The Impact of Retail Analytics for Brick & Mortar Stores

The future of brick and mortar stores in the digital era is uncertain. Competitive retailers of all sizes are merging technology with their existing shopping experience to maintain a place in their market while competing against popular online retailers.

Online retailers revolutionized e-commerce and the shopping experience by monitoring each customer’s complete shopping process through consumer analytics and tailoring the shopping experience to an individual customer’s likes and habits. Online retailers gather this information only by observing simple facts, such as how long a customer spends viewing a product, how many items are eventually purchased off an individual customer’s wish list and how often sales result in more purchases.

In this digital age, the needs of the average customer are evolving with common technology. The average digital age customer is:

  • Savvy: Customers are researching purchases more than ever these days. Information is readily available and most shoppers can make easily informed decisions on important purchases. Modern shoppers set the bar high and expect a seamless shopping experience. Also, they aren’t afraid to engage with a retailer post-purchase based on any feedback they might have.
  • Mobile: The modern shopper can window shop 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from anywhere in the world. Their mobile devices are a constant extension of their limbs. Technology allows customers to multi-task now more than ever and places endless information at their fingertips. Your customers will use their mobile web to compare prices and product reviews with other retailers while shopping in-store. Your customer expects things to be immediate and can be constantly distracted because of technology.
  • Social: Social media has given the customer a public platform to be heard. Some have bigger audiences than others, but each individual has platform to perpetuate their feelings, influences and beliefs to others online. Social media is built on sharing and most modern customers are afraid to unleash a good or bad review on social media. Social networks influence purchasing decisions every day. A recent study found 40% of social media users have purchased an item after sharing or “favoriting” it on a social network. This social, sharing culture doesn’t just drive online sales, but in-store sales as well.

Often, shoppers will browse a lot of different items and won’t purchase many of them. While internet retailers can analyze that shopping process, basic brick and mortar retailers are left in the dark on how the customer arrived at the register with specific products. Mobile shopping technology enables these retailers to effectively and directly influence customer behaviors based on shopper browsing history, wish lists, purchases and deal redemption.

Brick and mortar stores don’t have to miss out on this type of observational information. Allow your customer to engage with you throughout the entire in-store shopping experience on mobile. Offer your customer a mobile experience, either through a site or app. By engaging your customer on mobile, you can capitalize on useful consumer insights and retail sales data you would miss out on otherwise.

By analyzing products customers browse, add to their wish lists and actually end up purchasing, retailers can better analyze conversion success rates. If customers desire a lot of your products but aren’t purchasing anything, you’ve got a problem. With retail analytics, you may easily derive an informed solution and close more sales.

Often, brick and mortar stores accept paper coupons, or even scan coupons on a smartphone at the register. Without insight into other customer habits, retailers can’t get a complete view of a customer’s decision-making process. Offer customers deals through a mobile program and you can better analyze what offers are effective. Understand which customers are motivated by what offers.

In-store retail analytics also help you recommend products to your customers. Online retailers are dominating with intelligent product recommendations. Product recommendations based on browsing history help spark interest in other products, bringing “impulse” purchases to another level and increasing profits.

Mobile consumer analytics means power for retailers. You’ll have the power to implement effective solutions for real business problems that impact revenue and profits. While online sales grow, brick and mortar retailers need to revive their customer base with mobile perks and harness consumer insights to provide the best possible in-store shopping experience. Your business depends on it.

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