In the era of online shopping, buying items at brick-and-mortar stores can sometimes seem a bit stale and behind the times. In fact, many retailers struggle with the fact that shoppers go to stores, do their research, look for the best price and then go home and buy the same item at a different retailer online. So how can brick-and-mortar retailers convert more of those browsers to buyers? Enter an analytics company called RetailNext. The founders of RetailNext sought to provide business owners with retail analytics to help them better understand their customers and power up sales. As RetailNext Marketing Director Ray Hartjen said, “We help retailers better understand how shoppers navigate their store, discover insights on what they like and don’t like, and ultimately empower retailers to give shoppers more of what they like and less of what they don’t like.”
Utilizing Technology to Analyze Data
The goal of every store owner is to sell more and make more money. Collecting pertinent and relevant data on shoppers is one way to improve the chances of success. While some information is collected at the end of the shopping experience, like signing up for a credit card or loyalty program, for nearly 80% of that shopping journey, no information is collected whatsoever. That’s something RetailNext is changing.
“RetailNext acts as a Google Analytics for brick-and-mortar stores,” stated Hartjen. “We help businesses improve upon their offerings to help shoppers best accomplish their shopping mission.”
A lot of the data collected by RetailNext is through IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Hartjen explained it as, “We crunch billions of data points over hundreds of millions of shopping journeys and begin to develop insights.” One of the ways this is done is through dwell analytics, which is a technology that measures where shoppers stop and engage in a store, such as by a specific display or fixture. It can determine how many people stop by for more than 15 seconds, for example, and generate data to see if the product resonates with customers.
Another solution is full path analytics, which measures where shoppers go throughout the entire store, tracking shopper paths. “You’re able to determine where employees interact with shoppers, how often they interact, how long they interact, and so forth. Then, over time, you can take some measurements. It helps retailers better train their staff to assist shoppers,” explained Hartjen.
Competing Against Online Stores
While Hartjen says that you may not be able to “out-Amazon Amazon,” there still is hope for non-online retailers to stay in business and make good money. It’s all about measuring metrics appropriately. “Over time, you develop insights and then start action planning. A cool way of using analytics is after you’ve action planned and begun to put corrective strategies in place is just to measure and see how they work,” said Hartjen.
Today shoppers have more unlimited data at their fingertips than ever before, so that is why it’s critical for brick-and-mortar retailers to do something special to hook in their customers. Hartjen says shopper traffic has decreased every month for well over five years, so rather than invest in marketing efforts, it makes more sense for retailers to focus on serving the customers they already have. “Give them more of what they want and provide the services and experiences that they want and increase your conversion that way,” he said.
The Future of Retail
RetailNext is a pioneer in the retail analytics space as it is the first company to focus entirely on optimizing the shopper experience for brick-and-mortar retailers. Its unique IoT integrated platform brings e-commerce style shopper analytics that business owners can use to their full advantage to help drive new business and measure what works and what doesn’t work in their stores. The company currently serves more than 350 retailers in over 60 countries.
In order to keep up with the fast moving pace of technology, Hartjen states that you have to grow with it. “We’re constantly growing with our technologies and creating even more robust capabilities.” He says that businesses owners must follow the same lead in order to be successful. “Be more nimble and agile in responding to the needs of the shoppers. There’s a science that goes along with it – give shoppers what they want, when they want it, how they want it.”
For more information on how RetailNext can spruce up your business or to see how it can make a customer’s shopping experience more enjoyable, visit retailnext.net.