It’s no secret that physical shops and stores are finding the current retail climate difficult.

Competition has always played a part, that’s nothing new – but, the challenge these days is the increasing number of online buying opportunities added to the pot. We’re not jumping on the bandwagon of saying ‘the high street is dead’ in fact quite the opposite. We definitely don’t think it’s dead. It does however, require a different approach.

We’ve commented in a previous blog about how those that are winning the battle for customers, are those retail outlets that are using technical innovation to carve their own unique path forward. Businesses that are choosing to ‘keep doing what we’ve always done’ are the ones that are and will continue to find it more difficult.

Consumers are seeking phenomenal experiences. Successful companies recognise that experiences rise above everything else.”

Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO

Retailers that are stepping beyond stocking shelves and waiting for custom to walk through the door, are delivering a memorable experience to their customers – winning hearts and minds. By reshaping their outlets into places where visitors receive communications that designed specifically for them.

Consumer demographic and behaviour information and analytics are king in this situation. Sourcing this information has been, up until now, rather hit and miss. A mix of point of sale data, customer feedback, anecdotal evidence and some guesswork thrown in the mix.

Change is here

Many businesses are now very familiar with the use of Google style analytics of their website performance and the insights that gives them about their website visitor behaviour.

A very popular way for retailers to communicate with their customers is through their in-store digital signage network. It’s proven to uplift instore sales.

Consider combing the forces of these two elements – your digital signage and analytics. What could be done with that information?

By the relatively straightforward installation of some analytical technology, retailers can gain footfall, behaviour, demographic, gender and age band information all of which provide valuable insights into your customers interaction and habits. Link that to your digital signage and your POS information and you have a powerful tool with which to shape your future business strategic decisions.

Imagine, being able to identify a visitor to your store as say a female in her 20’s and then be able to display digital signage content appropriate for her.

Where certain types of content have proven to drive higher revenue, a retailer could make quick decisions to expand the use of this content or conversely withdraw it if the opposite were true.

This kind of technology has been around for a while, but more recently several platforms have been developed which are particularly good at analysing the data effectively.

Systems use the following techniques to gather business intelligence:

  • Footfall counting instore and outside
  • Heat mapping – analysis of people traffic through your premises
  • IMEI code following
  • Demographic (mood age and gender) profiling
  • Queue management
  • Promotional analysis
  • Visitor dwell times
  • Customer recognition
  • Visitor journey mapping
  • Staff exclusion
  • Security/Anti-theft protection
  • Anonymised data
  • Integration with existing CCTV infrastructure

The data is analysed and presented in a variety of dashboard methods to provide business intelligence or analytical data with which to base future decisions on.

Examples of the reporting data include:

  • How many people are visiting every day, week, month, year?
  • The % of passers by that enter the store
  • % demographics of store visitors
  • How often do your customers return?
  • How long they are staying in store?
  • What is taking their interest
  • What was their journey through the store?
  • How do they respond to demographic targeted marketing?
  • Where are the high footfall and low footfall areas of the building?
  • How do people respond to digital marketing messages?
  • Prediction of queues

All of which can;

  • Improve the customer experience
  • Provide valuable customer insights
  • Provide a bench-marking tool

These systems provide customers with a personalised but anonymous experience. They provide relevant content in real-time, based on the gathered demographic profiling evidence.

The possibilities to use this type of business analytics extends beyond retail into the leisure and commercial world. Visitor intelligence gained in museums, galleries, leisure centres, airports, ferry terminals, educational facilities, tourist attractions, large commercial offices would be an incredibly useful tool in determining strategic decisions.

For further details contact Sanjay Saini or call 03300 419019.