For the past few years when it came to customer analytics the online world always reigned supreme. Until relatively recently the offline retailer was left only with their gut instinct and experience with only the most crude hard data to back it.
However, times have changed and an increasing amount of data is now available to bricks and mortar retailers. For decades, retailers have done without high level analytics, so why is it essential now?
If you’ve found yourself asking this question, it may be this holding you back. Alternatively, you may be tracking key metrics but be unsure how to utilise that data. However, based on insights taken from the online retail world, we understand that the more data, the better for your business.
Additionally, it could be said that the retailer of today is more complex than ever, with so many more options than were available in the past. Technology is becoming integrated into our daily lives, whether with our consent or not, which has allowed forward thinking retailers to take advantage of new data tracking technology.
Typically, shopping can either be a necessity, or recreational hobby, and the way these shoppers behave differs dramatically. However, despite this, both types of shopper want the same fundamental level of customer service, which data can enhance significantly.
With the rise of the smartphone, development of smart tech, and surge in demand regarding the “Internet of Things” and the dawn of virtual reality, shoppers are expecting their experience to change and these are all tools that retailers can take advantage of.
With all these new tools available, it would become incredibly easy to become bogged down in data, so what could you do to utilise this data?
- Staffing Levels
It may go without saying, but one of the often overlooked elements of customer experience is the level of service. The key to this is having the right number of staff available to provide the necessary level of service. Before updates in retail analytics stores used rotas as a way to manage staff, however, the system whilst somewhat effective, is archaic in the face of an information led strategy.
By using data to monitor the number of customers, patterns and being able to see bare facts regarding key metrics, you can bring your staff requirements to the 21st century. Customer analytics software allows the easy compilation of trend data, allowing you to monitor levels of store activity by day, hour and even minute, allowing you to tailor staffing around this data.
- Staff Performance Metrics
As well as managing staff levels, you’re also able to use data to increase staff performance and morale. In retailing, success is often driven by standing out from their peers in order to receive promotions, awards, financial benefits and praise. However, without adequate tracking data such benefits cannot be assessed objectively and can be rife with favouritism and bias.
However, when business replaces gut instinct with hard data, conflict is minimised, if not eliminated.
- Understanding Customers’ Needs
Making use of offline data analytics is your insight into your customers’ minds. Their behaviour is a retailers insight into what customers want, and what they don’t want. By utilising smart phones connecting to Wi-Fi systems it is possible for stores to understand where the customer goes in the store and just as importantly where they don’t.
Whilst this data is not personalised, it is relatively unintrusive and can show useful shopping patterns. For instance, if 75% customers go down the first two aisles but only 50% go down to the third then it may be better to locate new promotions in the first two aisles. With advanced data, stores can determine the prime locations for different items.
To summarise, offline retailers want to see a range of data, which can have positive impacts on their stores. Everything right from the number of customers entering and not purchasing to the busiest days, all helps you make the most of your stores.
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