As e-commerce has expanded its share of the market, it has used all kinds of data analysis strategies to advertise to its customers more effectively and further increase its growth. One of the reasons the bricks-and-mortar stores of our main streets have fallen behind in sales growth is the difficulties they face in matching their online competitor’s prowess when it comes to collecting data about their customers.
These days are numbered, however, and the high street is fighting back. The brick-and-mortar retail sector is finding new and innovative ways to collect consumer data and crunch the numbers to find ways to offer their customers more and get extra revenue in the process. Many of the marketing tactics and resources that previously only online businesses enjoyed are now being tweaked to work on the shop floors of high street stores.
Free Wi-Fi Should Never be Free
Many stores are using free Wi-Fi internet as a way to gather customer data and also track shopping habits. Logging on to a store’s Wi-Fi requires an email address, and with that, a brick-and-mortar store can begin to build an email database for marketing purposes. When a customer logs on and off will also tell you when they visit the store, allowing you to build a picture of when customers visit the store and how long they spend there. You can add even more details to this if you can tie a customer’s purchase data to their email address. This can be done through a promotional email, but as more and more customers begin to use their smartphones to make contactless payments, it is easy to match the data points without being intrusive.
Use Tracking Software with Security Cameras
There is cheap and readily available software on the market that can help a retailer track a customer in store to monitor their buying habits and product interest. These often work with existing security cameras to track movement and identify hotspots where customers hover for longer, spending more time looking around. This can help you implement better retail execution by placing profitable products in these areas or signage for special promotions. Some sophisticated software can even track eye movements and gauge a customer’s mood or their reception to products, giving you an insight into how a customer feels about a promotion or brand.
Using Events and Loyalty Schemes
Special event promotions and customer loyalty cards and schemes have been around for decades, but the tools to use the data have only recently been developed. By hosting an event or using a loyalty scheme, you can get customers to volunteer their own data to help you build a marketing database and use the opportunity to have some positive customer interaction with your store. Even if you don’t make any extra sales at the time, the marketing possibilities this creates will bring in extra revenue later on.
Brick-and-Mortar retail is undergoing a data renaissance with the latest software and techniques previously only available to e-commerce; make sure your store isn’t left behind.