“Omnichannel“, “In-Store Analytics“, “Big Data”, “Showrooming“: these are some of today’s buzzwords influencing the rapidly evolving retail landscape. Consumers are more informed, more connected, and more demanding than ever before. Retailers are putting customers in the center of the equation and leveraging technology to get them what they want, when they want it, at the price they are willing to pay – and attempting to do it all across every selling channel.
Today, consumers have an almost endless combination of choices to purchase products. Through the use of the web and mobile selling channels, shoppers are able to control their personal shopping experiences. They are finding it more convenient than ever to browse, shop, and purchase items in the comfort of their own homes.
This evolution does not mean that physical retail will cease to exist (brick-and-mortar stores should still account for 85% of US retail sales in 2025, according to Forrester Research). Rather, it means retailers have to find better ways to connect to their customers across all channels. Technology cannot (today) replace the physicality or immediate gratification of the in-store shopping experience. However, there is no question that the online, mobile, and physical retail worlds are converging.
And until just a few years ago, the only parallel data that physical and online retail operations had in aggregate, across all stores, was traffic and conversion. This is changing. Physical retailers can now understand the same metrics that their online counterparts use to drive their businesses. Gartner estimates that as BI and analytics rise as priorities for retailers, the market is forecast to reach $17.1 billion by 2016.
In-store analytics delivered in a precise, real-time format allow brick-and-mortar retailers to close the gap between online customer analytics and physical retail by providing metrics like:
- How shoppers behave in brick-and-mortar stores
- Identification of the drivers behind purchases (and non-purchases)
- How changes in the store can impact customer experience and sales
To learn more about the evolution of e-commerce analytics and in-store analytics, their commonalities, and the benefits of in-store analytics, view our latest report on RIS News: Transforming Physical Retail: The Power of E-Commerce-Style Analytics for Brick-and-Mortar Stores.
For physical retailers to maintain a competitive advantage, they will need to keep up with ever-changing customer needs by continuing to measure and improve shopper convenience and personalized services. Retailers who adopt comprehensive analytics solutions will be able to provide a best-in-class store experience – both on- and off-line.