International Data Corporation recently released its retail predictions for 2014, and topping the list was an increased focus on the omnichannel customer and shopper experience. Robert Parker, Vice President and General Manager of IDC Retail, Energy, and Manufacturing Group explained, “In the next three years, retail will reinvent itself as omnichannel leaders reach for customer relationship, relevancy, and reciprocity. Quick-to-market leaders will improve same-shopper sales, fast becoming the most significant leading indicator of future performance.” One key way to achieve is by drawing consumer insights from detailed in-store analytics.
Omnichannel Data is the Pinnacle of Business Intelligence and Analytics
As recently as a few years ago, retailers pulled data primarily from their point-of-service (POS) systems each day to create sales reports, which they hoped would provide valuable consumer insights but todays in-store analytics have grown far beyond those simple daily totals to encompass a range of assessments that allow retailers to offer a seamless experience to customers and shoppers whether they’re shopping in store or online. Data is now gathered from throughout the retail chain, painting a detailed picture of a customer’s purchase patterns along with the most effective forms of targeted marketing to entice the customer, relevant customer loyalty programs, and how well in-store inventory and staff align with that customer’s best shopping experience. The unified analysis of that omnichannel data from disparate sources is what makes in-store analytics tools so effective today. To learn more about business intelligence, visit this website.
In-Store Analytics Goes Beyond Simple Traffic Counting
Omnichannel data becomes actionable when paired with quality in-store analytics. Instead of the limited POS-based reporting of the past, new technology provides retail analytics and merchandising services that comprehensively measures traffic and conversion. With these consumer insights, retailers are able to:
- Better measure the success of marketing and promotions
- Boost productivity by identifying trends and norms within the retail chain, enabling retailers to single out poorly performing stores for training or support
- Improve service and lower staffing costs by identifying traffic cycles that can be used to refine staffing levels during the day, week, or season
- Combine with other omnichannel data to detect new and repeat customers and analyze time between visits
In-store analytics will also play a critical role in fulfilling another of IDC’s predictions: “We expect renewed investment in the narrower but transformative capabilities of PLM and sourcing, marketing and advertising, and big data and analytics.” As retailers are increasingly able to determine traffic flow and sales conversion, and to tap into mobile device activity using guest Wi-Fi channels, they’re be better able to learn when customers are “showrooming” (looking at merchandise in the store but purchasing it from another retailer online), and to make changes to entice in-store shoppers to buy. New customer analytics tools will link in-store and omnichannel data, providing a comprehensive picture of the retail chain’s consumers, their online and in-store shopping habits, and the sales, marketing, and customer loyalty options that boost retailers’ bottom lines.
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