Retailers Keen for Big Data

Posted on May 17, 2013 by Michael Benarroch

Retailers Keen for Big Data

Posted on May 17, 2013 by Michael Benarroch

Once considered the domain of the marketing department alone, in-store data collection is increasingly emerging as an important tool for enhancing the day-to-day operation of a brick-and-mortar store.

So confirmed in-store analytics firm RetailNext with a survey it undertook at its recent “executive forum.”

The 100 or so retail executives polled for their thoughts on in-store data collection and analysis expressed considerable enthusiasm for the potential of such exercises to improve the effectiveness of their ongoing programs for driving business, and described an industry on the cusp of exploiting their powers further.

Those individuals in hands-on roles expressed the most interest in in-store data — collected by way of video cameras, point-of-sale systems, on-shelf sensors, Wi-Fi devices, and time and attendance applications, among other sources.

Some highlights of the survey:

  • Asked, “How does in-store data collection and analysis compare to two years ago?” 60% said it had “increased significantly,” 23% said it had “somewhat increased” and 17% said, “about the same.”
  • Asked, “Who are the most important stakeholders for in-store data collection?” 81% said store operations, 76% said marketing, 43% said business intelligence or customer insights, and 10% said IT.
  • Asked, “Which measurements are most important to your company?” 89% said conversion, 53% said shopper yield, 26% said average transaction value, 26% said entrance traffic and 5% said sales per square foot.

This emerging reality explains why the reach of shoppers’ data has been extended beyond outreach efforts to the application of such quotidian minutiae as staff scheduling, store layout optimization, and the smarter deployment of in-store fixtures and furniture.