Consumers have indicated that they’re ready for indoor location marketing, and retailers are, too. But when businesses consider the costs of investing in indoor location technology, they need to look at the complete picture. In addition to serving as a way to send targeted promotions and offers to customers in-store, location analytics tools may provide insight that can be used to improve operations and optimize in-store services.
In many cases, indoor location analytics platforms take the guesswork out of operations management. Rather than guessing whether expensive in-store displays are increasing conversions, and wondering how dwell times influence sales, retailers can look at the data being spit out by their analytics platforms to find their answers. Here are six ways that businesses can use indoor location tools to improve in-store operations.
1. Employ dwells. “Dwells are being employed more and more often, and it’s a data collection solution that is rapidly evolving and becoming more expansive in the data it can gather. Dwells are defined areas within a store, and the data collected measures shoppers interactions and engagement with the merchandise and displays that are contained within the dwell space. Armed with that data, a retailer can consider a number of strategies, from changing the display appearance and merchandise selection, to developing signage and changing staffing levels.” (George Shaw, RetailNext)
2. Target post-visit marketing. “Location awareness and mobile apps enable retailers to effectively engage customers during their in-store experience. Armed with precise shopping behavioral data, retailers can more effectively target their post-visit marketing. Mobile apps can communicate with customers in real-time based on their in-store locations. Knowing where each individual shopper spends time in the store empowers retailers with exceptional post-visit marketing data. Knowing where loyalty customers shop enables consumer segmentation and shopping behavior awareness. For example, ‘how do 18 to 24 year old women engage at the cosmetic counter?’” (Kellie Peterson, iInside)
3. Anticipate customer challenges. “Shoppers sometimes get stuck and need help, either because they can’t find a particular item or they need help making a decision. With Localpoint by Digby, customers who have lingered in an indoor location for a long time can be prompted via push notification to see if they need assistance. If they do, a ‘Get Help’ button can notify a nearby associate and send them to the customer’s current location.” (Stephen Slezak, Digby)
4. Use queue analytics to decrease cart abandonment. “Queue analytics can be developed through the deployment of just a single camera. Using historical data, retailers can determine critical queue lengths, and when shoppers are most likely to abandon the queue. Then, using real time data, they can set alerts and re-allocate staffing when queues begin to approach trigger points. Customers are served more efficiently and effectively, and customer experience is enhanced.” (George Shaw, RetailNext)
5. Bridge online and offline activity. “For merchandisers, shopper behavior data provides a detailed understanding of the effect of practically every major merchandising adjustment. Marketing uses shopper behavioral feedback to quickly and accurately determine campaign impact. By merging location analytics and customer relationship management data, merchandisers can go further to provide a comprehensive view of the customer that bridges online and offline activity.” (Kellie Peterson, iInside)
6. Think outside the box. “Analytics from outside the store can also help a retailer better understand its customers. Cameras and other sensors at the entrance of the store can measure shoppers as they walk by the store. What window displays cause shoppers to stop most often? How are shoppers engaging with the window displays? What percentage of passersby stop at the windows or come into the store? Which side do most of the customers approach from, and how can signage and other displays be more effective in driving traffic?” (George Shaw, RetailNext)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.