70% of retailers report increase in sales opportunities through customer experience technologies

A thought-leadership and research report from Qmatic entitled 'Great Expectations' has revealed that, of the 54% of the retail decision-makers who confirmed that they have successfully implemented consumer behaviour analysis technology in their stores, 70% of them have experienced, or expect to experience an increase in their sales opportunities. In an age when shoppers are more demanding and promiscuous than ever, more and more retailers committed to increasing their brand loyalty are switching onto technology to track and analyse consumer in-store behaviours.

The in-depth research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, a specialist technology market research company, with 100 UK retail decision makers in organisations with both online and offline channels and 500 consumers who shop online and offline. It shows that 91% of the retailers with the ability to track customers within their stores, analyse this data and share their findings with colleagues. These businesses confirm that they have seen, or expect to see, significant returns from their technology investment. When asked what these benefits included:

  • 54% cited that customers are more likely to engage with the brand/products
  • 46% cited increased profits
  • 50% cited a higher average spend per transaction
  • 43% cited that customers are more likely to enjoy being in-store and will stay longer
  • 24% cited the generation of good "word of mouth" reputation.

On the flip side of that, however, the report also exposed that 25% of retailers who have invested in behavioural tracking technologies are actually unable to extract value from their data collection and are not able to generate the intelligence that they need to achieve these anticipated gains.

"Retailers who haven't yet mastered the ability to properly analyse the valuable data that they are collecting are missing a significant trick," commented Steve Williams, Managing Director, Qmatic UK. "In-depth knowledge of how customers move through your store, their shopping preferences and in-store behaviours make it possible to implement new store layout changes, improve stock localisation, initiate mobile vouchering and alleviate queuing pressure points. In turn, all of these things generate more purchases, make for more satisfied customers and will see a greater number of those happy customers returning."

Furthermore, the report reveals that concerns about data privacy and a lack of clear direction as to how to use this data to achieve customer experience improvements are hampering 42% of retailers from maximising their current or anticipated investments in these technologies. Many retailers are reluctant to prompt customers to leave their mobile phone number in a self-service kiosk in order to encourage them to browse the store and await an SMS alert when a staff member becomes free. In turn, this inhibits their ability to track the customers' in-store behaviour, potentially losing the retailer additional sales opportunities and adding to the number of consumers physically queuing which then increases the risk of valued customers becoming disgruntled ones.

"In-store check-in enables retailers to convert store visits into incremental revenue opportunities, getting staff in front of the right customer, with the right skills and right promotion," explained Williams. "Retailers who leverage customer journey discovery or 'safari' tools can better understand customer touch points and improve the customer experience. Evaluating how consumers interact in store and capturing incisive intelligence on customer demographics at an individual location supports enhanced and highly localised product merchandising to deliver the personalised and seamless journey that customers today clearly desire," he concluded.

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