What is a typical shopper journey? Does it start and end at the store entrance, or is it influenced by online activity? Do customers ask sales associates for advice, or go it alone? How many shoppers redeem loyalty offers?
Retailers may have some gut instinct answers to these questions, but not many are able to quantifiably track and analyse consumer behaviour in order to validate such hunches. All they really know is that today’s consumers are savvier than ever: they can shop any time, anywhere, and don’t hesitate to switch brands if their needs are not met.
But while the complexity of modern consumer behaviour is undeniably advanced, so too are the tools to track, understand and respond to it. For retailers to stay ahead of the competition, there should be a growing focus on better understanding and acting upon customer behaviour data across all channels.
Increasingly, technology is becoming available to capture behavioural data, which can be leveraged to solve typical challenges that plague retailers. Despite this, most (if not all) of retailers’ strategic decisions about how to operate stores still rely on legacy systems and key performance indicators (KPIs) that may no longer be fit for purpose. To truly benchmark store performance, retailers need to embrace a new set of KPIs that define bricks-and-mortar success in sophisticated terms.
So what are some of today’s hot topics in retail that will shape future KPIs?
The omnichannel influence
Creating a truly omnichannel shopping experience is pivotal to meeting consumers’ needs.
Retailers can strengthen a customer’s relationship to a brand in the store through leveraging a connection that was established online. Whether this is through recognising a loyal customer when they enter, offering merchandise advice in person, or upselling during a ‘click and collect’ experience, each of these digitally initiated interactions prompts an opportunity for increasing brand loyalty in the store.
Consumers have certainly come to expect a seamless experience when dealing with their retail brand of choice, and the extent to which this is executed in the store must be carefully measured with the right KPIs.
Another area of the in-store experience that requires the right set of KPIs to measure is how a store’s merchandising and layout influence customer behaviour. Retailers need to deliver a remarkable in-store experience that differentiates their brand from competing brands. These days, intelligent devices can deliver vital data about how customers move about and interact with items in the physical store.
From interactive kiosks to RFID tags, a host of technologies are available to help build better customer relationships, manage inventory, and optimise product placement. For the wise, data-driven retailer, these technological advancements present an opportunity to interact and monitor customer behaviour. Ultimately, these figures will enable stakeholders to optimise in-store operations and inform cross-functional decision-making – from promotions and inventory management, to sales training and visual merchandising.
For bricks-and-mortar retailers to succeed in today’s complex retail landscape, retailers must deliver the personalised and efficient services that consumers now expect. The winning strategy to make this happen rests on a solid foundation of new KPIs that are powered by advanced customer activity data.