Visitors to trade fairs showing the latest developments in the field of retail technology cannot ignore it: in-store analytics are finding their way into the retail landscape. The technology has become more affordable. Thanks to increasing competition within the retail technology sector, the retailer no longer has a barrier to finally be able to measure offline, where e-commerce has already been using smart methods to take the customer experience to a higher level.
The desire of offline retail is clear: to achieve more conversion on the shop floor. It is only natural that one looks at the developments brought by online shopping. It has changed the wishes and needs of the shopper, in a way that has a clear influence on the physical shop floor. Offline retail is on the rise and has never been away. With increasing interest from the shoppers, it is important to actually have the cash register ring on the shop floor.
If we take a look at what makes e-commerce successful, we see that today’s shopper is spoiled online. Through funnelling, the customer journey becomes an efficient journey to products that are completely within the interests of the customer. That is exactly what the physical retailer wants: to guide customers who enter the store to products that lie within their field of interest and try to remove all the barriers that stand in the way of a direct purchase. Live funnelling is no longer an utopia, but entirely possible thanks to retail technology.
Measuring and analysing offline
Thanks to the interaction of cameras, heat map sensors and intelligent hardware and software, the retailer is able to collect live metadata about the shoppers, analyse them and act on the results. In a conversation with Raymond Sestig and Stephanie Thielen, respectively founder and marketing manager at the Dutch Insightz concept, we learn the importance of the consultancy side of this theme. Sestig: “You can mount as many cameras and heat map sensors as you like, at the end of the day it is the interpretation of the collected data that determines whether you have an effect. First of all, you have to set yourself certain goals as a retailer. Why are you measuring? Do you want to carry out an analysis at product level? Do you want to map the routes in the store? Goal-oriented filtering and analysing to get exactly the image that is important, can become a jungle without help. Proper consultancy is important when processing the data”.
To the question, what is being measured, Thielen replies: “As an example I take a chain of clothing stores, where our system is active. Upon entering we examine the shopper’s gender, their age, the main colour of the clothing they are wearing and their happiness index. The latter tells us how happy the customer is. The shopper is tracked in several places in the store. In an easy-to-use digital dashboard, the retailer can see exactly, live or afterwards, which route the customer has taken and which purchases have been made, to measure the conversion”.
Let every sq.m in the store count again
Thanks to mapping the walking routes in the store (through the heat mapping sensors), hot spots and cold spots can be established. A cold spot is by definition a place where too little traffic takes place on the shop floor. For the retailer, these are the most expensive square metres. Thanks to in-store analytics, however, it is now possible to adjust this, by changing the layout of the store so that other routes have to be taken. Add to this the possibility to transfer fast-moving products (all measurable) to these abandoned places in the store and it should be clear that a hot spot can be made of every cold spot.
Everything within legal limits
The most frequently asked question from the audience is whether such a method of measurement is within legal limits. With new laws on privacy protection, this is a legitimate question. The retail technology sector is well aware of this and therefore only collects meta-data. Non-personalised data, which in no way infringes on the privacy of the shopper.
Take a good look around in stores where you are shopping. Are you already being measured? Chances are that this is the case!
Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018
For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versailles the e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.
Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.