Until a few years ago, retailers have been limited in the types of in-store data analytics they could collect. Most data was centered on a customer’s final purchase, but what about the journey they took to reach the decision to purchase? What about shoppers who enter and browse, but don’t purchase? What about customers who browse in-store but purchase online? All that intelligence was lost.
In it’s Digital Shopper Relevancy Report last year, Capgemini found that the in-store experience is still the favored destination for shoppers with 72% of survey respondents seeing the store as important or very important. AT Kearney last year also found that 90% of all retail sales still happen in stores. These studies validate the need for retailers to invest in their most effective platform and take advantage of the massive amounts of data available there.
Today, there are incredible technologies that can help retailers measure their efforts in a retail store, from tracking a shopper’s movements to analyzing facial cues for mood detection. This resulting in the ability to send relevant information directly to their smartphone based on where they’re standing inside the store. The combination of these technologies paint a picture of how in-store technologies are evolving the in-store engagement and retention analytics.
Consider the way digital engagement analytics help brands make conscious choices about their online commerce efforts. Store retailers can use similar metrics to measure success of in-store engagement, allowing them make conscious choices about how to improve their omnichannel experience with relevant sets of data. While measuring in-store experiences might seem daunting, looking at how retailers are measuring online initiatives is a good place to start to map out in-store metrics.
Let’s dive into some of the digital metrics we are familiar with and their physical counterparts.
The most effective way to measure unique visits in the physical store is people-counting methods. Leaders like RetailNext install cameras to track every customer who comes in the door. Many retailers now provide in-store Wi-Fi to shoppers in order to track their physical habits digitally. This lets retailers identify new shoppers and tailor the experience to fit their first-time visit. Store associates may offer more help or guidance to new visitors than customers they know have been in the store before, or Bluetooth beacons may provide first-timers with special deals as they shop.
|Dwell Time=||Time Spent in Store|
This is similar to the session duration metric you might see in your website’s analytics. It lets retailers know how much time a shopper spent in the store and even how long they lingered in a specific zone. Dwell time is a great measurement for experience success because it shows which areas cause shoppers to spend more time engaging with products. This, combined with pathing analysis methods, lets retailers understand exactly how shoppers move through and interact with their stores.
|Product Pageviews=||Products Browsed|
Online, this is similar to product pageviews. It’s important to know which products the shopper is looking at so you can make intelligent predictions on similar products, provide coupons and deals, implement retargeted ads, and/or send an email to remind them of their interest.
|Repeat Visits=||Repeat Visits|
MAC address tracking (although there has been much controversy on proper use) can track a unique ID as the customer’s phone attempts to connect to Wi-Fi even if they don’t log in. In-store Wi-Fi or mobile apps provided to shoppers allows them to enter an email address, which can also be tracked.
By tracking an ID throughout its journey, an entire shopper profile can be built to show recent visits online and in-store, which products the customer may have previously researched online, purchase history, preferences, and so much more. Store associates can pull up that history and provide personalized information to the shopper.
The ultimate success metric for retailers. Online and offline, this metric lets retailers know how many shoppers actually make a purchase. And all of these metrics combined let them understand what steps it took to make that purchase happen. Perhaps a shopper came in to browse, but ultimately made their purchase on their home computer. Perhaps they researched and browsed on their smartphone but came into the store to speak to a store associate before buying. Conversions can happen online at home, on a mobile device, or while in the store. Shoppers can come from a variety of channels and take many different paths before they decide to purchase. It’s critical to understand the shopper journey.
These metrics give retailers the tools to build complete individual shopper profiles to make the experience more personalized for each customer, which is key to driving sales and increasing loyalty. They help retailers understand trends and patterns so they can make adjustments to accommodate.