Date
19 August 2017
In-store analytics can help retailers visualize customer traffic patterns and adjust the store layout and promotion campaigns accordingly. Photo: beretail.es
In-store analytics can help retailers visualize customer traffic patterns and adjust the store layout and promotion campaigns accordingly. Photo: beretail.es

How in-store analytics can help retailers

With the rising popularity of promotional bonanzas such as Black Friday and Single’s Day, digital shopping now results in high volumes of transactions in Asia.

The likes of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are leading the charge in delivering the majority of mobile transactions globally. This is also true in Hong Kong, where revenue in the e-commerce market amounted to US$3.32 billion in 2016.

While the convenience of browsing online continues to influence purchasing decisions, brick-and-mortar stores may yet have the final say before a sale goes through.

Forrester reports that by 2020, nearly 30 percent of offline retail sales will be inspired by online activity. In light of this, customer intelligence will play a critical role for businesses in claiming their share of the billions being spent this year.

Take the guesswork out of tracking customer traffic

To help retailers better understand traffic patterns, it is important to understand retail analytics through real-time cloud services. According to Accenture , Asia-Pacific consumer goods companies are beginning to recognize the value of an analytic-driven organization to drive decision-making processes.

Such investments help retailers gain real-time and historical insight into customers such as by looking at Wi-Fi statistics gathered from the smartphones that everyone carries today.

This is especially relevant in the Asia-Pacific region, where mobile and internet penetration rates continue to rise. These analytics can, for instance, track the time spent in certain areas of the store, or even help to determine the best store layout for optimizing customer traffic.

Because every person who walks by is a prospective customer, this is important information. You now have the ability to see how many people actually entered the store, as well as the time of day and duration of their visit.

The best part is that capturing this valuable data doesn’t require you to install and manage additional hardware, and shoppers don’t even need to be connected to your network.

You can implement this data collection by leveraging the same Wi-Fi and management tools that you currently use to run your business. This data can be extremely valuable in shaping business and marketing decisions ahead of and during the festive shopping period.

Make smart business decisions to attract more shoppers

Once you are set up to collect essential customer traffic data, you can begin to recognize patterns and find opportunities to optimize your store for greater success. By tracking passer-by traffic, you can easily increase in-store traffic during peak periods by testing different storefront displays, signage, and campaign offers in the period beforehand.

Doing so will provide a gauge for your marketing and sales departments to discern the factors in the highest potential to convert a passer-by to an in-store visitor.

You can also track how long shoppers stay in the store, data which can be used to improve shopper engagement by testing different store layouts and merchandising.

You can also adjust where, when and how you deploy your in-store staff to ensure that shoppers are receiving the best possible in-store experience.

Let the data do the talking

By using Wi-Fi products that provide real-time analytics of customer activity, you can customize how you measure and calculate conversions based on what works best for you – this is applicable whether you have 10 stores or 2,000.

For instance, this data can help your shop floor managers to make sure they have ordered stock that is most likely to achieve the greatest sales on the last weekend before Christmas.

Over and above insights that guide performance optimization of individual stores, you can also obtain data on how your multiple stores compare against each other.

This guides your business planning on a larger scale, by allowing you to determine where and how to make your investments to best capitalize on opportunities for retail success – no matter what season it is.

Keep your network safe while harnessing the value of retail analytics

While you are harnessing the power of retail analytics, your network may face exposure to threats if you do not have security in place to protect your shoppers and your business.

With the sheer number of devices connected to your network, it is important to have visibility that allows you to identify and profile all connected devices on your network.

By powering and securing the intelligent edge of the network, you can enable unified role-based access across wireless and wired networks, with the ability to assign roles and access rights to connected IoT (internet of things) devices in order to secure the network.

We’re living in a world where data proliferation is the norm, and the retail industry is no exception.

Companies have the power to use data to their advantage and make online and offline connections that benefit their business, learning insights on their customers in ways that weren’t possible even a few years ago.

However, this data proliferation makes keeping up with cybersecurity more challenging. Retail brands that tap data insights while ensuring their data travels over secure networks will see their businesses thrive and rise to the top of this fast-changing industry.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/RA

Director and General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, Aruba, a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company

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