The Red Queen phenomenon, to quote Lewis Carroll, is when “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place”. The retailer of the future is under a similar evolutionary constraint: pandemics, ecommerce dominance, increasing competition, complex customer journeys, increasing regulation in digital marketing are all stressors requiring continuous innovation.
In-store analytics allows brick-and-mortar enterprises to capture customer behaviour and provides actionable insights in improving customer experience and operations. Retailers need intelligence into their customers’ interactions with various touch points in order to optimize operations and determine how well different channels generate sales.
Why Is It Important?
Digital storefronts have a natural advantage in measuring and optimizing customer experience, the advances in convenience and personalization of digital stores have only increased customer expectations in physical channels. Replicating this customer experience in brick-and-mortar enterprises, like retailers or malls, requires technologies that capture and measure customer behaviour seamlessly.
Metrics such as footfall analytics, dwell time, return visits, conversions, and customer loyalty are important factors to measure. Countless operational, tenanting, security, and marketing decisions depend on this data, however, brick-and-mortar enterprises are forced to make these decisions without the necessary insight.
In-store analytics tools capture and analyze data from many touch points throughout the store, providing brick-and-mortar enterprises with detailed insights into their customer experience. Replicating the same level of insight as digital storefronts in brick-and mortar channels is difficult when you factor in the limitations imposed by the physical space and therefore requires several considerations.
Key Success Factors
There are many important considerations that brick-and-mortar businesses need to consider when choosing to develop these capabilities or choosing a vendor.
- Capturing customer data in real time: traditional means of capturing information such as surveys, focus groups etc. are usually post-mortem and have several limitations built-in (read: Hawthorne effect, Observer-expectancy effect, Observer bias). The actual process of data capture must be seamless and in real-time.
- Omnichannel touchpoints: understanding customer behaviour requires capturing different attributes of customers in real time, requiring multiple sensors. However, this can lead to several disparate technologies that can be intrusive and increase the number of silos.
- Unified view: It is also important to understand the unique attributes of an individual visitor as well as at an aggregated level. Having a unified view of your customer allows you to understand customer needs, build segments, and engage with them.
- Integrations: brick-and-mortar enterprises typically have many legacy investments in enterprise hardware and software. A solution that integrates with all existing systems is an important consideration to truly drive insight.
- Information security: the many, many, many, many leaks and cybersecurity incidents in 2021 alone stress the importance of information security – fines, disruption in operations, and loss of reputation are just some examples of the associated fallout.
- Seamless customer experience: All the above factors are dependent on not interrupting the customer experience in-store with surveys, lengthy sign-up processes,booths, or privacy risks. Measuring customer behaviour should be seamless, non-intrusive and privacy friendly.
The Aislelabs Advantage
The Aislelabs platform satisfies all the above requirements comfortably, with an enterprise location analytics and marketing automation platform. Aislelabs can capture the entire customer journey and enables brick-and-mortar enterprises to:
- capture customer data in real time
- unify all online and offline touchpoints on a single platform
- integrate not only with existing WiFi and people counting infrastructure but also legacy enterprise systems
- ensure information security as the only location analytics and marketing solution that is IS027001 certified
- seamlessly capture the entire customer journey by using WiFi, smart cameras, anonymized analytics, progressive profiling, and other tools to ensure there is no disruption to the customer experience
Building an Integrated Value Chain
The Deloitte report “Disruptions in Retail through Digital Transformation: Reimagining the Store of the Future” detailed an interesting taxonomy that would help in illustrating the capabilities of Aislelabs. The table below shows how Aislelabs products can transform traditional brick-and-mortar businesses into retailers of the future.
The most important consideration in leveraging in-store analytics is having a unified strategy, as deploying a distributed approach can lead to redundancy in solutions, gaps in measurement, and loss of data.
At the core of any successful strategy is a data capture platform that is not only scalable but also flexible in terms of deployment of sensors and deployment of analytics. To move forward successfully it’s critical that businesses take time understanding their unique needs, determining which features will help them grow their business while still maintaining a high level of service quality they expect from themselves.