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In-store analytics: how to increase in-store sales?

On e-commerce websites it is easy to follow in detail the behavior and shopping journey of users. Where they click and all their actions are identified and saved. Information such as:
-    The day and time of the visit
-    The duration of the visit
-   Customers’ journey in the conversion tunnel
-    The exit points
-    Visitors’ history 
-    Their behavioral segment…
All these precious data are stored and can be used at the right time. Their analysis makes it possible to continuously improve the user experience of online buyers, in order to convert them into customers.


In-store analytics: converging retail and digital

However, on the shelves of a physical store, there are no more clickable links, no more cookies to recognize visitors, no more conversion tunnel. The analysis of customer behavior in store becomes much more challenging.
But fortunately, there are a few solutions that can help. Just like online, we can learn from in-store shoppers to increase the brand’s revenue and increase loyalty.


How can we effectively measure and understand the shopper experience in store?

Understanding the in-store shopping experience can give us the key to improve the overall experience and increase the propensity of customers to make a purchase. Once the visitor is in store, the hardest part is done, not it is all about encouraging the purchase.  
Aisle after aisle, by showing customers new routes that are different than the one they initially followed, by immersing them in an innovative and efficient “phygital” world, by customizing their experience and by showing them new products, special deals or other offers at the right time, by providing them with the right tool or help they needed, we can increase revenue in store.
Today it is possible with technology to follow people’s path in store when they carry their smartphone. By reviewing the statistics of all the different journeys, we get a fairly accurate picture of the most frequent paths sued between the aisles and the shelves, the hot spots where customers take the time to browse around, the areas where they don’t go too often, their behavior in front of certain shelves, their speed, their act of purchase, the rush hours and the attendance for each day and hour of the week. 

 Traditionally, retailers tend to “force” visitors to walk as much as possible the sales areas. To do so, they generally place the most wanted products towards the back of the store. If customers came for that product, they would have to walk the entire store and through other departments before getting the desired product. They will inevitably be attracted by the other products and offers on their route and will be tempted to add them to their basket. 

By doing so, retailers use traffic to their advantage, place products that they want to sell in priority at eye level, easily accessible. The cheaper products and the high demand products are less visible and more difficult to find. 
Based on these merchandising techniques, we will see how technology has its role to play…


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How can we increase in-store sales with in-store analytics by continually improving the customer experience?

To be able to study and analyze the audience of a store, we have to know the propensity of the aisles or areas to turn visitors into customers on a daily and hourly basis. It is important to identify what needs to be done to fully take advantage of the potential offered by each in-store visit to increase revenue:

-    Improve customers’ flow around the different areas, based on behavior previously observed, to drive them to strategic points and maximize their use of the space.
-     Optimize visual merchandising in every area and shelves to place key products in the hot spots and on head displays.
-    Interact with visitors at the right time to offer a contextualized and entertaining experience and make a difference.
-    Analyze variations in visitor flow, peak hours and low traffic hours to efficiently manage the sales teams. The availability of the sales teams to help customers at the right time is an important asset to improve the customer experience and convert.
-    Reduce lines at the fitting rooms, at the cash register…
-    Offer digital tools to help visitors during their journey (access to their account, information display on tablets, IoT, RFID, scans…). The omnichannel experience should be at the center of the in-store experience as well.
-    Increase customer loyalty: it is a lot easier to retain customers and have them return than attract new customers. 

Note that all in-store analytics technologies should be fully compliant with the customer privacy laws (and the GDPR) if we want to establish a relationship of trust with consumers. They care about their personal data and the way these are used by brands and retailers.

Which solution to choose to collect in-store analytics?

There are solutions working with cameras that detect visitors’ movements and go as far as establishing their socio-demographic profile. However, in-store analytics video solutions are very expensive in terms of deployment and maintenance, and their replacement after obsolescence will be equally costly.
When it comes to the quality of the data for an affordable deployment, nothing can overcome Wi-Fi solutions for smartphone detection, especially when they can be paired with the innovative LoRa technology: your in-store analytics solution can become a HUB for a connected store.
This solution has all the advantages without the flaws: an easy deployment that only requires the sensors to be plugged to an electrical power outlet, devices that are 100% autonomous and GDPR compliant (only the visitors’ Wi-Fi MAC addresses are captured and locally anonymized). 
Below is an overview of the tracking technologies available on the market:

In-store tracking infografics comparison
In-store tracking infografics comparison

Consumers are now accustomed to the many uses brought by digital actions, and they accept it mainly when they get something out of it. They are positively receptive to technological innovations, personalized support and digital tools that will enrich their in-store experience. It is a great opportunity for brands and retailers to improve the customer experience in store and increase their revenue.

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