How In-Store Consumer Insights Can Reinvent Retail Marketing Funnel

4th Jul 2017

Retailers traditionally followed a linear approach to convert a prospect into a customer. First by creating awareness, followed by interest, consideration, intent, evaluation all leading to purchase. Internet penetration, e-commerce and mobile phones created a huge impact in this model. Customers’ access to information makes them research on the product before they reached the store. They will consider online product opinions and reviews before entering the store. Retailers don’t compete with other retailers anymore. They have to face the bigger dragons in the game like the Amazons and Ali-babas of the world.

how-in-store-consumer-insights-can-reinvent-retail-marketing-funnel

The retailer’s pursuit to find new customers is not benefiting profitability either. Retailers make sure ads, displays and pricing are always put out there, intending to attract customers. Though it is necessary and reasonable to attract new customers, it can end up hurting them with the time and resources spent on it.

Going by the Pareto principle, and popular retail marketing techniques, it makes sense to focus on 20% of the best customers. A digitized and automated marketing tool will make it easier to connect and engage with customers, in fact, reach more than 20% of the regular customers. Knowing the customer is imperative to increase sales in any industry. When e-commerce portals these days can predict shopping pattern and behavior specific to each customer, it is essential for the retail industry to be comparable to e-commerce in technology.

Let’s categorize retail shoppers into 5 and see how categorizing them can reinvent the marketing funnel.

  1. Loyal customers: You can never do enough for them. Nothing like it if you can take their inputs and make them feel cared. Communicate with them regularly and give appropriate messaging to ensure they are always informed and updated. Merchandising decisions should depend on their feedback and shopping pattern. More you do for them, they’ll do their part of recommending you to others.
  1. Discount customers: These guys will take care off the inventory balance and ensures cash flows into the bank. They are typically focused on price than the value of the product. So focusing on the pricing, letting them know that they are getting the best discounts available in the neighborhood will drive them crazy.
  1. Impulsive customers: These guys are fun to shop with. Taking a look at their history of shopping will give you an idea that they have a record of buying really random items. The key to attracting them is to provide variety and display a range of products. However random they are in their shopping pattern, they will show patterns over a period of time. Understanding these patterns will be beneficial to push appropriate products to them.
  1. Need-based customers: They have a solid reason to go to the store. As soon as they enter the store, they will look for their needs and hopes to find them quickly. If they don’t, they will leave immediately. These guys can be easily lost to e-commerce. It is important to know their need and direct them to the location instantly, and over a period, convert them to a loyal customer. The key is to keep interacting with them and give a positive personal interaction.
  1. Wandering customers: These guys, the largest category in footfall traffic is a voice. They will know what is in store and can direct people who are in need, or they will turn up when there is a need. Interact with them and understand their area of interest, so you can pull them when discount sales are happening. They won’t drive a lot of immediate sales, but let them be. They will drive sales eventually.

We’ve covered how understanding each type of customer can help in driving sales, now the question is how do you engage with them? What are the channels you can engage with them? How do you know their shopping pattern? How do you know which category they fall into? These pieces get connected with a technology upgrade.

What the retail stores need is an at-location analytics and guest engagement platform. Technologies like Wi-Fi and Beacon will keep a customer connected to the physical store and can make in-store navigation possible. Integrating the CRM and POS software with the platform will ensure that purchase history of each customer can be extracted and every one of them can be categorized. It can even categorize simple metrics like new vs repeating customers.

The goal here is to make the user’s profile connected with the physical store’s digital interface and possibly connect with all the smart devices in the proximity. This makes digital signages to change content depending on the customers walking by, data can be captured to understand where the customer spends most time at, how often they visit vs spending capacity (helps to differentiate wandering customers), what category of products they mostly buy and so on.

To take this a step further, with all these data, we can identify a mom shopper and a retired grandad who enjoys gardening. As soon as they walk into the store, the staff can be alerted, they can greet them by name and help them shop. Even after they exit the premises, they can be engaged through SMS, Emails and can be even sent a push notification through a mobile app.

With a significant drop in retail sales growth, it is a need of the hour for the retail industry to look into in-store consumer insights to reinvent the marketing funnel.


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