Technology has ushered in an era of highly discerning customers with extremely exacting standards. It has made it possible for marketers to woo their target markets with innovative curations and increasingly personalised offerings. While placing a food order via an app, users get recommendations based on past behaviour and choices; when browsing through Facebook, the ads that they see are fine-tuned to appeal to their specific interests. Thanks to such minute customisations in every sphere, the customer’s expectations of personalisation have evolved tremendously. As a result, they look for similar experiences across all transactions, including retail. This is precisely why retail analytics has become paramount for success of brick-and-mortar stores and is helping retailers notch up the positive impact of their consumer engagement activities in unprecedented ways. Here’s a look at the top five reasons why in-store analytics simply can’t be ignored as the way of the future in retail:
Customer behaviour insights: The first and foremost advantage of leveraging retail analytics is that they offer tangible and actionable insights into customer behaviour. Managing any aspect of a business becomes many times easier when one knows how to measure the return on investment. Retail analytics makes this possible. From studying the social responses to a product to gauging how a campaign improved the store’s conversion rates, retail analytics give a highly accurate picture to retailers of what works and what doesn’t.
Enhancing loyalty: By giving meaningful insights into customer behaviour, retail analytics help in bolstering the relationship between a store and its visitors. It allows the retailer to get the right information across to the right recipient and ensure a rewarding shopping experience for the buyer. By personalising marketing content, remembering purchase history and preferences, retailers are able to showcase the relevant products and offers to the most responsive audience and thereby enhance the propensity in them to buy. This also augments the brand resonance with the customers who feel more valued.Naturally, this increases the loyalty that they feel towards the store.
Improving marketing ROI: As established, retail analytics help in measuring return on investment across various aspects of business management. Consequently, they can have a deep impact on enhancing the ROI from marketing endeavours. Since a store manager can measure the effect of in-store influences on purchase patterns, he can alter future campaigns accordingly. He can focus on effective campaigns and streamline marketing initiatives based on what clicks with its specific clientele. Retail analytics also help in assessing the viability of customer loyalty programmes, seasonal discounts, one-time offers etc.
Optimising in-store operations: In-store analytics offer a profound understanding of the consumer behaviour inside the store. Tracing their shopping patterns and dwelling timescan unlock innumerable opportunities for all kinds of retail operations, from individual stores to sprawling shopping malls. Managers can better fathom the kind of layouts that catch eyeballs, the product placements that draw maximum attention and the service delivery quality that customers feel more pleased with. With these metrics at hand, retailers can analyse the best staffing options, the most appealing design techniques and the most effective selling tactics.
Managing the basics: Finally, retail analytics can play a vital role in elevating the efficiencies in everyday business management. Predictive analytics allow the seller to take swift actions for decision-making on stocking, tracking, and restocking SKUs regularly. By keeping a track of how often a particular product moves from the shelves to the shopping carts, sellers can chart the trends that are dominant in the current market. This information can also help them in identifying their most popular items and then focussing on these and similar products for increased sales.
From merchandising and marketing to loss prevention and operations, the benefits of in-store analytics spread across various vertices. Marketing is usually the biggest beneficiary in these cases, while merchandising and inventory management also receive a tangible boost.
It suffices to say that the importance of retail analytics is going to increase in the coming years. A number of large retailers and sellers have profited from using these analytics for some time now. As the analytics technology becomes more ubiquitous and popular, it will lead to greater benefits, both for the sellers as well as the consumers..
Author's Bio: This article has been written by Dr. Anil Kaul, CEO and Co-founder, Absolutdata Analytics.