The retail shopping world has been forever changed with the coming of online shopping. New-age Internet advertising technology has proven to be massively effective at determining the shopping habits of the consumer. This placed local brick-and-mortar stores at a severe disadvantage with ecommerce businesses and many main stream retailers have gone out of business as a result. These changes have resulted in the retail industry facing numerous challenges that will only continue to expand as the tools online stores use to analyse consumer preferences continue to improve. If brick-and-mortar shops don’t make changes to keep pace with online sellers, local retailers will find themselves heading down a hard and dark road.
While there are some differences between online and in-person shopping, many of the techniques used to gauge online consumer behaviour can be applied to customers in local retail shops as well. The Walkbase in-store analytics program Ethniks uses with their digital signage platforms allows brick-and-mortar shops to successfully use many of the same tools online stores have been taking advantage of for years to increase their sales.
Influencing Consumer Behaviour with Electronic Displays
Online businesses have learned the importance of understanding how the shoppers who visit their sites behave by analysing their browsing and buying patterns. The Walkbase retail platform is designed to bring similar and equally effective technology to brick-and-mortar stores to help retailers level the playing field with their online competitors.
The most successful brick-and-mortar retailers are those who create an in-store experience that sets them apart from their competition by blending the digital and physical shopping experiences. One way retailers have combined these two is through the use of digital signage. To this end, digital screens have seen a surge in popularity and are used effectively in virtually every type of business and function from menu boards to interactive kiosks in the retail sector.
The reasons digital signage has become so popular is based on its versatility for multi-purpose uses and in its effectiveness at producing the desired results. In fact, almost 60 percent of consumers feel that digital displays increase the likelihood of them making a purchase. Additionally, over 40 percent of consumers said it influences their buying decision to purchase the advertised product rather than the one they had intended to buy.
Understanding Consumer Behaviour with Analytics
The Walkbase analytics platform allows retailers to make decisions based on data gathered on their customer’s behaviour. Almost all of the big retailers now offer free in-store wireless internet service. The same way consumer behaviour is tracked online, in a browser, in-store analytics uses Wi-Fi and other in-store technology to track their customers shopping behaviour. By using this captured data retailers can discern shopping and buying patterns, tendency and preferences, including how long a shopper is in the store, how much time they spend in any given department and even what isles they spent the most time in.
The Walkbase state-of-the-art analytics platform is lightweight and scalable and can dramatically help retailers in making informed decisions on their customers tendencies. The Walkbase prediction engine uses machine learning to analyse traffic flow patterns both historically and in real-time. This allows for generating visitor forecasts over the next few minutes or weeks ahead of time to help retailers avoid store overcrowding that leads to poor customer service and declining sales. The platform’s key features include:
• A customisable dashboard that provides a comprehensive summary of store locations, their overall performance as well as each departments performance. Data can also be provided on a global, regional and local scale.
• Highest and lowest performing store analytics broken down by zones.
• Advanced filters that allow businesses to focus on specific visitors.
• The exporting of data to spreadsheets and the importation of marketing materials.
• A detailed summary of APIs.
• Footfall pattern and path analysis, dwell times, zone popularity, top hours, how often unique customers visit, cross-shopping and in-store sales data.
• Customizable email reports that package data into a user friendly format.
Combining Electronic Displays and Analytics
Once a business has an understanding of the consumers behaviour in their store they can then merge the in-store and online shopping experience by custom tailoring the message on their digital displays to influence their customer’s buying decisions. This is exactly the same type of marketing magic that online retailers use to influence the buying decisions of their website visitors.
Digital displays have become a powerful content distribution platform that utilizes key metrics to meet consumer needs at each phase of the shopping experience. Because the use of digital displays are virtually unlimited, retail shops should carefully consider all of their options when selecting a display to increase their bottom line.
With today’s advancements in technology, there is no longer any reason for brick-and-mortar retail outlets to be at the same disadvantage they have been in the past when competing with ecommerce companies. At Ethniks we are devoted to delivering a state-of-the-art in-store analytics solution to assist retailers in analysing consumer behaviour.