In-Store Analytics – Key to Retail Success?

By Steve Wood, Blog Contributor
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You know the new year shopping bonanzas are here as retailers kick off their promotions. According to Visa's Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey, a growing number of consumers start holiday shopping as early as November: how best should businesses deploy strategies to meet the crest of festival consumer shopping demand?


As digital shopping begins to drive transaction volume 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 South East Asia, where mobile transactions in e-Commerce account for 54 percent of all successful transactions in the region.

While by the convenience of browsing online continues to influence purchase 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 retail sales made offline will be inspired by online activity.

Brick-and-mortar stores are clearly still relevant to the shoppers in this region. For retailers in Asia, these trends and forecasts are highly valuable as they continue building the best in-store experience. To achieve this, every piece of customer intelligence will play a critical role for your business in claiming your 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 recognise the value of an analytics-driven organisation to drive decision-making processes. For instance, Singapore Economic Development Board's investment in RetailNext.

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 rising. This analytics can for instance track the time spent in certain areas of the store, or even help to determine the best store layout for optimising customer traffic.

Since every person that walks by is a prospective customer, this is important information. You now have the ability to see how many 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 which 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 recognise patterns and find opportunities to optimise 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 that can potentially deliver the highest conversion from 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 customise how you measure and calculate conversions based on what works best for you – this is applicable whether you have 10 stores or 2000. 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 optimisation 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 capitalise on opportunities for retail success – no matter what season it is.