Value of in-store analytics in comparison to e-commerce analytics

5th Oct 2017

Retailers and critics inevitably question the role and future of a physical store. While optimists expected ecommerce sales to be confined to low margin items, naysayers predicted the demise of brick-and-mortar stores. Both are wrong.

instore-analytics-vs-ecommerce-analytics

Sales in retail and ecommerce have been driven by two completely different reasons. While the primary reason behind the growth of ecommerce is its use of analytics – the capability to study online user behavior and customize their offerings according to individual preferences, retail stores survive because of their element of immediacy.

However, as customer expectations keep increasing, the future of retail will need to combine the best of both digital and physical. Proximity MX – a location insights and engagement platform was built to do just that. It equips retailers with the same analytics that their digital counterparts use. The table below shows a comparison of KPIs measured by ecommerce and Proximity MX.

KPIs measured by Ecommerce

KPIs measured by Proximity MX

New visitors

New visitors

Unique visitors

Unique visitors

Total traffic

Total footfall

No. of returning visitors

No. of returning customers

Real time traffic

Real-time in-store footfall

Time spent on a page

Dwell time in a certain zone

Pageviews per visit

Avg. no. of zones visited per visit

Type of device

Type of device

Avg. time spent on site

Avg. time spent at a location

User flow

Path analysis

User profile

Location Personas

Frequency of visits

Frequency of visits

Avg. duration per visit

Avg. duration per visit

Campaign performance

Campaign performance (SMS, Emails, Captive Portal, In-app)

Timeline reports – track visits by hour, day, week

Timeline reports – track visits by hour, day, week

By having access to the above in-store analytics, retailers can strategically forecast trends, predict customer demand, optimize store layout and maximize sales. Two or more metrics can be combined to reveal even more intelligent insights. This multi-pronged approach allows customers to be segmented and profiled more accurately, meaning that communication and interaction with customers can be made more relevant and therefore much more likely to be acted on.

While in-store analytics itself can provide enough insights into customer behavior, its power increases remarkably when coupled with other datasets, including data captured from POS systems, loyalty, website, or social media. It’s only by integrating various datasets that a retailer can truly bridge the online and offline divide.

Why In-Store Analytics are More Reliable and Valuable than Ecommerce Analytics

One of the strengths of location analytics is that the observational data it gathers is very much rooted in the real world. A person may browse an ecommerce website out of boredom, or more than one person might use the same computer. Pausing in front of a product display, on the other hand, is an authentic use of a customer’s time and energy that offers a positive data point.

malls_locationinsights

If an online visitor spends only twenty seconds on a given website before leaving, a multitude of explanations may account for this. If, on the other hand, a shopper physically enters a store but leaves almost immediately, we know both that something must have motivated him to enter and that something else caused him to change his mind before making a purchase. This kind of knowledge can be invaluable to meeting a customer’s needs.

In-store Analytics is the Gold Standard of Retail Analytics

By tracking and measuring different in-store metrics, retailers are more likely to anticipate developing issues and act appropriately, while those without access to such location insights will be prone to committing errors without even realizing it. In an industry which is characterized by stiff competition, tight profit margins and digital disruptors, the importance of in-store analytics can’t be overstated.


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