In the past, e-commerce retailers have been able to measure and understand shopper trends and behavioral patterns through rich data sources available online. However, while online retailers were benefiting from these insights, physical stores were losing out. Now with the help of advanced retail analytics, brick-and-mortar stores are able to observe and measure the full connected shopper journey, from the time shoppers enter the store to when they walk out.
Advanced retail analytics deliver the same e-commerce-style analytics that online retailers have been enjoying for years. It allows for a quick determination of how many shoppers visit the store; where they go (and don’t go) and in what order; what displays, fixtures and products engage the most; and what ultimately converts shoppers into buyers. Through this data, retailers develop a better understanding of how shoppers respond and engage with products, merchandising assets, marketing promotions, store associates and more.
For example, a large brick-and-mortar retailer recently used RetailNext’s advanced analytics solutions to gain a better understanding on how shoppers directed themselves, if at all, to apparel fitting rooms during their store visits.
Fitting room insights:
- Upon entering the store, an astounding 92 percent of its shoppers walked directly to the center or back of the store without any interaction with sales associates
- The average length of time spent in a fitting room was 3:15, over two minutes less than the industry average of 5:45
- After a fitting room visit, interactions between associates and shoppers occurred only 23.8 percent of the time
- 27.3 percent of shoppers went from the fitting room to the point-of-sale to complete a transaction, roughly equivalent to overall store conversion rate of 29.8 percent
- The average transaction value (ATV) for shoppers who utilized a fitting room prior to their purchase was 50 percent higher than the ATV of customers who did not frequent a fitting room
Based on the data-driven insights, the following corrective actions were recommended for immediate deployment:
- Revaluate staff placement and training models to better support customers. Ensure staff are interacting with shoppers as soon as they enter the store and immediately after a fitting room visit.
- Revaluate store layout and navigation from the fitting room toward the POS. Consider implementing a mobile POS system outside fitting rooms in order to drive more conversions.
By using advanced analytics as a complement to its experience-based qualitative data on shopper engagement, the retailer was able to identify new tactics and strategies on employee training and placement, in-store navigation and fitting room layout. In turn, these initiatives helped the retailer deliver more seamless shopping experiences to its customers.
Measurement methodologies have substantially progressed from the days where the options were only low-tech, such as requiring people to stand at entrances with handheld clickers to measure shopper traffic and relying on quick samples of store observations for where shoppers go and don’t go (and, perhaps, why or why not).
Fortunately, those days are long gone.
Today’s automated, systemic technologies allow for tremendous accuracy and inch-perfect precision, eliminating biases, like recency bias, for example, from human observation. Advanced analytics allows retailers to measure shopper activity and behavior at scale, over time, and it delivers the accurate data necessary to develop actionable insights. After all, what business practice is optimally effective if it’s based on poor data?
Borrowing from online merchants, there are a plethora of analytics to deploy in brick-and-mortar stores, from shopper traffic counts at the door to how shoppers navigate the interior of the store and engage with displays, merchandise, service areas and associates. The key is identifying your most pressing business questions and deploying the analytics solutions that best provide the answers.
- Ensuring Your Retail Analytics Platform Has the Punch to Move the Needle for Your Business Blog
- When It Comes to Shopper Traffic, Accuracy is Everything Blog
- Traffic Counting Accuracy vs. Precision: What’s the Difference? Blog