As you probably know all too well, data is the backbone of the retail industry. On top of that, retail is also one of the most competitive industries, so chances are good that your competitors collect the same data as you. The only way to remain relevant in this cutthroat environment is to leverage the consumer behavior data you collect in a way that will optimize your store and help your brand stand out.
After all, you can collect all the data you want, but if you don’t use it wisely, you’ll be left in the dust as competitors pass you by. You need to analyze tracking technology like Wi-Fi and Global System for Mobile communications to collect consumer position information and use point-of-sale (POS) data to create the ultimate experience.
Here are five ways to use this valuable data:
1. Design the perfect store layout. Tracking technology lets you understand how people flow through your space, allowing you to arrange an efficient, intuitive layout for shoppers. For example, if you know the electronics department will be flooded during the holidays, you can adjust aisles, shelves and products to ease congestion and make products easier to find.
2. Stock shelves skillfully. Similar to your store layout, tracking technology can help you ingeniously place products to attract attention. You can measure the real impact of anchor products and improve product placement by analyzing consumer paths. With the right organization, you can take advantage of impulse buying and subtly persuade consumers to buy overstocked products.
3. Identify shopping behavior. Tracking technology like heat maps can identify hot and cold zones within your stores. Analyze the data to refine your strategy to make your store look more like a tropical beach than a snowy mountainside. Furthermore, by combining tracking technology with POS figures, you can learn information about customers who are leaving the store empty-handed and set up alerts that announce to team members in real time when a shopper is having trouble finding or selecting an item.
4. Enhance the supply chain. Collecting POS data can also help with supply chain management and operations because you know exactly what’s being sold at what time. You can then use the data to launch automatic stock alerts and reorder reminders as items begin to sell out. With the right tools in place, you won’t have to wait until inventory day to discover you’re out of your best-selling product.
5. Measure the impact of marketing campaigns. While tracking technology will let you know whether people are attracted to your marketed sections, only POS data can tell you whether they’re actually buying them. This data will also show you any cross-selling patterns, enabling you to determine whether customers bought anything in addition to the promoted items. With the POS information, you can compare and contrast which marketing strategy worked best.
Using tracking technology and POS data will improve the overall customer experience, and your business and its employees will reap the benefits, too. Understanding how consumers move through your space will help you make smarter staffing decisions and promotions. When you know certain areas of the store get a lot of traffic, it’s easy to conveniently place engaged team members in the right locations to impact customer decisions.
When you can anticipate consumer needs and meet them quickly, you’re more likely to close sales and keep business. There’s a whole new world of data opening up to retailers. Look around at the data you’re collecting and imagine all the ways you can make shopping more pleasurable for your customers.
Roberto Ugo is co-founder and CTO of Movvo, a platform that measures the flow of people in physical spaces and helps retailers enhance customers’ shopping experiences.