Winners of retail’s fierce competition are those who propose an exclusive, brand-defining experiences that make shoppers come back. Brick-and-mortar retailers find many additional opportunities to engage with customers with such digital technologies as people counting sensors, iBeacons, and self-service screens, which also enhance their store analytics capabilities. Many companies like Walmart, Nordstrom, Sears, and Target have invested massively in innovation labs to drive their digital transformation efforts. Nevertheless, smaller stores remain less aware of how they can use consumers’ data to analyse their store performances and thus are less advantaged to compete with bigger organisations.
CountBOX’s people counting and demographics solution is one such example of using data to build better shopper experiences and create competitive advantages for brick-and-mortar retailers. CountBOX provides footfall counters, cloud-based in-store analytics reports with conversion rate and is developing a facial recognition technology, which allows identifying age range and sex of shoppers. Moreover, the company is implementing a consumers’ feedbacks of their purchasing experiences sourced from the social media into the cloud. A store’s manager will be able to see whether buyers leave positive or negative comments on social networks about their shopping. Having this information at hand in the cloud’s dashboard, a manager makes sure whether the number of visitors is not increasing, shoppers’ feedbacks are positive, and target audience of consumers is growing. It may indicate that the one’s marketing campaign is well targeted, retail sales consultants are well-trained, and in-stock inventory is well-balanced.
Demographic data is of great value for store’s management as it gives insights on how to increase particular target audience’s interactions with their favourite brands and consequently increase loyalty and volume of sales. According to PwC’s Annual Global Total Retail Consumer Survey, the most significant finding in demographic shifts is that interactions with favourite brands tend to make digital natives (the 18-24-year-old set of survey participants) spend more on products, relative to the rest of survey’s global sample. Store’s management, having demographics data in the cloud, can choose to use various measures to increase interactions of particular groups of consumers with brands available at a store.
Another important insight from PwC’s Survey was that Web-rooming and showrooming are equally important for a retailer because there were cases when online traffic was significantly driving offline sales. “People go to a retail store to see, touch and feel. It’s a place to buy, a place to stimulate, and a place to create new possibilities in the eyes of the shopper” says Byron Carlock, the head of PwC’s real estate practice in the U.S.
Knowing consumers online and comparing this information with demographics footfall data offline may bring retailers extra value by calculating correlations of data sets and developing online and offline campaigns that are continuously surprising shoppers with demanded products and promotions they didn’t expect to see.
By managing online and offline marketing campaigns, increasing loyalty, training and replacing staff, and balancing inventory, a manager in smaller scale chain of stores can improve business performance and direct the company to grow faster than the one in the bigger chain with apparently greater resources, but less information about consumers.