Research from RetailNext Executive Forum indicates store data collection is up significantly | RetailNext

Comprehensive In-Store Analytics


Research from RetailNext Executive Forum indicates store data collection is up significantly

Tim Callan
Tim Callan
Chief Marketing Officer

Omnichannel and in-store mobile POS deemed most important technology initiatives in coming years.



Last week we concluded the RetailNext Executive Forum, in which 100 in-store data thought leaders gather for three days to discuss the best practices, needs, and future trends of in-store data collection.  We decided to take the opportunity to survey this exclusive group of retail executives, technlology providers, academic researchers, analysts, and investors to find out its opinion on the important trends governing in-store analytics and other transformative store technologies.


Here are the main takeaways.


“How does in-store data collection and analysis compare to two years ago?”


“Who are the most important stakeholders for in-store data collection?”


Top-two responses were, in order:


Note that the biggest drivers are not IT or BI – roles that traditionally would be viewed as providers of technology or data to internal users.  Rather the forum selected store operations and marketing, the “internal customers” who use this kind of information to make their programs more effective, as the most important stakeholders.  That's significant because it highlights that Big Data and in-store analytics initiatives are largely driven by business pragmatists who value the bottom line improvements they enable.



“Which measurements are most important to your company?”


Top-two responses were, in order:

It's not surprising that conversion, a staple of the retail industry, was by far the most chosen critical metric among top-two answers.  Shopper yield, which is a fairly new and sophisticated metric, was the second most popular answer.  That's very encouraging in that it indicates a desire for the leaders to think deeply and well about what the metrics they're collecting actually indicate about their businesses.  (I'll try to talk one of my colleagues into writing a post about shopper yield and why it's a good metric some time in the near future.)  It’s interesting to note that sales per square foot, often referenced in retail industry analysis, ranked lowest among this set of retail executives and thought leaders.  I think that's because they don't view is as a useful metric for uncovering the changes they can use to make their businesses more effective.


“What do you think are the most important technology trends affecting retail in the next 5 years?”


Top-two responses were, in order: