What areas of your store are your customers drawn to? How long do customers spend in each area of your store? How does your store layout, product selection, and staffing affect sales revenue?
Do you know the answers to these questions? If your response is no, do you know how to get the answers?
Two of the potential retail technology solutions you need to investigate are heat map technology and full path analysis.
A heat map will provide you with a detailed understanding of traffic throughout the store. Knowing how customers navigate the store, what products draw attention, which areas tend to be the most frequently visited, and which departments are cross-shopped, can reveal where to focus marketing efforts and design concepts.
When it comes to B2C advertising and marketing, the behavior of your customers is one of the most important factors to consider when your aim is to optimize and improve your sales. Ines Gregoria, Decibal Insight
Full path analysis helps retailers analyze the overall shopping trip by providing a detailed understanding of the customer’s entire experience. This helps determine how each store’s layout, staff interaction, product selection, and pricing affects overall sales.
Heat Maps – Retail Technology that Visually Displays the Customer Experience
Real-time imaging helps capture and track movement patterns and create a map that gives retailers accurate information about consumer interests and behaviors. Expensive and more popular items should be in the high-traffic areas to ensure maximum visibility and boost sales. Areas that are visited less often should not have the most expensive items in the store.
Thanks to all of the new and improved camera-based technologies in the world today, retailers can easily track everything customers touch, what they walk by and where they walk throughout the store. This allows retailers to optimize their stores in a way that has only recently become possible. Real-time imaging helps to track movements that convert into a heat map. It helps answer the questions, “What are customers drawn to?” and “How long do they spend in a given area?”.
When you know where your customers are moving in your store, you can strategically plan your store layout to maximize exposure of high-profit items and items you want to move quickly. You can also ensure high-traffic areas are well staffed so that customers can quickly get assistance with things like locating their preferred color, style or size of an item.
Heat map studies have shown, for instance, that when entering a room, almost all (98%) customers looked to the right first. (Decibel Insight) Armed with this knowledge, retailers can move slower moving products on the right of their store entry and directly in the sights of their customers to increase sales.
Beyond just knowing where customers walk in the store, you also need to know what things they are looking at more often and which displays are capturing the most interest. Just because they might be in one area more than another, that doesn’t mean they are looking at all the products in that area. There might be one product that is getting most of your shoppers attention.
With a heat map outlining which items are getting touched the most, you can determine whether you need to move certain things to other areas in the store or discontinue them altogether. When customers pick up an item, there is a greater chance that they are going to purchase that item. However, if lots of people touch an item and no one buys it, you might want to consider discounting or discontinuing the item.
Full Path Analysis – A Retail Technology Solution That’s a Step Beyond Heat Maps
Understanding how shoppers move once they enter a store will give your brick and mortar retail store a significant advantage. Full Path Analysis uses video analysis to indicate the paths that shoppers take throughout a store, including between departments, through aisles and towards fixtures like dressing rooms and checkout counters. It also tracks engagement with displays.
Full path analysis data can help retailers improve their merchandise displays, store layout, and product mix and optimize staffing levels to give customers a more desirable shopping experience that increases customer loyalty and revenue.
Heat maps and full path analysis are two advanced retail technology solutions. Effective utilization of these solutions can give your company a competitive advantage.
If you are just getting started in setting up a retail analytics program, there are many ways to gather data to help improve your merchandising and marketing strategy. We recently identified 8 high-value sources of data for retail analytics in this post.
For a full overview of the benefits of using retail analytics to optimize your customer experience and generate higher returns for your business, download our whitepaper, “In-Store Apparel Retail Analytics: Beyond People Counting”.