How Location Analytics Can Create New Opportunities In A Retail Store

- 29th Mar 2017


In a world permeated with online shopping, it’s sometimes easy to forget that traditional brick and mortar retail establishments with four walls have some competitive advantages over e-commerce retailers.

For starters, customer service is never quite the same through a screen. Buying from a local retailer allows a level of trust even well-known internet platforms can’t match. Then there’s the sense of touch; allowing customers to physically see and touch your products offers a much more comprehensive and convincing experience than simply listing their dimensions and specs.

But this doesn’t, however, mean that hanging up a sign and sticking your staff in a uniform is enough to compete with online behemoths. Whether tapping on a tablet or browsing through a showroom, a good customer experience is becoming increasingly recognized as the key to retail success.

E-commerce websites routinely analyze a variety of automatic metrics to understand customer behavior and improve customer experience: which page visitors land on, where their traffic comes from, how long they spend on each page and more. This allows the administrators to test tweaks to their design and even dynamically generate content for individual users, dramatically improving their chances of making a sale.

Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could track your user’s path to purchase at your store as well?

  • Discover New Insights Into Customer Behavior

Although you may be unaware of the fact, the retail tech you need, actually exists!

You can do the same thing in a physical retail environment: use technology to discover new insights into how your customers behave. Instead of encouraging your clientele to connect to the internet, or having a store assistant follow them around like a lost puppy, consider implementing Proximity MX, a multi-channel engagement platform that will not only drive customer engagement but also increase revenue.

Using your in-store Wi-Fi, customers use a single login to access your store’s shopping advisor, which they can use to access information about products and special offers as they browse. At this point, data on the individual begins to accumulate, without the process being intrusive in any way.

You will start to know more about individuals’ and market segments’ spending patterns, responsiveness to advertising and every aspect of the customer journey to fulfillment. This can be used to initiate automated, personalized marketing over a variety of integrated channels. Essentially, Proximity MX forms a bridge between the online and physical worlds and uncovers a goldmine of information.

  • Personalize their Shopping Experience

If customers see something they like on your shelves, you can assume that the first thing they’ll do is Google it in order to read customer reviews and compare your price with Amazon’s, particularly for high-ticket items. 48% of online adults who researched products on a smartphone in the past three months used their phone in-store to compare prices.

The question then becomes – how can you retain their business in such a competitive environment?

The linchpin here is ‘personalizing their shopping experience’.

Using real time location analytics, Proximity MX can help you provide relevant and contextual experiences to your in-store customers. Its integrated dashboard will paint a complete picture of your business – give you easy access to real time analytic reports, reveal individual behaviour patterns and provide insights into the most profitable areas of your store. You can study these trends to then predict future behavioral patterns and use them for timely and effective engagements.

And to unlock even more customer information, you can integrate it to your existing CRM. Combining information from your CRM and your analytics systems with data like current position of the customer in your store, the day of the week or the weather outside can turn your CRM into a data powerhouse.

For example – insights gleaned from your CRM may reveal that a particular customer in your store happens to be a book lover. The digital signages at your store can then use this data, combine it with more data from her purchase history and her current location to recommend discounted books based on her reading preferences.

  • Be a Shopping Advisor for Your Customer

42% of US online adults are interested in engaging with, or have already engaged with, a store employee who is equipped with a mobile device. Now, the store assistant of today is no longer required to deliver a sales pitch, but actually engage the customer. This is much more effective when they can access, in real time, details of the individual customer’s past behavior both in-store and on online marketing channels.

This becomes easy with Proximity MX. With its inbuilt behavioral analytics software, it can convert your sales force on the floor into customer facilitators – thus drawing them back from online competitors.

It will help you understand which market segment a particular customer fits into or who your most valuable customers are. You’ll get to know what caused them to walk through the door – whether it an email marketing campaign or some other advertising effort? All these insights will not only help you retarget existing patrons but also help you in identifying your most profitable demographics.

  • Improve Your In-Store Operations

Using location analytics to measure and manage visitors’ behavior and experience inside your store is going to be crucial to both revenue and efficiency in the retail business of tomorrow. Location analytics can collect huge amounts of data, interpret it and deliver insights that may be surprising. To make the most of this information, data should be able to flow freely across different contact points. This definitely includes your company’s website, e-commerce platform, a dedicated app if you have one, point-of-sale data and data gathered in-store.

Insights such as which products are most often bought together, or by similar customers, can help you make better merchandising decisions. Understanding the buying habits of defined groups of customers can make for more efficiently targeted electronic marketing campaigns. Some awareness of which events lead up to a customer leaving can point out unsuspected process flaws – remember that your and your customer’s viewpoints may not be the same.

Knowing when a high-value customer is on the premises – or a new customer whose behavior suggests that he might become a high-value customer – helps focus floor staff’s efforts more efficiently. Measuring the relationship between online and in-store marketing and purchases, per individual rather than in aggregate, allows the retailer the ability to A/B test different messages in the “real world” and not just on a website.

Operational experience will become less relevant to success as time goes by: it will be Big Data, and the willingness to follow through on the actions it indicates, which will drive retail profits in future.

Don’t Sit On the Fence

The “Digital Divide”, two decades ago, meant the difference between companies having a website or not. Then came e-commerce, social media, dedicated apps and more. For a retail business of any size, not having a location analytics and data mining strategy today is very much like not having a social media strategy at the time that was taking off. Can you afford not to examine the potential?

Request a demo to know how Proximity MX can be a tailor made solution to all your digital needs.