Fresh off the heels of RetaiNext’s 4th annual Executive Forum, one thing is crystal clear: the use of in-store analytics continues to grow, and its applications are spreading to new functional areas of the retail industry.
From May 7-9, RetailNext hosted over 100 retailers, analysts, and industry thought-leaders at the Meritage Spa and Resort in California’s Napa Valley. The attendees represented a wide range of retail operations, from global chains to family-owned stores to specialty boutiques. Yet despite these differences, the attendees shared a few commonalities.
First, retailers agreed that big data applications remain a priority. When asked how in-store data collection and analysis compared with that from a year ago, every survey respondent indicated that the practice was growing or remaining stable, and for the second year in row, not a single retailer suggested a decrease.
Secondly, retailers’ key stakeholders for in-store data collection and analytics now cross over a number of functional areas, including Store Operations and Loss Prevention, Marketing, Business Intelligence/Customer Insights, and Information Technology. The survey data supports the trend of retail management teams utilizing common data sources to make strategic and tactical decisions.
Survey responses also indicated a not-so-subtle shift in the importance of performance metrics. Conversion is still king, of course, and is built on the foundation of accurate traffic counting, but ATV has risen in importance, and as a result, subsequent metrics like sales yield (ATV multiplied by conversion) have followed suit.
Lastly, and most noteworthy, was how retailers planned to use in-store mobile technologies in the coming year. Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported planning to use mobile location analytics to optimize staffing to better align with shopper traffic and demand, as well as to enable mobile POS and mobile payment activations. The emphasis on improving the customer experience was indicated as not only key to competitive differentiation, but also to serve as a catalyst for customer retention and loyalty.
Some more interesting statistics from the survey:
How do you plan to use in-store mobile technologies in the next year?
- 57% – Optimize staffing to align with shopper demand
- 57% – Enable mobile POS and/or mobile payments
- 54% – Identify paths of in-store shopper movement
- 50% – Push personalized notifications/offers in real time
- 39% – Measure effectiveness of window displays and in-store merchandising
- 36% – Identify patterns of shopper queuing
- 32% – Measure customer participation in loyalty programs
- 18% – Quantify impact of showrooming/Countermeasure showrooming
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting further insights from the Executive Forum. Consider subscribing via RSS feed on the right side of the blog page.