A blog by Gary Purbrick, Springboard's Chief Operations Officer
Retail Analytics is defined as the technology that brands, and retailers leverage to increase the likelihood of an initial and repeat purchase. These solutions improve the customer experience, increase brand equity, streamline in-store operations and ultimately drive sales and reduce costs for retailers (catalyst.com).
A fundamental part of retail analytics is capturing footfall and the behaviour of your customers. The methods used to capture footfall traffic within the bricks and mortar retail space are undergoing a transformation driven by technological advances. These technological advances are driving greater granularity of data capture and offer the options to deploy very quickly with zero disruption to operations.
But with so many options out there, what is best for your business?
Whilst WiFi continues to have its place in the retail space as a method of keeping people connected, the drive for personal privacy legislation has made its ability to provide robust analytical insight far more unpredictable. WiFi does though retain its place in the solutions portfolio when trying to understand the path of movement around a space. Understanding the typical trends of customers who follow certain paths throughout a shopping centre, mall, retailer or even through an external high street or downtown area can add value but for absolute visitor counts, it is vision-based technology that really does offer far more options and unparalleled levels of accuracy.
Vision based technology adheres to all GDPR & CCPA privacy legislation and allows highly accurate, precise and consistent data to be collected and acted upon, which is why it is used by the leading retailers and destinations across the globe. Using vision-based technology does not mean adding extra cameras to a space either. A more cost-effective and timely solution can be to leverage the existing CCTV / security camera infrastructure, which makes it possible to deploy AI powered technology that can begin providing data which is over 98% accurate within minutes of activation. Within the view of a single camera, you are able to monitor multiple regions of interest by creating specific zones and detection lines. These extra levels of data granularity further enhance the solutions investment return.
Alongside the traditional footfall traffic data, there are many more metrics which can be reported on. During the pandemic, having a report on how many people were, for instance, not wearing a mask enables retailers to promote the safe retail environment on offer to customers. Alongside this, having an understanding of how long people dwell within a space generally or even a specific zone within the retail space can provide evidence of a correct store layout, or identify where key advertising and wayfinding messaging should be placed for maximum return. Understanding and alerting on the live occupancy of a space using data generated by a precisely defined count line is another feature that can be activated easily and reported directly into the hands of the store staff via an App.
Making every customer interaction count is key as the retail world opens back up, and understanding with high degrees of predictability the footfall counts enables capture rate and sales conversation data to be reported, analysed and more importantly acted upon to maximise the ROI.
Retail has certainly changed and the technology available to report on the many facets associated to consumer behaviour continues to evolve at a pace. Understanding the customers ultimate objectives is key which then allows the technological options to be matched and even mixed giving a complete solution. One that provides the space owner with exactly the level of information they require in easily digestible reports or via a web portal or app. All in the knowledge that the data has been validated twice and has the full backing of analytical insights and support.
Springboard remains one of the world’s leading Retail Analytics practitioners with the ability to leverage the largest number of data points across the UK and a rapidly growing number across the USA to provide insights and benchmarking analysis. Get in touch for a further discussion on how Springboard’s innovative technology can support retail through re-opening and beyond.