Retailers need to take advantage of the analytics and hard data available to them rather than relying on outdated hypotheses. The industry is evolving everyday and big data enables stores to make better informed decisions, increase customer satisfaction and continuously optimise their offering.
Becoming more data-centric is undoubtedly key to achieving retail success. Here are some of the retail analytics best practices to implement in your strategy to achieve that.
- Start With the Right Tools and Tech to Harness Data
- Don’t Just Focus on One Metric
- Unite Both Online and Offline Data
1. Start With the Right Tools and Tech to Harness Data
“Three out of five consumers say retail’s investment in technology is improving their experience both online and in-store” - NRF
It might be challenging to truly get the most out of your data-centric efforts because the right tools are absent from your arsenal. On the other hand, maybe you already have tools in place, but you don’t know how to utilise them to their full potential.
Technology has the ability to provide you with invaluable insights when married with retail. From how customers manoeuvre your store to all-important purchasing decisions - WiFi networks that integrate seamlessly with other elements of your business allow you to have all this data in one place, on one platform.
Loyalty schemes, contactless payments and IoT technology are just a few of the ways you can start looking deeper into how your customer’s shop.
Those who have grown up with tech in all aspects of their lives are more likely than any other generation to feel these innovations elevate their shopping experience. With the right tools in place, the right data follows suit. This helps you to personalise offers, understand your customer’s journey and engage with them when they need it most - encouraging brand loyalty in the process.
2. Don’t Just Focus on One Metric
“74% of businesses say they want to be data-driven, but only 29% are successful at connecting analytics to action.” - Forrester
When you concentrate on analysing one metric like footfall, for example, you’re neglecting the bigger picture. To really get the most out of the data you’re collecting, you need to look at how different metrics relate to each other.
To overcome the dynamic challenges the retail industry faces, you need to look at what role each metric plays in your overall strategy and make the necessary changes to stay competitive.
By looking at analytics like footfall, dwell times and user demographics holistically, you’ll have a better understanding of who shops at your store. This information can highlight infrastructure improvements and eliminate staffing challenges, ensuring your conversion rate is healthy and high.
3. Unite Both Online and Offline Data
“89% of business leaders believe big data will revolutionise business operations in the same way the Internet did.” - Forbes
Combining online and offline data together will give you a more accurate insight into your customers’ shopping journeys. Modern consumers go through multiple channels on their path to purchase, so if you’re looking at this data separately, you’re going to miss out on key insights and opportunities.
American department store Barneys is a great example of a retailer that yields the power of unified data. When the luxury store looked at both online and offline customer behaviour, it told them that many women who purchased high-end jewellery in their brick-and-mortar locations have previously browsed for it online.
If Barneys just looked just at their shoppers’ online data, they wouldn’t have seen that their web-browsing customers eventually purchased offline. Most importantly, they wouldn’t have a full understanding of their customers’ path to purchase. You can encourage this union of data with loyalty programmes, perfectly timed discounts and instore promotions that are accessible from their smartphone.
Retailers who want to thrive can’t afford to dismiss data into their decisions. Getting the right systems in place and learning how to gather intel could take some work. However, when you’ve mastered it, the knowledge and insights you gain will make it all worthwhile - for you and your customers.
However, looking at analytics is just a fraction of what retailers can do to improve their experience offering and soar in the evolving retail space.
Want to Know More Ways to Improve Your Customers’ Retail Experience?
As the industry is constantly changing, it’s essential for physical retailers to refocus their efforts on improving their customers’ experience. Underestimate this and you’re likely to lose out to competitors utilising the latest technology and insights.
We’ve created a free guide that includes some of the most effective ways that retailers can enhance the customer experience and get ahead of the curve. Changes are needed to meet evolving customer demands and our guide considers some of the ones we expect to see in the near future.
For your copy of the guide, click on the link below and see how you can drive customer engagement and utilise retail analytics.