer behaviour in store and make strategic decisions. For instance, knowing which shelf consumers spend the most time looking at could help the store optimise that shelf with promotional or new products. If conversion turns out to be low despite consumers spending time observing the product, the store can then take further action.
Ultimately, tracking the way consumers pass through stores provides valuable insight into consumer engagement. You can start tracking engagement as early as your window displays by comparing how many people enter the store after looking at window displays vs how many walk by.
Customer analytics and video analytics software are popular due to their high level of accuracy when capturing data, as well as the level of data they are able to capture. Video tracking can delve deeper and capture information on demographics: gender, age, height etc. Quick decision can be made with real time data; and when used correctly, this information can be helpful for strategy, marketing, and merchandising.
Point of sale (POS) data collection is the bridge between inventory and customer spending habits.
Sales data captured by POS systems shed light on profit margins, customer counts, basket size, sales trends, products/suppliers driving revenue. With this data, you will not only be able to understand which products are most profitable but you’ll also be able to compare the popularity of products in different locations or seasons, allowing you to make reliable decisions on which products to stock and where.
Sales data is given in real time making it a perfect solution for inventory management. Notifications can also be set up for low stock or out of stock products.
Moreover, sales information on specific day and time can be extracted for comparison and understanding customer spending habits; their brand preference, sending level, purchase category etc. You can understand your customers’ tastes and preferences using POS systems and stock relevant products.
Since customers are more willing to provide personal information at the purchasing stage, brick-and-mortar stores have the opportunity to gather information at the till and attach it to POS systems. For omnichannel retailers, you can create a full customer profile across online and offline customers with modern POS systems.
Customer profiles are important now more than ever as retailers try to fulfil the demand for personalised shopping experiences. Order history of individual customers will also help you suggest appropriate products; for example, if Nike knows a customer purchases all of the AirMax collection products, they might send early information to the said customer and keep them updated about new releases.
According to an Accenture survey, 83% of shoppers are willing to exchange information for a personalised experience or reward. Therefore, giving an incentive in return for data is key.
Free Wi-Fi is a great example as completion of a sign-in form can be placed as a requirement for using the Wi-Fi network. You can collect data such as name, age, gender, email, new or existing customer etc; and even track the customers journey as long as they are signed into the network. All the information gathered can then be added to the full customer profile.
You might even be more direct and ask customers to fill in questionnaires and reward them with a discount or coupon. Interactive screens can also shed light on consumers likes and dislikes, as well as give you the opportunity to suggest and promote products the same way it’s done online.
Social media use is growing exponentially particularly among the younger generations. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are even serving retailers and shoppers by hosting online stores and encouraging shopping haul content.
Retailers, you need to know which channels your customers are engaging on the most and use that to collect data and promote products. Polls and questions on social media are quick and easy which young shopper enjoy. You can get insights into the latest customer requirements, what they like and dislike, and what they think of your competitors.
Therefore, using brick-and-mortar stores to redirect shoppers to your social media pages is important. The opportunity to collect fast and reliable data should not be missed.
Other ways to collect data is by hosting exclusive events, smart mirrors, AI powered apps etc. Pizza express, for example, asks for customer feedback on a tablet while they wait for the bill. This has high success rate as customer do not having anything to do in this time. This can method can also be replicated in retail stores by having a screen or tablet by the tills and encouraging consumers to fill out a questionnaire while they wait for their shopping to be scanned.
In summary, collecting data in brick-and-mortar stores is the key to the revival of the high street. With intelligent tools such as video analytics and up to date POS systems, automating data collection is easier than ever.
If you would like to learn how video analytics can help your business, please contact: email@example.com