Retail professionals already understand the importance of studying their customers in order to personalize the shopping experience. Data collection, a given in online stores, has recently become possible in physical stores. The majority of purchases are made in physical stores, meaning that collecting data in retail spaces is fundamental to take advantage of the higher rate of conversion over online channels.
While e-commerce professionals collect customer data to analyze their online behavior, shopping carts and search histories, retailers collect different data such as demographic information, paths through the store, in-store behavior, favorite sections, and which products sell best at different times of day. This is all possible thanks to digitizing stores by incorporating tools that can analyze customers anonymously and in real time while respecting their privacy.
Retailers this day in age can’t focus on online shoppers or offline shoppers only. They must consider the omnichannel customer. Customers perform online searches before coming to physical stores to buy products, and they want a shopping experience that combines online and offline shopping aspects in one cohesive experience (catalog, price, etc.). This means that understanding how customers behave is more important than ever.
The retail business is evolving in line with the wants and needs of new users. This includes adapting to a new business model that exploits the rise of smartphones, for example. Modern customers want to be able to browse a brand’s and its competitor’s websites once they are in the store. This lets them compare products and see what products a brand has in stock. For this reason, it is important that the website and the physical space offer the same information and products. Offering Wi-Fi to customers lets stores personalize the customer experience based on the information gathered about their behavior and online interactions while in the retail space.
The Beabloo Wi-Fi Customer Insight tool manages this by analyzing customer interactions with the online world while visiting physical stores. The solution is integrated with Aruba components to provide free and secure Wi-Fi to customers in the store while respecting their privacy. From the moment a customer connects to the Wi-Fi, companies can analyze:
-What websites they visit: knowing what websites customers are browsing while in a store helps companies know if customers are comparing prices and products with the competition. This way, companies can be fully informed of who their competition is and act accordingly.
-Which social networks they use: knowing which social networks customers use most often can help companies establish an efficient and personalized line of communication with customers to improve engagement.
-Which applications they open: knowing the design and offerings of the apps that customers prefer and use can be valuable information for companies who want to design their own app according to these tastes. It can also help you collaborate or compete with popular apps.
Knowing about customers’ online interactions in a retail space lets companies improve segmentation and create a unified, more personalized online and offline experience using key business development information. Data is presented on personalized dashboards that let companies understand what their customers are looking for online. This information can help any retailer understand customer preferences in their stores and detect the best times to communicate with customers.
It was once impossible to know so much about customers, but new technologies are letting us understand visitors to stores better than ever and turn them into loyal customers. There are always new tools, and we must innovate or die to succeed in this ever-changing retail environment. However, the objective remains the same: to provide the best service and experience possible.