5 Tools to Collect Customer Data Using Checkout Technology

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Data digital flowEcommerce retailers have always had a leg up on brick-and-mortar businesses when it comes to collecting data about their customers’ shopping behaviors and buying habits, but now a group of hyperlocal vendors is providing offline merchants with similar sets of tools. These vendors are using data from a merchant’s POS system to build detailed customer profiles, even in an offline environment.

Although each vendor captures its own unique sets of data — providing merchants with insight on everything from a customer’s pants size to his preferred method of payment — they find common ground in the way that they collect it. Instead of relying on information gathered through email surveys or loyalty programs, these vendors are going in through their clients’ cash registers and automatically analyzing the data they collect.

Here are five examples of tools that retailers can use to capture in-store customer data through their cash registers.

1. Index: Use purchasing data to create more personalized customer experiences.
Index provides brick-and-mortar retailers with a way to collect and analyze customer purchasing data through multiple avenues. The information that a store collects when a customer shares an email address is added together with data coming from that customer’s connected credit cards or connected social media accounts. This method of data collection allows retailers to see the big picture, and it means that most businesses don’t have to switch away from their existing POS systems to utilize Index’s tools. (Index integrates with a number of traditional POS systems.) Based on the customer profiles they create, retailers can offer personalized experiences for customers and distribute targeted deals meant to drive sales and promote loyalty.

2. LevelUp: Encourage customers to try new experiences.
LevelUp is a mobile payment network that provides businesses with information about how individual customers are interacting with their brands. Each time a customer pays with his or her smartphone, LevelUp logs the customer’s name, the amount spent, and the date of the visit. Using this information, LevelUp provides businesses with detailed insights that show how long it’s been since each customer’s last visit and each customer’s average spend per visit. Restaurants and cafes can use this information to fill tables during slow periods, while retailers can capitalize on the data by sending promotional coupons to customers who haven’t been in within a pre-determined period of time.

3. Swarm: View transaction data alongside foot traffic trends.
Swarm is a business intelligence tool that retailers can integrate with their existing POS systems for real-time analytics. The company has partnered with a number of mPOS vendors, including Vend, LightSpeed, and ERPLY, allowing businesses to access things like dwell times, transaction data, conversion rates, and average ticket sizes. Each time a smartphone enters a store, Swarm picks up the signal and uses the data for offline personalization. Brick-and-mortar retailers can see who’s in their stores, whether they’ve been there before, and how long they’re staying on each visit. This data is similar to the information that ecommerce retailers can access using cookies. Swarm provides retailers with a way to connect with customers and operate more efficiently.

4. Groupon: Create automatic customer profiles through the POS.
Businesses that use Groupon’s Breadcrumb POS system can automatically build detailed customer profiles that include information like purchase histories, buying behaviors, and specific preferences. Within each customer profile, Breadcrumb provides room for cashiers to enter their own notes, detailing a customer’s preference for a specific table, or how that person takes his coffee. Merchants can see exactly how much money each customer has spent at their establishments, and how many times each customer has visited. Staffers then have the option to offer customized discounts to important customers, or keep running tabs open for frequent guests.

5. RetailNext: Extract POS data to generate useful analytics.
RetailNext is an in-store analytics solution that brings many different data sources under one roof. The platform connects with physical and digital data sources, including POS systems, video camera feeds, mobile devices, and promotional calendars, and then organizes and analyzes the resulting data to provide merchants with an immediate view of how their businesses are performing. Retailers can see how shoppers are moving around their stores and how marketing decisions are impacting the path to purchase. Businesses have one-click access to line item information from any of their receipts. The company’s guest Wi-Fi personalization tools also make it easy to customize welcome pages with personalized campaigns, based on data from connected CRM databases and loyalty programs.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.