In today’s multichannel world, retailers spend huge budgets on advertising, marketing and loyalty programmes designed to improve their customers’ experience. Yet in spite of this investment, many still struggle to deliver consistent, profitable growth.
A key reason is that retailers are not making best use of the vast amounts of data flowing into their organisations. Offline retailers are still consider that data is a privilege of e-commerce. Companies which we describe below prove that data could significantly help to physical retailers.
Locarise is the company which helps retailers collect and analyze data about there customers’ shopping habits. Retailers receive the physical stores metrics that are similar to what e-commerce retailers use to analyze shopping habits.
The system using Wi-Fi signals from smartphones. Every phone has a unique ID and when Wi-Fi is turned on these phones broadcast signals every 30 seconds. Locarise doesn’t have access to personal information. They only track numbers to count visitors and to see how people move around inside of a store.
The data is then aggregated and the ID number is permanently erased. The company uses other technologies such as sensors as a complement to Wi-Fi. When analysts looking at several stores in an area they can combine the data and know whether a shopper visited more than one of those stores.
Wanzl Connect is a system that offers offline retailers a way into the information age. One component is a set of new «smart» trolleys that can be tracked in a shop. The data collected could tell the shop manager how long people take to move around and where they linger longest.
The second key component of Wanzl Connect is a smartphone app, which customers can use to keep their shopping list, scan items in-store and pay contactlessly at the end of their trip. With the help of Bluetooth transmitting devices placed strategically around the shop, customers can be notified on their phones of deals and special offers relevant to them.
The company believes that,
The trolley is the one employee who stays with your customer from the start to the end of their shopping trip.
Such systems are the last chance for physical retail to compete with online retail. You can’t compete on price or convenience so it will have to be about the experience. And to create a good experience you need to know as much as possible about the customer.